“Axie Infinity” and Web3: a new revolution in the world of gaming
If there is an industry that is constantly evolving, it is gaming. In the last thirty years, arcades have been replaced by the creation of gaming environments in our rooms. The arrival of the 5G network has become one of the most anticipated technologies by gamers, thanks to its low latency and increased speed.
When we thought that the revolution in the world of gaming was on pause… Web3 arrives to transform what we knew and bring us new terms and modalities within this field. If this time ago we talked about pay to play games (pay to play) and free to play (free games); now the focus is on play to earn or P2E (play to win) games.
But, this new typology of games brings with it a key paradigm to resolve:we will continue playing video games for the simple fact of having fun? Or, instead, will we do it to make money? Throughout this article we will talk about play to earn games and how the video game «Axie Infinity», along with Web3, have marked a before and after in the gaming industry.
Play to earn games: a legitimate business model
Introducing ourselves to the subject, the first thing to be clear about is that play to earn games do not come from Web3. «The games that allow you to earn money already existed, generally, through secondary markets or black markets»explains Rafael Pajarón, Innovation Product Manager at Telefónica, to Think Big.
The difference between this type of game, such as “World of Warcraft”, where you can buy accounts to play with characters at the highest level in exchange for money, and play to earn games, is that the latter are understood as a model of business that, thanks to the blockchain and the NFTs (non fungible tokens), already legitimately collect their economic performance. In other words, while in the first ones you have to do numerous laps to get that reward; in play to earn games, your own model already collects the monetary gain. This is where Web3 appears: when we include blockchain and NFTs, the incursion of Web3 is implicit, making this type of game a worldwide phenomenon.
Broadly speaking, Rafael mentions that the great benefits provided by Web3 to the world of gaming are the following:
- On the one hand, the player receives a token that has an economic value. That money can be obtained thanks to exchanges, where the player can collect his reward as fiat money or other cryptocurrencies.
- Another advantage is that the digital assets of the games, the NFTs, are owned by the players, who will guard these assets within their wallets or digital wallets.
«Axie Infinity», the future of video games on the Web3
At the moment, the most popular platform is «Axie Infinity». Rafael refers to this game as, “the case study” and the “flagship» of play to earn games. The Axies experienced their first success in 2018 with the rise of cryptocurrencies and Ethereum. Although it has not been until the past 2021 when they have reached their peak, putting on the table the possibility of earning money playing. However, nothing is further from reality. At the moment, it is not possible to be rich or live thanks to play to earn games.
What does it consist of?
To get started in the world of Axies you need to have at least 3 Axies. Until a few weeks ago, the acquisition of these by the players was a mandatory requirement. This aspect has changed with the latest season and version of the game, «Axie Infinity: Origin«, where the game provides the user with 3 free Axies, but which are not NFTs. This means that you can get started in the game, but you will not be able to earn money because they are not tokens. In order to obtain economic benefits, the acquisition of 3 Axies NFTs is still necessary.
Once you have those 3 Axies, you can form your team and start participating in the various battles. If you want to earn tokens, you have to play «Sand«. In this mode you compete with other Axies teams, so if you win you will get tokens that you can exchange for money on an exchange. Whereas, if you play in «Adventure«, you will play against the machine and you will not be able to win tokens.
How can you spawn new Axies? Each one of the Axies is unique, so if you want to acquire a new one you will do it through the “breeding of Axies” option. In this area, gamers can get new tokens, with a minimum amount of SLP (the utility token of the game) and two Axies. «We can say that the user is in charge of creating new AxiesRaphael says. “And setting the price at which they want to sell it, based on the law of supply and demand,” he continues.
Once you have selected your Axie, you need to acquire it through the game’s own wallet: Ronin Wallet. There are different digital wallets on the market, however, with the aim of improving the player’s experience and making transactions cheaper, they chose to generate their own wallet.
Having 3 Axies is just as important as linking your Ronin Wallet address to your “Axie Infinity” account. Only then can you buy and credit that the Axies you use are yours. In addition, it will be in that digital wallet where the tokens that you generate throughout the game are deposited, which you can later take to an exchange.
What are Guilds?
One of the key features of Web3 is decentralization, which we can find in DAOs (Decentralized Autonomous Organization). However, this feature is not applicable to games, since they require a developer studio to make the decisions. «Currently, games are born centralized with the promise of becoming decentralized at some pointRaphael assures.
Although, what we can find in “Axie Infinity” are the Guilds, player organizations and investors who intend monetize your investments in digital assets, like NFTs. Rafael says that this is a key aspect of Web3, since it constitutes the perfect ecosystem for the creation of new businesses around others.
Thanks to the Guilds and the play to earn games, scholarships or scholarships appear: players who have Axies can lend your NFTs for other users to play with, sharing the profits. The task of the Guilds is to take the mentioned action on a large scale, offering training, coaching and advice to the players.
A new trend looking for its place
As we have seen, the world of gaming is constantly changing with the arrival of new technologies and, therefore, with new game modes. This does not have to be a handicap for any of the existing game types. In the same way that pay to play games have coexisted with free to play games, the same will happen with play to earn games. How? One of the options is with the development of hybrid video game models. For example, free to play games that integrate play to earn models. A union that already exists.
However, this new video game ecosystem is relegating fun to a second course, being replaced by “earning money”. A fact that emerged after the rise of «Axie Infinity» with the appearance of «click to earn» games. «Most of the games were Ponzi schemes, a scam, only sustained by the massive influx of players looking to make money.Raphael explains. “For me it is the unfinished business of these games,” he continues.
Faced with this situation, the solution lies in developing games with the main objective of entertaining their players, leaving the monetary part as an option to obtain a profit, but where the main purpose is to have fun.