Packy McCormick is onto something with his recent pieces on web3 and the emergence of the “metaverse” being enabled by Ethereum.
This week he writes about Axie Infinity, a NFT-powered Pokémon-like PvP game built on the blockchain. The resemblances to Pokémon are many in terms of the gameplay, but that’s about the end of the similarities.
If they pull it off, Axie will be like Roblox on steroids, with better margins and better incentive alignment. Axie might become an even more important corner of the Metaverse, and a beacon for people building decentralized worlds online that blur work and play.
Axie’s mini monsters you collect are generated through breeding monsters together, which requires the ecosystem’s tokens to do (SLP), and mints new monsters that can be auctioned to others, for real money. There’s an expanding community of people worldwide, particularly in southeast Asia today, that are using Axie’s “play-to-earn” strategy to make real money playing the game. Gaming as a job isn’t a new thing, since people have been farming resources and selling accounts and add-ons on the gray market for years. But those economies were explicitly disallowed by centralized developer platforms like Blizzard’s World of Warcraft universe.
With Axie, play-to-earn is the entire point of the game.
I started to get my wallet set up to give this a try. Super interesting to see gaming converging with the internet and decentralized economic forces.