Axie Infinity announced the global early access release of its free-to-play game Axie Infinity: Origin. The launch of the entry-level game comes a week after Axie’s Ronin Network was hacked for $625 million, which was one of the largest crypto hacks ever.
Aside from the hack, the play-to-earn version of Axie Infinity has been feeling strong headwinds as its number of average daily users has declined. Players say it’s harder to earn as the value of the in-game crypto declines and, according to one player, “It’s not that much fun if you can’t make money.”
A free version of the game should incentivize new players to test drive Axie Infinity. Will free-to-play gamers convert to play-to-earn gamers? You need to purchase three Axies to “buy in” to the play-to-earn version.
Let’s pay close attention here. Axie’s current play-to-earn gamers tend to come from areas where minimum wages are extremely low and the game offers a way to earn a living. There are “scholarships” and micro-loans and investment pools to help stake those players that cannot afford the buy-in. Will a free-to-play model help build this group or will it open Axie up to a different audience? Will the new audience convert to investment-oriented play-to-earn gamers? Time will tell.
Author’s note: This is not a sponsored post. I am the author of this article and it expresses my own opinions. I am not, nor is my company, receiving compensation for it.