Axie Infinity Origin (Battles V3) set to Launch
Axie Infinity has just announced it will roll-out a new battle system alongside a free in-game “starter monsters” so that new users can play without buying NFTs.
With over 2 million daily active users, Axie Infinity is the most popular play-to-earn game on the market, but it needs an initial commitment in NFTs to play. However, developer Sky Mavis wants to reach a lot more people. As a result, it will soon release free "starting monsters" in the game to give new users a taste of the game before they invest any money.
Sky Mavis hinted at free starter Axies last year, but today confirmed that they are on the way. The free-to-play feature will arrive as part of Axie Infinity: Origin upgrade, which will begin rolling out by the end of Q1 2022.
The play-to-earn mechanism of Axie Infinity is based on NFTs, which are cryptographic tokens that indicate ownership of a digital property. To play the Pokémon-inspired game Axie Infinity, players must first purchase three Axie monster NFTs, but they can then receive token rewards that can be traded for other cryptocurrencies.
Buying three Axie NFTs cost at least $600 worth of Ethereum at the height of the Ethereum-based game's excitement last summer and fall. Even now, despite the game's play-to-earn model's economic challenges, 3 Axie NFTs costs more than $150.
The initial monsters in Axie Infinity will give players a taste of the game without allowing them to collect SLP reward tokens, however this may change in the future. The free monsters will not be NFTs that can be sold or transferred; instead, they will be included in the Axie Infinity game client.
Along with the starter monsters feature, there will be a new "V3" battle system, which will be more detailed and strategic than the existing model, as well as new battle cards, power-ups, and other changes. By the end of this quarter, Sky Mavis will begin rolling out the upgrades, however the new battle system will first be released in a "alpha" condition with no token incentives.
After establishing its Ethereum sidechain, Ronin, which drastically reduced transaction costs and wait times, Axie Infinity witnessed a boom in demand last summer. According to CryptoSlam data, the game has generated nearly $4 billion in trading volume to date, making it the largest NFT project to date by that criteria.
Although the NFT requirement is seen as a stumbling block for Axie Infinity, it has spawned a Web3 industry of gaming guilds that offer "scholarship" schemes. NFT owners effectively rent their Axies to players, many of whom are from developing countries, who play the game and split the token profits.
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