Axie Infinity has released a new version on Apple's App Store, eliminating the need for users to buy NFTs and potentially attracting a new wave of players.
The game, Axie Infinity: Origins, initially offers free non-NFT "starter characters" and expands its availability to key markets in Latin America and Asia, with plans for more features in the future.
Sky Mavis, the company behind Axie Infinity and the Ronin Network, have recently introduced Ronin studios to Apple’s ecosystem, while also positioning itself as a launchpad for Web3 games.
The positive year-to-date price performance of RON, the native token of Ronin Network, can be attributed to the revamped interest in Axie Infinity and various initiatives implemented within their ecosystem.
Axie Infinity has been one of the strongest use cases in blockchain gaming, an area that has attracted investor attention for its growth potential. These recent developments may strengthen the investment case for its token (AXS) and blockchain gaming in general.
In 2021, blockchain gaming became a segment of crypto that generated a lot of interest from investors. What became clear throughout that year, however, was that this tantalizing crypto asset niche lacked the substance necessary for a long-term form of investment. A number of projects had no end-product whatsoever, and it wasn’t long before these astounding yield-returning ventures started to go under. The havoc that ensued in the sector, after the demise of so many scams, marked the beginning of the bear market for the last cycle in the crypto markets.
In 2023, games that feature non-fungible tokens (NFTs), decentralized governance, and other Web3 traits are being met by investors with nonchalance. However, there is a potential opportunity that stands out from the crowd, a notorious play-to-earn blockchain game that was highly popular in the previous cycle—Axie Infinity. Despite skepticism toward the genre, Axie Infinity has continued to progress and fulfill its roadmap, which has played a crucial role in recent increased attention within the Ronin Network ecosystem, the sidechain upon which the game has been built.
The most recent feat: Axie Infinity is now available on Apple’s App Store
The developers of Axie Infinity have released a new version of their game that eliminates the need for users to buy NFTs. According to Axie Infinity co-founder and COO Aleksander Leonard Larsen, they have been in contact with Apple for about two years, and after several attempts, the current version of Axie Origins is a lighter version with more features planned for the future. The game will be accessible to Apple mobile users in countries such as Argentina, Colombia, Peru, Mexico, Venezuela, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Vietnam, via the App Store.
The new game, called Axie Infinity: Origins, provides users with free non-NFT "starter characters" initially. This marks a departure from the original Axie Infinity game, where users had to purchase or rent NFTs to participate, and might act as a catalyst for onboarding of the next big wave of players. Sky Mavis, the company behind Axie Infinity and the Ronan Network, aims to establish itself as a launchpad for Web3 games. It has already attracted four new gaming studios to build on the Ronin Network, including Tribes Studio, Bali Games, Directive Games, and Bowled.io. They have also launched a developer portal to attract more blockchain game developers.
The curious case of RON: The token’s value has nearly quadrupled YTD
While Axie Infinity's recent deliveries are certainly one of the things Sky Mavis should pat themselves on the back for, there are other promising projects blossoming within their ecosystem. It is no coincidence that RON, the native token of the Ronin Network, has experienced a whopping 370% increase in value since the beginning of the year. This growth can be attributed to multiple factors, with the network's plan to transition to a delegated proof-of-stake (DPoS) consensus mechanism and the expansion of its gaming offerings beyond Axie Infinity being two of the most notable.
After experiencing one of the most polarizing hacker attacks of 2022, in one of its most recent attempts to address centralization risks, the Ronin Network announced that it will shift from a proof-of-authority mechanism to delegated proof-of-stake on April 12. With DPoS, RON token holders can stake their tokens to earn fees and participate in the selection of network validators. The Ronin Network announced the DPoS upgrade in August 2021 and launched the first DPoS testnet in January 2023. Currently, around 30% of RON tokens are committed to staking, which is a positive sign as it indicates lower likelihood of immediate token selling.
Why should investors care?
After a period of decreased interest in blockchain games, the sector is potentially undervalued. Efforts to increase user adoption, establish strategic partnerships, and develop products and services that generate greater demand for these projects and their underlying networks have been observed during the crypto bear market. If Sky Mavis continues its initiatives with Axie Infinity and the other developing games on the Ronin Network, it is conceivable that the prices of tokens associated with these projects and its network will align with their increasing value in the coming future.
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