Welcome to another Games From The Block podcast, today George talks with Jihoz, Growth lead for Axie Infinity, the number one blockchain game in terms of active players which is becoming phenomenal for its play to earn model and token economics among players and investors.
Listen to the podcast “Inside Axie Infinity With Jihoz – Growth Lead” using your favorite streaming platform or on Spotify below.
What is Axie Infinity
Axie Infinity is a creature collection and battling game, we use blockchain technology to really empower our players and allow them to earn crypto despite playing the game. We also seek to be the first game that’s really owned by its community. So we just released a governance token called AXS to achieve that goal.
I see that AXS token is pumping hard.
I try not to focus too much on the price. Axie Infinity is the number one NFT project in terms of traction and community right now.
A lot of investors are looking into Axie infinity. That’s for two reasons. One is because you guys are doing great work and you are funded as a company. The other one is the community, which is sharing all day long.
The community is doing a lot of really hard work to expand and evangelize the game. And yeah, Axie Infinity is fun. There’s a very engaging kind of collection and economic aspect to it, which lends itself to really deep analysis.
Recently, you partnered with Chainlink. In the official announcement, you mentioned the integration of price feeds for ETH/USD. Why integrate a decentralized feed, rather than centralized prices?
We’re doing two things with Chainlink.
One, we integrated decentralized price fees for the ETH/USD price on our marketplace, which makes sure that the price feed is accurate and never doubted.
If we were taking it from centralized websites, the price could go down, and, that could impact the service. This is also good especially for newcomers who might not be familiar with ETH prices.
The second thing that we’re doing is that we’re integrating the
Chainlink VRF that ensures when there’s some kind of random element or event related to chance, then you make sure that that act of rolling is fair.
Take for example origin Axies. Those axes can only be created from a special token that’s leftover from the beginning of the game. So you can think of them as kind of like the unknown Opened first edition booster packs from Pokemon. There’s still a chance of opening an origin Axie and some of them could have mystic parts, which are rare.
The cheapest is around six or seven ETH right now. A triple mystic Axie just sold for 300 ETH. That property is very important, and it needs to be as transparent as possible.
How’s the development of the game going so far?
In terms of the gameplay, you know, so far, we’ve really focused on battling the axes. So we built the initial battles with them that was kind of like browser based auto battles. We relaunched that in October of 2018. Then, in December of 2019, we released a live battle system that uses cards, it’s more active, you’re able to choose your abilities and cards in real time. And that’s been, very successful. We currently have around 12,000 daily active users for that.
It’s available on Android APK, iOS, test flight, Windows, and Mac. That kind of pushed us into the spotlight and acted as a huge catalyst for increased traction. In terms of gameplay, we’re working on two things, a land system.
So this idea of Axies you know, being able to be placed on top of land harvest resources, craft, and build different structures, and harvest tokens. People are really excited about that.
We also have an upgraded, improved battle system that’s under construction as well, with upgraded animations. Smooth and faster-paced gameplay.
Project L, the Axie Infinity Secret Project.
We also have a secret project. That is also gameplay related. We’ll just leave that as a little bit of a surprise. That’s project L.
What are some other things Axie is working on?
On top of gameplay. We’re also obviously working on a lot of other things like Ronin, which is our Ethereum based side-chain, a wallet for Ronin, marketplace upgrades, as well as a staking dashboard and try the community Treasury.
How many people work for Axie Infinity?
We have around 25 people on the team right now. And we’re looking to expand pretty aggressively.
The next question is about Ronin. Why do you develop your own sidechain? Couldn’t you use an already established solution?
We have a history of building, we’re one of the few projects that have actually delivered on side-chains or layer two. So we built our land and item marketplace on top of the LOOM network. We saw a lot of the pitfalls of building on top of someone else’s technology requires a lot of back and forth and requests for features and things. So we believe in taking our destiny into our own hands.
That’s why we call it Ronin. Ronin is kind of a samurai without a master in ancient Japan. We prefer to have more control over the developer experience for ourselves. Our initial projection is to roll out early next year.
What’s the difference between Origin and Mystic axies?
Mystic axes are highly collectible limited edition supply capped Axies that are of a special subset of Origin axes. So think of them as the first edition holographic Axies capped at 4000 (Origin). Around 30% of those are Mystic axes.
For the Axie universe, they’re great as avatars, and they kind of really make a statement when someone is looking at your account. If you have a mystic Axie, people know you are someone important within the Axie ecosystem, or, someone who believes in the vision.
Community Question: Axie looks like a closed game, many games are doing various collaborations but not you, why is that?
A lot of people want us to collaborate with other games, but I don’t think that that’s necessarily the best for growth. Because these other games are really small, especially compared to us now, we would rather, you know, interoperate, and work with projects that are much larger than us.
That’s why we’re big and they’re not. But we are very interoperable at all moments, all Axie Infinity players have used Uniswap because you need to use it to sell your tokens and your small love potions.
We also worked with MAKER, with Kyber network and others, introducing them to these DeFi protocols.
What we’ve tried to do is work with the best of blockchain projects and that are bringing real benefits to users and have been able to scale their communities.
You need to have a growth mindset because the problem with these applications is that they don’t have users, When you need to grow or die, everything needs to be worth the growth mindset.
What about Axie Infinity in underdeveloped countries such as the Philippines or Venezuela?
The intersection of blockchain and games is doing, it will be critical in the rise of digital nations. So these digital nations will have their jobs, markets, complex economies, social structures, and even governments.
The Axie community is becoming its own digital nation. It’s becoming its own country, with jobs through DAOs, a new type of government.
Farming these tokens and playing the game is the source of work and labor and the marketplace is the economy.
That’s adding value, into the network and being able to earn some type of token or reward in exchange for that work. The player base from the Philippines and Venezuela increased, and even in developed countries in the West, this is becoming a valid source of income for people, and I expect it to increase over time.
We’re going through a very difficult time in the world economy, people are losing their jobs. And with the COVID-19, many jobs are far from being viable. So people need to figure out how to how to earn money, just by being on their computer.
If you look at it, the people who are leading this revolution, come from some of the poorest countries in the world. These people are looking for new opportunities. I’m proud that Axie can introduce this concept to the rest of the world.
Where do you see blockchain gaming five years from now?
I think that blockchain gaming will not just be seen as gains. In five years, people will live work, and play in these digital nations. And games may become the platform for living.
We’ll start to see games take on a broader meaning, and become kind of an alternative society.
George has a native interest in emerging technologies and he’s a strong advocate of decentralization. He is the founder and manager of egamers.io as well as an IT student.