Filipino players abandon Axie Infinity after crypto price crash

Active daily users have slumped from 2.7 million at peak popularity to just 250,000.

Filipino players have been forced to abandon crypto-based play-to-earn game Axie Infinity due to losses suffered when crypto prices crashed.

The game's Smooth Love Potion (SLP) tokens were worth PHP3 each when some players joined the game but peaked at PHP20 before steadily declining in late 2021 to a current value of about PHP0.16.

The game attracted investors who believed that it could introduce more people to the world of cryptocurrency.

Half of the game's players were from the Philippines, while many others were from developing countries such as Indonesia, Brazil, Venezuela, and Peru.

Axie Infinity allows players to earn cryptocurrency by cashing in tokens they win. At its peak, the game drew 2.7 million active daily users, but those numbers have plummeted to around 250,000.

Players that rent the game's characters from managers in exchange for a cut of their earnings because they cannot afford to buy the characters (scholars) themselves initially earned PHP5,000-10,000 per week.

Many managers were motivated by the potential gains of managing Axie scholars, earning as much as PHP600,000 a day by taking a 60% cut of the players' income.

However, players and managers alike began to face big losses when the value of the tokens fell 99% from its February 2022 peak, following the collapse of cryptocurrency prices.

Elaine Tinio, a marketing professional in Manila who used to play the game for up to four hours a day to boost her income, spent more and more money on Axie characters before a sharp decline in the value of the game's SLP token left her facing a loss of PHP200,000, equivalent to about five months of her salary.

Despite the losses suffered by Filipino players, Yield Guild Games, a group that invests in NFT games, said it continues to rent out Axie's NFT characters to interested players.

In other news, Norwegian police located and seized $5.9m of the funds stolen from Axie Infinity by North Korean hackers using Tornado Cash to launder their gains. This was the biggest seizure of illegal crypto gains in Norway's history.

At the beginning of April, Sky Mavis, the company behind Axie Infinity, announced it is launching four new web3 games using the Ronin network. The company now aims to popularize web3 games while prioritizing security measures after a $620m hack.

Looking for your next crypto casino? Check out: Bitcasino or FortuneJack.

Written by Silvia Pavlof

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