In a bold move, Sky Mavis, creator of the play-to-earn crypto game ‘Axie Infinity,’ announced the release of its latest version, ‘Axie Infinity: Origins,’ on Apple’s App Store. The game, popularized during the global pandemic, will initially be available for download in selected Latin American and Southeast Asian countries, including Argentina, Colombia, Peru, Mexico, Venezuela, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Vietnam.
Sky Mavis’ co-founder, Jeffrey Zirlin, explained that the limited rollout is a strategic decision aimed at collecting retention rate data ahead of a global launch. The introduction of the blockchain-enabled video game on the App Store is a significant step forward, not only for Sky Mavis but also for the wider adoption of web3 gaming.
The collaboration between Sky Mavis and Apple has been a year-long process, overcoming the tech giant’s historical resistance to NFT transactions in its smartphone applications. Zirlin expressed optimism that Apple’s policies would continue to evolve favorably towards web3 companies, potentially allowing for in-app purchases of NFTs and linking to third-party marketplaces in the future.
Apple’s App Store rules: A barrier or a catalyst?
Apple’s App Store policies have often been seen as a hurdle for blockchain-enabled applications. The tech giant’s restrictions on digital asset transactions and its 30% cut from in-app sales have occasionally stifled the growth of these applications. However, Zirlin believes that companies larger than Sky Mavis, such as Epic Games, are leading the charge against these restrictions, potentially opening doors for smaller players in the industry.
Axie Infinity’s popularity grew organically, mainly through word-of-mouth referrals. According to Zirlin, being available on the App Store is a crucial aspect of their growth strategy. With over 1.5 million downloads, ‘Axie Infinity: Origins’ has become the most-played web3 game, despite its tumultuous journey, including a significant hacking incident last year.
Axie Infinity: A phoenix rising from the ashes
Despite the setback from a hacking incident that resulted in a loss of over half a billion dollars, Axie Infinity has demonstrated resilience. Sky Mavis, in its relentless pursuit of progress, has overhauled the core systems of its native blockchain, Ronin, and has entered partnerships with various game development studios to expand the Axie Infinity universe.
Alongside the game’s iOS debut, Sky Mavis is also launching Mavis Market, a curated NFT marketplace powered by the Ronin blockchain. This move further signifies the company’s commitment to creating a player-owner digital nation.
In the wake of the Apple App Store launch, Axie Infinity’s native cryptocurrency, AXS, saw a significant surge, making it the top gainer on CoinDesk Indices’ leaderboard. The rally in AXS’s price was accompanied by a notable increase in the notional futures open interest, indicating a surge of new capital entering the market.
The entrance of ‘Axie Infinity: Origins’ on iOS signifies an important milestone for web3 gaming. As the game continues to evolve and its community stands strong, the future appears to hold even more exciting possibilities for Axie enthusiasts worldwide.