The Pokemon-inspired NFT game Axie Infinity is creating an uproar in the Philippine gaming community, almost on par with the popularity of trending online games Valorant, Call of Duty Mobile (CODM), and Mobile Legends: Bang Bang (MLBB).
Axie Infinity’s popularity is driven by Filipinos’ penchant for creating physical and virtual communities as well as the game’s potential of helping them earn money while gaming.
Play to earn
Many Filipinos are eager to earn while playing online games. However, entry to be a partner gaming content creator or streamer requires an excellent quality gaming and streaming equipment set-up, including a unique online personality and presence, on top of high-skilled gameplay to attract viewers, donors, and sponsors. In addition, the pursuit of going pro in Esports is a tough path to take.
The rise of non-fungible token (NFT) games like Axie Infinity, which runs on Ethereum, created a cheaper investment for casual gamers to be a part of the growing global community for gaming.
Players acquire tokens called Axie Infinity Shards (AXS) and Smooth Love Potions (SLP) through staking or participating in in-game battles or quests. Both tokens are used in breeding, selling, and trading digital pets called Axie.
Investing in Axie Infinity, NFT games, and other cryptocurrencies has a high risk-high reward tradeoff. For many Filipinos that have spent their time on the app, the investment is well worth it. Depending on the value of SLP on a specific day, players can earn as much as P6,000.00 or $120. This is 17x more than the daily minimum wage in the country.
Managers and Scholars
Managers focus on breeding, buying and trading Axies, as well as recruiting scholars to play multiple Axie teams in achieving daily SLP quotas. Divisions of payments between managers and scholars can be as high as 70:30 scholar-manager and at least 50:50.
In the Philippines, managers ask aspiring scholars to send their résumé through different platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Discord, Telegram, Reddit, and TikTok. Contents of the résumé include personal information, gaming experiences, and the objectives behind their scholar aspirations.
Managers expect scholars to play six to eight hours and accumulate 150 SLP daily. Like any regular jobs, payments are made by the manager bi-monthly or monthly through online fund transfers or the popular mobile wallet Gcash.
Different age groups and workers in varied industries recognize Axie Infinity as a means to survive the pandemic, to the extent of making it not only as an alternative but a primary source of income that has led to many gamers leaving their full-time jobs.
In neighboring ASEAN countries, NFT games are also being quickly embraced. Players across the region share the same goal as Filipino Axie scholars to use earnings for daily needs. Furthermore, non-gamers are also venturing into NFT digital artworks in the hopes of making money.
The hype around Axie Infinity is still very much alive and many individuals are taking advantage of the benefits despite crypto’s volatile characteristics.
Moreover, the expansion of NFT games is one of the future tracks of the gaming industry, introducing another form of moneymaking at the same time providing a virtual community where gamers can interact and have fun.