“Why work if you can play”: why people give up their careers and studies for NFT games

Former bankers, undergraduate doctors and fitness trainers are trying to make money on the Axie Infinity blockchain game by selling characters and winning battles. How its economy works and why it became popular, explains Bloomberg .

At the height of the pandemic, 27-year-old Sam Purifoy from the United States left his job at Goldman Sachs to try his luck in the blockchain game Axie Infinity, where players fight each other using fantastic NFT creatures.

A special situation, as noted by Bloomberg, has developed in the Philippines – against the background of unemployment, Axie Infinity has gained great popularity there.

So, it was played by 34-year-old fitness trainer Red Buntylo, who lost his job. Then his wife joined him – she herself decided to quit the hospital. The couple were lucky: Bantilo’s small investment in the game turned out to be a profit – the price of the AXS game token increased from $ 3.2 to about $ 136 between June and October 2021.

According to the publication, the history of Purifoy and other players allows you to look into the future and understand why Mark Zuckerberg sees the metaverse as a new frontier in human development.

Cryptocurrency and NFT tokens in Axie Infinity

Axie Infinity from Vietnamese studio Sky Mavis is one of the most popular blockchain games. In September 2021, the volume of trading operations in it exceeded $ 2 billion.

In the game, rounded creatures similar to Pokémon complete tasks, fight each other, build kingdoms and reproduce. Each of them has a set of unique qualities, strengths and weaknesses.

As achievement reward players receive cryptocurrency: an in-game Small Love Potion (SLP) token, which is used to create new characters, or Axie Infinity Shards (AXS), a game universe control token.

AXS can be sold, used to vote on game management or passive earnings through staking – for the fact that the owner keeps tokens in crypto wallet and thereby supports the blockchain, it receives a reward.

At the same time, Axie Infinity is based on collectible NFT tokens. To start the game, you need to purchase at least three NFT characters – each costs about $300. At a cost of almost a thousand dollars, success is not guaranteed, the newspaper notes.

NFT tokens in similar games are not just digital files. They can interact with other tokens, their value changes. Using the example of the Mario Kart race, the publication explains how the economy of blockchain games works.

Mario is an NFT token, a unique character. It cannot be copied and can only be owned by one person. Mario is the fastest in the Mushroom Kingdom and for winning races, its owner receives in-game currency – for example, mariocoins.

NFT-Mario can be sold – in addition to being the most expensive due to its speed character, the price of it may increase, for example, due to the increased popularity of Mario Cart on social networks.

Axie Infinity co-founder Alexander Larsen emphasizes that players can actually own in-game items. He believes that unlike real things, the authenticity of which may be questionable, the blockchain can be trusted.

Team organization and distribution earnings

For years, players like Puryfoy paid the giants of the gaming industry – Sony, Nintendo, Tencent, Microsoft – for their products. But when the next game came to an end, all their achievements became nothing. Therefore, they wanted more.

Purifoy gathered dozens of people from different countries into a guild – this is the name of the form of self-organization of players in Axie Infinity.

The publication notes that in In some ways, Purifoy is similar to a banker – since NFT tokens in the game are expensive, he gives them to new participants, while remaining the owner. With their help, members of the guild earn cryptocurrency, which is then divided among all the players on the team.

Purifoy is one of the most generous leaders in the game, the newspaper writes. He shares the profits equally. According to Carlos Almaraz, who dropped out of medical college for the game, other sponsors are offering 10% of the profits

In September 2021, Almaras earned about $ 700, which, according to the publication, is a good amount for the Mexican city of Ciudad del -Carmen.

The team is not bothered by anyone noticing the similarity of Axie Infinity to the pyramid – the money they earn now is more important to them.

On streams, guild members discuss the meaninglessness of work in the spirit of “why work at McDonald’s if you can play” and the banality of real life. The publication sees in this not only a symptom of the times, but also the embodiment of the hopes of an entire generation.

Prospects for blockchain games

According to Shreyansh Singh, head of NFT and games at the digital project Polygon, large studios are watching the trend. Their transition to the Play-To-Earn format seems to him slow, difficult and, most likely, inevitable.

“In a couple of decades, all assets will be tokenized. All stocks and securities will be transferred to a digital platform that is being created as part of experiments with cryptocurrency, ”suggests Thomas Olsen, partner of the international consulting company Bain & Co. For the Crypto Raiders project, Nick Kneiper notes that the more people play blockchain games, the higher the threat of collapse of their economies. This could lead, he says, that the future metaverse will have to be managed in the same way as the real economy.

I predict: people with advanced degrees in economics will be hired in game NFT projects.

Nick Kneiper

Director of Growth at Crypto Raiders

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