Delayed by a hack, Axie Infinity: Origin launching April 7
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The new update to the popular NFT game brings major improvements, including three free starter Axies for new players.
Axie Infinity, the most popular NFT game in the world, is launching its Origin update on April 7.
This follows a brief delay after Axie’s Ronin network suffered one of the largest hacks in DeFi history late last month. Hackers took off with a combined bag of $625 million in Ether (ETH) and USDC, a dollar-pegged stablecoin. Sky Mavis, the company behind the game, said it would reimburse all who were affected.
The Origin update is one of the biggest improvements to the game yet and was designed to win over new players and token holders.
Axie Infinity explained
Axie Infinity is a play-to-earn game where you earn tokens from playing and completing tasks. The gameplay revolves around Pokemon-like creatures that you can breed, buy, sell and use to fight other players or monsters.
Learn more about Axie Infinity in our dedicated guide.
The game uses its own Ronin network, which is a sidechain of the Ethereum network. There are two tokens involved: Smooth Love Potion (SLP), the in-game currency, and Axie Infinity Shards (AXS), a governance token that gives the owners the right to vote in key decisions on the game.
Introducing: free Axies
Until now, you needed to buy three Axies on the Axie Infinity marketplace to play the game. A single Axie can cost anywhere from $20 to hundreds of thousands of dollars. A few months ago, the average Axie might cost around $100. Those prices make it hard for many players to enter the game.
What’s more, the SLP token — the one you earn in-game, which you can convert to any other crypto or stablecoin – was consistently losing value.
The lower yield combined with the high entry cost caused a loss in monthly active users, according to activeplayer.io.
The Origin update changes all this. Now you get three Axies for free just for starting to play the game. This is expected to increase the user base. That could increase demand for both SLP and AXS tokens and, in turn raise their prices.
The update also brings an improved interface, game mechanics, art, special effects and storylines. To see what’s new, watch the promotional video on YouTube.
Does the hack affect the game?
Because of the hack, Sky Mavis moved the Origin launch date by one week. In a blog post, the team said they want to make sure the network is secure before the launch.
Sky Mavis raised $150 million in funding led by crypto exchange Binance. These funds combined with cash from the company balance sheet will be used to reimburse all users who lost money in the attack.
Axie Infinity owns a treasury worth $1.6 billion. However, AXS holders will have to vote to use the funds. This could be the reason why the company opted for an external funding source.
Interested in cryptocurrency? Learn more about the basics with our beginner’s guide to Bitcoin, dive deeper by learning about Ethereum and see what blockchain can do with our simple guide to DeFi.
Kliment Dukovski owns cryptocurrencies as of the publishing date.