October 20, 2021 | 10:04am
First released in 2018, Axie Infinity is a blockchain-based online video game that has rapidly increased in popularity in 2021. It is the most popular Earn-to-Play game currently available on the market.
MANILA, Philippines — First released in 2018, Axie Infinity is a blockchain-based online video game that has rapidly increased in popularity in 2021. It is the most popular Earn-to-Play game currently available on the market.
The game involves players breeding and battling Axies which are Pokemon-like digital creatures. To start playing, players need three Axies. The upfront purchase cost of these is a prohibitive barrier for many potential Axie Infinity players in developing countries such as the Philippines.
Identifying a gap in the market, with hundreds of thousands of people wanting to play but unable to afford the Axies, Play-to-Earn guilds emerged with Yield Guild Games (YGG) releasing their white paper in June 2021.
The business model of Play-to-Earn guilds is to recruit and onboard players for the game through Axie Infinity Scholarships, providing the ‘scholars’ with the Axies and collecting a portion of their winnings in return.
Since the advent of YGG, many other player guilds have rapidly appeared on the scene including Crypto Gaming United (CGU), recruiting players for Axie Infinity Scholarships in the Philippines.
These player guilds are intended to function as Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs) where, as the number of players grows, the organization becomes increasingly decentralized, owned and controlled by the players themselves.
The scholarship market and guilds are broadly going through a period of rapid growth. YGG raised funding of $4.6 million earlier this year, ahead of its token sale in July 2021, which raised $12.5 million in under a minute.
A series of funding rounds for CGU raised $15 million since September 2021 and the public Initial Decentralized Autonomous Organization Offering (IDO) for CGU took place on the 18th of October, selling 10 million tokens at $0.25 each and raising $2,5 million.
In parallel, the number of members and players belonging to each guild is increasing. CGU currently has over 50,000 members on its Discord server and over 3,000 scholars playing the game.
The early success of the Play-to-Earn guilds has stemmed from the enormous traction that Axie Infinity gained in the Philippines, where the COVID-19 pandemic brought many parts of the economy to a halt, and rising unemployment, on top of already low wages, made playing an online game to earn a living wage particularly attractive.
Although Axie Infinity has been the natural starting place for most of the guilds, the CGU white paper demonstrates that the purpose of the guilds goes well beyond Axie Infinity Scholarships, aiming to revolutionize the gaming industry by decentralizing ownership from gaming companies and enabling players to share in the profits from the success of the games.
The goal is initially to give scholars access to a range of Earn-to-Play games, and beyond that, create a powerful new international community of cryptocurrency-savvy gamers that can drive the economy into a decentralized digital future.
Although Axie Infinity Scholarships are very familiar and hugely popular in countries like the Philippines where there are long lists of people waiting to be offered a scholarship, the ongoing success of the player guilds will likely rest on their ability to connect with players in other potential big markets, like Africa and India.
CGU currently has an expanding team of Axie Infinity Scholarship players in the Philippines and is looking to grow the number of scholarships offered in the country substantially over the coming weeks and months.
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