Axie Infinity: Origins Hits App Store with Free Non-NFT Starter Characters & NFT Integration

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The popular play-to-earn crypto game Axie Infinity has taken a new turn, as its developers have released a version of their latest game, Axie Infinity: Origins, on Apple’s App Store, which doesn’t require users to buy NFTs. Instead, it offers free non-NFT “starter characters” for players, representing a significant divergence from the original game where NFTs had to be bought or rented to participate.

Axie Infinity’s co-founder and COO, Aleksander Leonard Larsen, explained that the team has been in touch with Apple for over two years, and after much trial and error, the current version on the App Store is a lite version of the Axie Origins game, with more exciting features planned for the future.

Though previously only accessible in limited regions via Google Play and the Sky Mavis owned Mavis Hub, Axie Infinity: Origins is now targeting key markets in Latin America and Asia, including countries such as Argentina, Colombia, Peru, Mexico, Venezuela, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Vietnam. Interestingly, the free-to-play version begins with non-NFT Axies, diverging from the game’s fundamental NFT-based model.

However, Larsen suggests that even though starter Axies will remain non-NFTs, the plan is to eventually convert them to NFTs as people purchase other Axies within the app. Moreover, NFT holders will reportedly be able to move their Axies into the app too. The game functions on Sky Mavis’s proprietary Ethereum-based Ronin sidechain, enabling NFT Axie owners to use them with the iOS release.

The developers assert that this development marks the first time Apple has permitted externally purchased NFTs to operate on the App Store. Following a successful launch, Larsen revealed that the company plans to connect studios participating in the Ronin Network to Apple, potentially streamlining the approval process for their games.

The Axie Infinity native token, AXS, experienced a boost following the announcement but remains significantly below its peak. Furthermore, the in-game token, Smooth Love Potion (SLP), has also gained modestly but continues to sit far below its July 2021 peak.

This decline in SLP value culminated in the original Axie game’s economic collapse, prompting the company to make substantial changes to its tokenomics. Axie Infinity: Origins was soft-launched last year, as the game transitions from a strictly play-to-earn model to a more flexible “play-and-earn” approach.

Source: Decrypt

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