Axie Infinity’s Recent Hack: Why Gaming Communities Need Stronger Infrastructure

By 2023, the estimated number of gamers is expected to reach just over 3 billion people, with play-to-earn (P2E) gaming becoming more integrated into our gamer economy as the world of blockchain and Web3 continues to evolve.

However, it’s no surprise that there is still a strong resistance by gamers to openly welcome NFTs into their communities. 

On Tuesday, approximately $625 million worth of cryptocurrency was stolen from Ronin, the blockchain that powers the popular crypto game Axie Infinity. Earlier that day, Axie Infinity co-founder The Jiho spoke at NFT LA’s “State of the NFT Union” on the Main Stage, sharing where we as an industry are today and what’s to come next.

Unfortunately, hours after his discussion, news of the breach spread throughout the conference as Ronin and Axie Infinity operator Sky Mavis revealed that they had frozen all transactions on the Ronin bridge, which allows depositing and withdrawing of funds from the company’s blockchain. 

For those new to the play-to-earn (P2E) ecosystem, Axie Infinity combines finance and gaming, powered by NFTs, that allow players to buy creature-centric NFTs to gain entry into the game, where they are able to acquire and breed various creatures that they can then deploy in battles – similar to the Pokémon-era of gaming. 

One of the major points of contention has been the high cost to play Axie Infinity, which explains why the company launched a scholarship program that helps bring together gamers who don’t have the necessary funds with those that do, but lack the skill or time to play. 

However, the biggest problem these P2E ecosystems face is the lack of attention the actual infrastructure is afforded. 

Back in February, Arena co-founder Chase Blackstock appeared at ETHDenver, sharing with conference attendees the importance of addressing today’s archaic gaming infrastructure that has trapped gamers in a “top-down” pyramid. 

Arena, a gaming platform and network that enables play-to-earn for any video game, empowers the gaming community to come together to help build a better infrastructure for its communities, allowing for gaming leagues to flow more efficiently. 

“With the massive number of gamers that engage in community gaming, it’s ironic that nobody is really building for these communities, let alone providing any opportunities to advertise or reach these communities,” Thompson says.

Through its platform, Arena provides the necessary infrastructure to allow gaming moderators and administrators to continue effectively managing their communities by providing the tools and resources that would otherwise need to be organically created from scratch – referring to multiple Google Sheets, word processing software, and other materials associated with a particular gaming league.

Back in February, Arena announced its partnership with MetaFactions (formerly League of Degens), that pits NFT communities against one another in different gaming events, as well as revealed its plans to drop a Genesis NFT.

Led by world renowned concept artist, Kelton Cram (X-Men, 300, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes), members of the Factions will have a more personalized gaming experience that empowers gamers to have the voice they truly deserve. 

“This is going to be the most powerful item within the Arena ecosystem,” Blackstock said. “Unlike other drops, our community is already at 60,000 users and growing fast. The utility, functionality, and value add are basically the items in the ‘map’ section of Arena’s site. However, the NFT will grant users access to monthly token rewards, special parts of the site, and of course, future drops.”

Ultimately, building towards Web3 for gaming, will mitigate the risk of decreasing revenue to companies, while also incentivizing users to come into new gaming communities. Gamers want to be appreciated and compensated for their passion, time, and commitment in building, exploring, and testing these infinite worlds they create – and NFTs should encourage and incentivize developers to begin building out the infrastructure necessary to handle this secondary market. 

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