Axie Infinity is a so-called play to earn crypto game that was brought to life back in 2018 by Sky Mavis, a Vietnamese studio. Axie Infinity is built on the Ethereum (ETH) blockchain and uses non-fungible tokens (NFTs). While the number of active users has fallen sharply since the peak at the end of 2021, developments seem to be anything but at a standstill. Users from a select number of countries in South America and Southeast Asia can now access the game via Apple’s App Store to download.
Web3 game expands
Last year, Sky Mavis launched the latest version of the game called ‘Axie Infinity: Origins’. It is available through the company’s Mavis Hub and in limited countries also through the Google Play Store.
The card-based strategy game will initially launch in countries such as Argentina, Colombia, Peru, Mexico, Venezuela, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Vietnam. The game has 1.5 million installs across all platforms and plans to continue its global expansion through Google mobile users and now Apple. According to Jeffrey Zirlin, co-founder of Sky Mavis, Axie Infinity is the most played Web3 game right now.
Zirlin also said the limited rollout will help the company “gather data on retention rates” ahead of an eventual global launch.
In a way, Axie Infinity is a bit like pokémon in which users can buy, breed and fight Axies. The game also has its own cryptocurrency called ‘AXS’.
Apple’s crypto and NFT policy
Zirlin said Sky Mavis worked with Apple for about a year to get approval for the game to launch on the App Store. In October, the iPhone maker banned the use of NFTs to conduct business outside of the App Store. It is also no easy task for a crypto-related application to enter the App Store: it took Uniswap months before it finally got the green light from Apple.
However, the co-founder of Sky Mavis is optimistic that Apple will change its policy in a positive way in the future:
“We are hopeful about adding in-app purchases for NFTs and Apple that will enable integration with third-party marketplaces. We expect there to be progress in the future.”