Axie Infinity, the pioneer of GameFi, experienced tremendous success, with millions of daily active users and a multi-billion dollar valuation.
However, the sustainability of GameFi models, including Axie Infinity, has come into question due to issues such as excessive inflation and speculative activity. This has led to a shift in the crypto gaming space, with major players reorienting their strategies.
Three networks that are at the forefront of this evolution are Ronin Network (RON), ImmutableX (IMX), and Merit Circle (MC).
Ronin Network (RON)
Ronin Network, the home of Axie Infinity, was launched in April 2021 as a Proof-of-Authority Ethereum sidechain.
It aimed to scale Axie Infinity and future dApps and games by providing a solution to high gas fees on the Ethereum mainnet. In March 2023, Ronin Network transitioned to a Delegated-Proof-of-Stake consensus mechanism, making it an EVM Layer 1 chain.
The network has 22 validators, with 12 being "Governing Validators" and 10 being chosen from "Validator Candidates". This setup ensures the security of the network and prevents a 51% attack.
Axie Infinity is the flagship game of Sky Mavis and the most well-known project on the Ronin Network.
It is a play-to-earn game where players can earn rewards in the form of Axie Infinity Shards (AXS) and Smooth Love Potions (SLP). At its peak, Axie Infinity had over 2.8 million daily active users.
However, the sustainability of the game's economy came into question as the in-game token SLP became excessively inflationary. To address this, Sky Mavis expanded the Axie Infinity brand by adding five additional games to the ecosystem.
They also started partnering with other gaming studios to grow the gaming ecosystem on Ronin Network.
Sky Mavis has formed partnerships with several gaming studios to expand the gaming ecosystem on Ronin Network. Some notable partner games include Pixels, Zoids Wild Arena, and Apeiron.
These games have seen significant increases in daily active users after migrating to the Ronin Network. These partnerships demonstrate the potential of Ronin Network as a platform for game development and collaboration.
RON has a total supply of 1 billion tokens, with an initial distribution for staking rewards, the community, Sky Mavis, and the ecosystem fund.
A significant portion of tokens has been vested to ensure a responsible distribution. The tokenomics of RON contribute to the sustainability and growth of the Ronin Network ecosystem.
ImmutableX (IMX) and Merit Circle (MC)
ImmutableX and Merit Circle are two other major players in the crypto gaming space that are focused on building comprehensive game development platforms and robust infrastructures.
ImmutableX is known for its scaling solution for Ethereum, which allows for fast and low-cost transactions. Merit Circle aims to build a social platform for gamers that combines NFTs, gaming, and social networking.
These projects, along with Ronin Network, are reshaping the crypto gaming landscape by moving beyond the play-to-earn model and investing in the long-term growth and sustainability of the sector.
The evolution of crypto gaming is evident in the strategies of major players such as Ronin Network, ImmutableX, and Merit Circle.
These networks are investing in comprehensive game development, forming partnerships with traditional gaming studios, and building robust infrastructures. This shift beyond the play-to-earn model is crucial for the long-term growth and sustainability of the sector.
As the crypto gaming space continues to evolve, it will be interesting to see how these major players shape the future of gaming and finance.