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Axie Infinity and Apple's App Store

The world of NFT games, particularly Axie Infinity, is about to expand in an unprecedented way with Apple's recent approval of the game's launch on its App Store. This step not only marks a significant milestone for Axie Infinity but also for the broader NFT gaming industry.


Axie Infinity and Apple's App Store

Axie Infinity's Journey to the App Store

Axie Infinity, developed by Sky Mavis, has enjoyed massive popularity since its inception, especially during the coronavirus pandemic in 2020. The play-to-earn crypto game allows players to battle, collect, and trade NFTs, and even earn rewards. The game hit a bit of a speed bump in 2022, losing some users, but this new development is expected to regain lost ground and push it towards more success.


Sky Mavis has been in communication with Apple for about a year, aiming to get their application approved on the App Store - known for its stringent app restrictions. This approval now opens up new opportunities and markets for Axie Infinity.


Initial Rollout: Focused on Latin America and Southeast Asia

Axie Infinity's launch on the App Store will initially be available in select countries in Latin America and Southeast Asia, including Argentina, Colombia, Peru, Mexico, Venezuela, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Vietnam. Jeffrey Zirlin, co-founder of Sky Mavis, believes this limited availability will act as a testing ground where the company can gather data around user retention rates, prior to a more comprehensive, global rollout.


Web3 Gaming: Towards Wider Adoption

The Apple App Store's approval of Axie Infinity signifies an important stride towards the broader adoption of Web3 gaming. Axie Infinity sees this step as a powerful move in introducing a larger audience to the potential of decentralized applications, in particular, NFT games.


Apple's Policies: A Potential Catalyst for Web3 Companies?

Despite its well-known restrictions preventing apps from allowing users to buy, sell, and trade NFTs, Apple's move might signal a positive shift for other Web3 companies. Zirlin expressed optimism about the possible future changes in Apple's policies, stating that they were

"hopeful around adding in-app purchases for NFTs and Apple allowing for the linking to third-party marketplaces."

Impact on Axie Infinity's User Base

The approval from Apple and subsequent app availability are expected to cause a surge in Axie Infinity's user base. Given that a significant proportion of the game's users joined through referrals, the introduction to the massive Apple ecosystem could create a cascade of new users, bringing blockchain gaming and NFTs to an even wider audience.


The Potential Impact on Other NFT Games

The success of Axie Infinity on Apple's App Store could potentially create a ripple effect across the industry of NFT games. Other developers of blockchain games may be encouraged to pursue similar paths, hoping to tap into the vast iOS user base. The move could also spark further interest and investment into NFT games, which are still a burgeoning sector within the gaming industry.


Apple's acceptance of an NFT-based game might imply that the tech giant is open to exploring more opportunities within the blockchain space. In turn, this could provide a precedent for other NFT games or blockchain applications to venture into a marketplace that was previously inaccessible. This change could encourage innovation and growth in the industry, paving the way for a more diverse and robust ecosystem of blockchain games.


Legal and Regulatory Implications

The approval of Axie Infinity by Apple does not come without its share of legal and regulatory implications. One significant hurdle has been Apple's longstanding policy that demands a 30% cut from all in-app sales. This policy has been a bone of contention for many developers, including Epic Games, the creators of Fortnite, leading to legal disputes.


However, in the realm of blockchain games and NFTs, these issues might take on a different dimension. The very nature of NFTs — being unique, owned by the user, and potentially resold in other marketplaces — could challenge traditional monetization models, like the one upheld by Apple.


The way Apple, Axie Infinity, and other blockchain games navigate this landscape will potentially set the tone for how blockchain games are regulated and monetized in traditional app marketplaces. The implications are not limited to Apple but extend to other major players like Google Play Store.


The Future of Blockchain Gaming on Mainstream Platforms

The entrance of Axie Infinity into Apple's App Store marks a significant moment in the narrative of blockchain games entering mainstream platforms. However, the journey is far from over. With Apple's policies and the nature of blockchain gaming, it's like mixing oil and water. But Axie Infinity's move to the App Store shows that it's not an impossible feat.


Looking ahead, we may see more attempts by blockchain games to integrate into mainstream platforms. These endeavors could create a more interconnected gaming world, bridging the gap between traditional gaming and the innovative world of blockchain gaming.


FAQ

What is Axie Infinity?

Axie Infinity is a play-to-earn crypto game that allows players to battle one another, collect, and trade NFTs, and earn rewards.


What does Axie Infinity's launch on the App Store mean?

The launch of Axie Infinity on the Apple App Store means that the game will be accessible to a much larger audience. It represents a significant step towards wider adoption of NFT games and Web3 gaming.


Why was Axie Infinity initially launched only in selected countries?

The initial limited availability in select countries will serve as a testing ground for Axie Infinity, allowing the company to gather data around user retention rates before rolling out the game to all iOS users globally.


What changes might Apple's policies undergo for Web3 companies?

There is optimism that Apple will accommodate Web3 companies by potentially allowing in-app purchases for NFTs and permitting the linking to third-party marketplaces.


Conclusion

In conclusion, the entrance of Axie Infinity into the App Store signifies a possible shift in the relationship between major tech platforms and blockchain gaming. With the potential impact on other NFT games, the legal and regulatory implications, and the prospective future of blockchain gaming on mainstream platforms, we are entering an exciting era in the world of NFT games. As always, we'll be keeping an eye on this space and provide updates on our NFT Playgrounds platform as this story continues to unfold.

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