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Can Sky Mavis Regain the Axie Infinity High With Upgrade, Partnerships?

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Sky Mavis is trying to touch the skies again with Studio Partnerships and the much awaited Ronin blockchain update. Once their play-to-earn game Axie Infinity was a success – with 2.3 million daily players in January 2022 – a $620 million hack on their Ethereum-linked sidechain Ronin spelled disaster for the studio in March 2022. 

Sky Mavis’ Axie Infinity – The Tumbling Saga

Amid all the criticism surrounding the in-game economy, Axie Infinity peaked in January 2022. The growth seemed to be fueled by developing markets and the home country of its developer, Vietnam. Sky Mavis also managed to get a funding of $152 million in a series B round from Andreessen Horowitz.

Source: Axie Infinity; Active Player

Recovering from the hack, Axie currently has around 260,000 daily users. Still, Sky Mavis remains dominant in web3 gaming and the play-to-earn realm. On March 30, 2023, the developer announced their next big step after Axie Infinity. They Ronin blockchain will be upgraded – four studios will be built atop Ronin according to COO and Co-founder of Sky Mavis, Aleks Larsen. The aim is to lay the foundation for a gaming ecosystem.

“We’ve been building in this industry for five years, so we’ve seen a lot of ebbs and flows.”

The Much-awaited Ronin Update

In an attempt to become a leader in web3 gaming, Sky Mavis will launch the upgrade to their sidechain developed for the in-game transaction, Ronin. However, plans for the upgrade were hampered when it was hacked in November 2021. The announcement says the blockchain will shift to the delegated proof-of-stake (DPoS) consensus mechanism. 

A person with the required amount of their native token RON can become a validator and produce new blocks. The main difference between Proof-of-stake (PoS) and DPoS is that the network users could select delegates to validate new transaction blocks. Earlier, Ronin worked on the Proof-of-Authority (PoA) model, in which credibility decided the validator. The new upgrade is expected to invite more users into the ecosystem.

Was the Upgrade Required?

After such a massive attack, user trust must be regained. Sky Mavis is trying to regain and maintain that trust and to restore confidence in their blockchain, Ronin, and their overall business persona. The team has vouched to never be in bad headlines again.

Post-hack, Sky Mavis has been focused on elevating their security. Their efforts are being noticed and have helped them build confidence with their partners, from gaming studios to Google. Acknowledging some early flaws of Axie Infinity, Larsen said these flaws helped them learn. 

The Promised Ecosystem

Sky Mavis is partnering with gaming studios planning to build on the Ronin foundation. The list includes Bali Games, famous for their Korean title, Anipang, with over 130 million downloads;, which is a sport-based platform currently focusing on cricket. 

Directive Games is also a partner and will launch a playable title, The Machines Arena, for beta players on Ronin, which is technically available from March 30, 2023. Instead of in-game tokens that Axie removed, the game would supposedly use NFTs. 

What Does web3 Gaming Need?

There are thousands of web3 developers in the industry and blockchain titles are yet to break into the gaming market. At the same time, the play-to-earn model can be considered in the beta stage in the blockchain realm. Intuitive and immersive games are required to grab players’ attention. 

With blockchain’s features and uses, if this partnership can materialize their plans, it can set the ball rolling for a revolution in the gaming industry.

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