Play-to-Earn Gamers Abandoning Axie Infinity

Axie Infinity, the world’s most popular play-to-earn game, can’t catch a break. Two weeks ago, the company was hacked for $625 million, the largest hack in crypto history. Now, it looks like the game’s economy is under extreme pressure.

Axie’s biggest selling point is the ability to turn gameplay into tokens that can be exchanged for fiat currency. This can be accomplished in several ways. One is by directly playing the game and accumulating tokens. Another is renting in-game assets to other players.

The situation was neatly summed up in a recent tweet from Dan Olson, owner of the YouTube channel Folding Ideas: “The Axie Infinity devs’ mentions are full of digital landlords pissed that their ‘scholars’ are all quitting the game and no-showing their weekly quotas.” In other words, those who speculated in Axie NFTs with the hope of renting them out are getting an up close and personal view of a bear market.

Will Axie Infinity become a ghost town? This evening, we’re going to dig deep into the engage-to-earn business model at the first-ever Newhouse Advanced Media Lab Series event: Engage-to-Earn: Paradigm Shift or Parlor Trick?

I’ll do a “state of the industry” introduction, then host a discussion with Donnie Williams, Executive Vice President and Chief Digital Officer at Horizon Media Group; Andrew Klein, Vice President, NFT and Metaverse Brand Experience at; and Zack Seward, Deputy Editor-in-Chief of CoinDesk. Join us online or in-person in New York City. Register here.

Author’s note: This is not a sponsored post. I am the author of this article and it expresses my own opinions. I am not, nor is my company, receiving compensation for it.

About Shelly Palmer

Shelly Palmer is the Professor of Advanced Media in Residence at Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and CEO of The Palmer Group, a consulting practice that helps Fortune 500 companies with technology, media and marketing. Named LinkedIn’s “Top Voice in Technology,” he covers tech and business for Good Day New York, is a regular commentator on CNN and writes a popular daily business blog. He's a bestselling author, and the creator of the popular, free online course, Generative AI for Execs. Follow @shellypalmer or visit



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