Axie Infinity is the latest game to initiate a migration away from the Ethereum blockchain. The team announced that players could start transferring their land and items from the Loom sidechain to Ronin earlier this month, with the functionality to migrate Axies to be added at a later date.
With some crypto influencers predicting that the price of ETH could increase 10-20x this year alone, the gas fees required to transfer items and perform other basic functions on Ethereum are going to become even more unaffordable for the average user. Currently, Axie Infinity players must compete with whales who are bidding up gas prices to have their transactions first in line on decentralized trading platforms such as Uniswap.
The reduced gaming activity was evident on sites like nonfungible.com, which track the trading volume of various Ethereum based games. Many players have become inactive and stopped trading as they're either unable or unwilling to pay the high gas fees (ranging anywhere from $20 - $100 USD) to perform simple functions such as purchasing an Axie or claiming the SLP tokens they've earned.
The migration process for Axie Infinity land/item owners is fairly straightforward. Users first need to install the Ronin browser extension, create a new account, sign into the web-based Axie Inifinity dashboard, and then initiate the transfer of items. Players can follow this official guide for detailed instructions. Users who run into any issues or have any problems can bring them up in the Ronin channel of the Axie Infinity Discord.
Initially only Axie land and items will be migrated to the Ronin chain. However, in time, Axies on the Ethereum blockchain will also become transferable. In addition, users will also be able to convert ETH into wETH (wrapped Ethereum) via a bridge to the Ronin sidechain.
If Ethereum based games don't migrate to sidechains ASAP, new players who don't have the funds to pay high gas fees are likely to seek alternative gaming and NFT trading platforms such as Phantasmachain or WAX, where the fees are a fraction of the cost or Ethereum, or completely free.
Axie Infinity is one of many games that are in the process of migrating to sidechains. Gods Unchained has also announced plans to migrate player's cards to their ImmutableX sidechain. Aavegotchi is also migrating their GHST token and NFTs to the Matic sidechain.
Animoca Brands, the team behind Ethereum based games such as The Sandbox (SAND) and F1 Delta (REVV) have announced a partnership with Binance Smart Chain, leading some to speculate that those games may also be migrating off of Ethereum soon.
Validators on the Ronin chain include Binance, Ubisoft, DappRadar, and Animoca Brands. How the native currency of the Ronin sidechain will be distributed to users has yet to be announced.