Axie Infinity has taken the Philippines like a storm. If you've been hanging out in the Axie Infinity discord for a while, you'll notice that a lot of the player base are from the Philippines just by the emoji reacts every time a dev posts something in the official channels. You might be surprised to know that the average Philippine Axie player got their first cryptocurrency exposure through the game. If that was the case, then how did Axie Infinity grow their player base in the said country? In this article, we'll explore the probable reasons why Axie was able to grow in such a rapid pace in a country where only a minority is familiar with cryptocurrency.
Play to Earn
As of the time of writing, the minimum wage in the Philippines is around $200 a month - around $2400 a year. These are not just blue collar workers. There are 9-5 white collar jobs that still pays only the minimum wage. That's about $10 a day for a 20 day work month. The current price of SLP is at $0.28, which means that the average Axie player earns more than the minimum wage at 150 SLP per day. This amount can be farmed around 1.5-3 hours per day. The stronger the player's team, the faster they can grind. That's not even half the amount of time spent in a normal day job. They're not even required to finish their grind in one sitting. One can opt to split up the time during their breaks, or during the hours of the day when nothing much is going on. This is why scholarship applications are flooding almost every Axie Infinity group. Earning more than the minimum wage for less than half the time spent is an absolute good deal.
Making Ends Meet
Even those that are earning more than the minimum wage are trying to make ends meet due to the pandemic. Workers with white collar jobs would moonlight as Grab drivers to earn extra income. Due to the pandemic, however, some of these people quit their sideline jobs in favor of their safety. Some are fortunate to have a skill that would let them earn from a part time job while working remotely. Not everyone is as fortunate. Axie Infinity offers these people a chance to earn extra income while still being in the safety of their own homes.
Fortune Favors the Bold
The Philippines is a third world country, but that doesn't mean everyone who lives there is poor. In fact, the line between the rich and the poor is very thin, you literally just have to cross a street. Entrepreneurial types see Axie Infinity as something that would help them earn passive income. These are usually millennials on their late 20's to mid 30's. A huge percentage of this demographic have spent their youths playing video games during their free time. These people are comfortable spending their money on in-game microtransactions. Instead of throwing money away, why not spend it in something that can earn you back your money, and also help out someone else while you're at it? Axie Infinity is still at its very early stages. It's growing rapidly in the Philippines, but not as much in other countries. Investors see this as an opportunity to be part of a growing trend early on. Not financial advise™.
Nope, that's not a typo of cloud computing. Social media is big in the Philippines, most notably Facebook. The pandemic made this even more apparent, but even without the pandemic, social media has become a huge influence over Philippines' mainstream culture over the last decade. The work from home culture gave opportunity for some to use their formerly commute time into content creation. More people are sharing information, and a lot more are consuming. Popular streamers have caught on the trend and started streaming the game, offering scholarships, and trading axies. This helped the playerbase grow, and keeps the ecosystem alive.
Putting it All Together
Axie Infinity's growth in the Philippines is a mixture of all the points mentioned above. But most importantly, it's through the help of social media. A lot of new players are not knowledgeable about cryptocurrency, and will prefer to transact with people that they trust. A lot of these transactions are done outside the official Axie Infinity marketplace. Instead of using ETH to buy axies, they use their local fintech app to buy axies from a reputable community member. This helped extend the community to those who are not comfortable doing their transactions with cryptocurrency. These players would then later on start to educate themselves in cryptocurrency. This would be an interesting phenomenon to observe. Finally, cryptocurrency is not just for the enthusiast or speculator, but for the mainstream market as well.
Aside from the points previously mentioned, Axie Infinity has created a product that does not put the focus primarily on cryptocurrency. It's marketed as a free to play, play to earn game. Most of the marketing materials are focused on the game itself, not on the cryptocurrency aspect. If someone wants to know more about the cryptocurrency aspect, they can refer to the whitepaper. This helps the game appeal to a wider variety of audience. I'm excited to see the growth of this community, and how it would later effect cryptocurrency usage in the future.