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Axie Infinity to ‘Double Down’ on Korean Market Despite Local P2E Ban

UTC by Mercy Tukiya Mutanya · 3 min read
Axie Infinity to ‘Double Down’ on Korean Market Despite Local P2E Ban
Photo: Shutterstock

Axie Infinity is looking to improve global adoption by enhancing the gaming experience and expanding its ecosystem through new battle modes.

Axie Infinity’s parent company Sky Mavis is planning to “double down” in South Korea despite the local ban on Play-to-Earn (P2E) games.

Co-founder and Growth Lead Jeffrey Zirlin, speaking at the country’s Blockchain Week on Tuesday noted that despite governmental restrictions, the “Korean market is one of the most important gaming markets in the world, and we have tons of players in South Korea.”

Zirlin revealed that the company is working on ways to “localize” the game by addressing uniquely Korean barriers such as language.

“I think you know, we want to double down. We want to localize, for example, Koreans don’t speak much English, right? So there are actually a lot of barriers to actually getting the game into the hands of Korean players,” he said. Adding, “but a lot of our top players on the leaderboard are Korean […] Koreans are some of the best gamers in the world”.

The South Korea Game Rating and Administration Committee has placed a ban on local blockchain play-to-earn games due to stringent anti-gambling policies. In December 2021, the government prohibited Google Play and the Apple Store from listing such games in the country.

Zirlin acknowledged that it is still early, in terms of adoption and would require negotiation and education. Alluding to the example of ride-hailing service Uber, which simply launched and forced regulators to ” go with it” due to mass adoption, he hopes P2E adoption in the country will persuade the Korean government to reconsider its stance.

It is still early too, for the Axie Infinity project as a whole. According to data from Active Player, on average, 766,000 users logged in to play in July, a figure that pales in comparison to January’s 2.7 million peak. The project also has yet to list on Google Play and the Apple Store.

Axie Infinity is looking to improve global adoption by enhancing the gaming experience and expanding its ecosystem through new battle modes such as Origin.

Speaking on this, Zirlin comments:

“Origin is our main focus right now. So building that out and making it more immersive, adding in vertical progression, like runes and charms and body part upgrades to act as sustainable sinks [burning mechanisms] for tokens and making it more fun. Origin crucially comes with three free starter Axies (NFT characters) so that people can fall in love with the game [without having] to make any economic or financial decisions.”

Origin reached at least 600,000 sign-ups as of mid-June.

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Mercy Tukiya Mutanya

Mercy Mutanya is a Tech enthusiast, Digital Marketer, Writer and IT Business Management Student. She enjoys reading, writing, doing crosswords and binge-watching her favourite TV series.

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