Analysis

CoinGecko Axie Infinity Survey 2021

by Erina Azmi -


Hello, Geckos!

Chances are you have already seen numerous headlines regarding Play-to-Earn (P2E) in the cryptoverse, and you have likely heard of Axie Infinity as well. In short, Axie Infinity is a game that is similar to Pokemon, where you can earn daily in-game currency called Smooth Love Potion (SLP)

Driven by Axie Infinity's economy, SLP has a real market value that you can freely trade in exchanges like Uniswap, FTX, and Binance. You can then cash out your earned SLP to other cryptocurrencies or fiat. If you are keen to find out more, you can read our Axie beginner guides and analysis.

Although Axie Infinity has exploded in popularity, we have yet to fully understand the Axie players' motivation and attitude towards the game itself. Hence, we at CoinGecko did a poll thread on our Twitter to understand three things:

  • Demographic of Axie Infinity players: Who are they?
  • Players' behavior: How long do they spend on Axie Infinity, and how much do they earn?
  • Axie Infinity’s main barrier of entry: Will the increasing price of Axie halt the game’s adoption?

Disclaimer: We acknowledge that the Twitter poll is not optimal to conduct the survey. Hence, kindly treat the survey results as a proxy to the crypto Twitter community usage and attitude towards Axie Infinity.

Campaign summary
Campaign date: 17 July 2021 to 19 July 2021
Data Collection Method: Twitter poll thread on @CoinGecko.
Total number of questions: 13 
Number of Participants: Varies from each question with a minimum of 768 and a maximum of 1,841 
Poll Thread Link: https://twitter.com/coingecko/status/1416335377707671552  

Here are our 8 key findings:

  1. Majority of the players are also Axie sponsors from Asia, aged between 19-29 years old.
  2. Almost 60% of Axie players prefer to use mobile/tablet to play the game.
  3. Most of the Axie players play the game every day and spend up to 2 hours in each session.
  4. Players earn an average of between 151 – 200 SLP ($55.50) per day, equivalent to $1,665 a month.
  5. Even if the SLP price drops 80% from $0.03 to $0.06, the monthly earning is still higher than the minimum wage in Malaysia and the Philippines.
  6. Players typically cash out to fiat, signaling playing Axie Infinity as a potential income source.
  7. You will need at least $690 to start playing Axie Infinity, and 62% of users agree the cost of Axie is a high barrier of entry.
  8. 68% of participants think that Axie Infinity can potentially be a sustainable full-time job.
     

1. Majority of the players are also Axie sponsors from Asia, aged between 19-29 years old.

Out of 1,371 participants, 70% are Axie Infinity players. Interestingly, there are more sponsors (39%) than scholars (25at answered the questions. 

Based on our survey, 54% of Axie Infinity gamers are from Asia and are between 19 to 29 years old.

2. Almost 60% of Axie players prefer to use mobile/tablet to play the game.

More than half (58%) of the participants play Axie Infinity on their mobile devices compared to only 31% on desktop. 

There are two reasons why mobile is the preferred device:

  • The majority of the players' demographics are from Asia, and currently, only Android users can play Axie Infinity on mobile. 83% of people in Asia use Android instead of iOS (16%). The iOS version is still in TestFlight. 
     
  • Asian countries dominated the mobile gaming penetration in 2020, led by Thailand, the Philippines, and Singapore.

3. Most of the Axie players play the game every day and spend up to 2 hours in each session.

The survey found that 80% of participants mentioned they play the Axie Infinity game every day.

On the other hand, their frequency is much shorter than we anticipated, where 39% of them play less than 2 hours, and 30% of them play up to 4 hours. This means users spend 25% of their waking time with Axie Infinity playing.

4. Players earn an average of between 151 – 200 SLP ($55.50) per day, equivalent to $1,665 a month.

According to our survey, 41% of the Axie Infinity players reported they earn between 151-200 SLP per day. 

This coincides with our Q2 report finding where an average player with 20 energy daily could earn up to 185 SLP within 4 hours of playing time per day. With the current SLP market price (~$0.30), a player could earn up to $55.50 a day, equivalent to $1,665 a month. 
 
Suppose we consider the other two different price points where SLP’s price is $0.06 (bear case) and $0.50 (bull case); a player could earn up to $333 and $2,776, respectively. 

5. Even if the SLP price drops 80% from $0.30 to $0.06, the monthly earning is still higher than the minimum wage in Malaysia and the Philippines.

With an SLP price of $0.30 and 185 SLP earnings per day, the players would receive 5 times higher monthly earnings than those in Malaysia and the Philippines ($1,665 vs. $285 vs. $254).

Even if the SLP price drops 80%, Malaysian and the Philippines players would still earn at least 17% higher than their minimum wage. 

As for the UK residents, the SLP price must at least climb up above $0.53 to make it worthwhile for them. Arguably, with Axie Infinity, the UK residents would spend 50% less time (4 hours playing the game versus 8 hours working shift) to earn 94% of their minimum wage. 

6. The players typically cash out to fiat, signaling playing Axie Infinity as a potential income source.

Irrespective of SLP price, 33% of the participants would sell their SLP earnings as soon as the lockup period is over. 

If they were to cash out, they would likely convert their SLP to fiat (such as Pesos, MYR, and USD) through exchanges.

Note that our key finding #1 shows that more sponsors are answering the survey. As sponsors, they will redistribute their scholar’s earnings (SLP) via these exchanges as per the agreed term. If you are interested in how a scholarship term works, you can visit our comprehensive Axie scholarship list.

7. You will need at least $690 to start playing Axie Infinity, and 62% of users agree the cost of Axie is a high barrier of entry.

As of 21st July, the current Axie’s floor price is roughly US$230. Before you start playing Axie Infinity, you will need to acquire at least 3 Axies, which would amount to at least $690 in total. You can check out the price of Axie on Axie Marketplace.

Two main variables affecting Axie’s floor price:

1. Axie demand
2. ETH price

When either of these two variables increases, the floor price of Axie will increase as well. As a result, a new user will need higher capital to play. 

89% of survey participants agree that it can be capital intensive to start playing the game. It will take roughly a month to break even your initial cost. Surprisingly, 62% of them are willing to pay for the game. As mentioned, the result is likely skewed towards the sponsors. 

Source: How Gamers are Making a Living: A Case Study on Axie Infinity

Axie Scholarships are a lucrative business model where the sponsors will split the earnings between them and the scholars. With 70-30 terms, a scholar will get to keep 70% of the earning while the sponsor will take the remaining. Although sponsors get a smaller share, their annual return can be up to 400%.

8. 68% of participants think Axie Infinity can potentially be a sustainable full-time job.


We previously calculated the minimum capital ($690) is required before you can play Axie Infinity. In developing countries, the initial capital would take at least 2 years for them to afford to buy 3 Axies, assuming they save 10% of their basic income.  

This has led to the rise of Axie Scholarships in the Asian region, particularly the Philippines and Malaysia. 

68% of the participants agree earnings from playing Axie Infinity could become an alternative income for them. Moreover, 50% of them think being an Axie Infinity gamer could become a sustainable job.

If we consider the Sponsor-Scholar terms, Scholar’s take-home rate is 70% of the total earnings, amounting to $1,000. That is 3x higher than Malaysia's basic income ($285).

Conclusion

It has been quite interesting to see the usage and attitude of our community towards Axie Infinity. Most of them are Asian youth who are looking to earn a side income. A lot of users believe it could become a full-time job.

However, this does not come without a cost. As part of growing pain, Axie Infinity has also been experiencing scaling issues. Both the marketplace and game servers have suffered outages and have undergone several maintenance periods. This has hurt the current prices for AXS and SLP as fewer players can play. 

The Play-To-Earn feature of Axie Infinity is still relatively new, and the player’s earning sustainability is still in question. The earnings are still heavily affected by the general Crypto market, which is very volatile. For those who consider becoming a full-time Axie gamer, we urge you to do thorough research before making a decision. 


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Erina Azmi

Erina Azmi

Erina is CoinGecko’s market research analyst. Current expertise is finance and crypto - DeFi. Previously in research consulting and often did market analysis.

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