Axie Infinity, a turn-based NFT monster-battling game, is venturing into the commercial realm by introducing official merchandise featuring its colorful, axolotl-inspired characters. The game’s developer, Sky Mavis, has announced that owners of specific Axie NFTs will now have the opportunity to create and sell their products, marking a significant step into user-generated content (UGC) and commercialization.
Axie Infinity unveils plans to launch its official merchandise
According to the platform an elect group of 4,877 Axie NFT holders, possessing Mystic and Origin NFTs, will be granted the ability to produce and monetize their merchandise and businesses. Sky Mavis co-founder Jeffrey “Jiho” Zirlin explained that they aimed to embrace the UGC possibilities that ownership enables, taking measured steps in this direction. Mystic and Origin collections were chosen as the starting point for testing these capabilities, given their status as Genesis collections.
These Axie owners can now leverage their NFT characters as mascots to launch various businesses, including Axie-themed cafes, comics, restaurants, or toy collections. However, it’s important to note that, for now, commercial restrictions have only been lifted for less than 5,000 out of the total 11.9 million Axie monster NFTs, representing just 0.04% of all Axie Infinity NFTs, according to Axie marketplace data. Coinciding with the holiday season, Axie Infinity has introduced an official merch store, featuring Squishmallow-style plush toys, a $300 figurine, a branded hoodie, a t-shirt, and a baseball cap.
Dubbed the “>code:axie_” collection, this apparel draws inspiration from the first-ever Axie mint in 2018, where buyers obtained Axies without attached art; instead, their NFTs displayed code. Zirlin expressed the team’s plans to expand the new shop noting that the platform wants to do more merch. He also said that they had tried a bunch of designs and prototypes before settling on these initial launch collections, but have some ideas on new stuff to try out in 2024. The payment options for these items include both cryptocurrency and fiat currency.
Official merchandise store and perks of its NFTs
Sky Mavis is enticing the first 5,000 buyers with a free Axie NFT and entry into a draw for one of three Mystic Axie NFTs. Users in the Philippines utilizing the Grab app can earn Grab points and Axie merch discount codes by clicking on in-app ads redirecting to the Axie merch store. Cryptocurrency payments come with additional rewards, unlocking perks for reaching various spending thresholds. Buyers paying with crypto will receive a special badge, plushies, and other rewards, depending on their expenditure.
Sky Mavis has committed to allocating 20% of all net profits from merch sales to the Axie Community Treasury. This treasury is designed to foster community-based decision-making and contribute to “progressive decentralization.” Additionally, the team has released image files for 12 different Axies online for free. Axie Infinity stands out as the most successful NFT game to date, gaining immense popularity in 2021 and amassing millions of active players. Despite a temporary slowdown in early 2022, Sky Mavis continues to expand the Axie ecosystem while developing the Ronin sidechain network for Ethereum, witnessing growing adoption.
This move by Axie Infinity to allow freer use of its intellectual property echoes similar strategies from other successful NFT collections like Bored Ape Yacht Club and CryptoPunks, which have granted owners commercial use rights for select NFTs. Such initiatives have given rise to real-world businesses themed around these NFTs, demonstrating the potential economic impact of digital ownership in the metaverse.