The big success story of crypto gaming is “Axie Infinity”, a 2018 game by a Vietnamese studio. The NFT game shares some similarities with the Pokémon franchise: the focus is on trading and breeding creatures known as Axie. But now there has been a big heist: hackers have stolen a cryptocurrency worth 550 million euros.
What kind of game is this?
- Axie Infinity is a huge game in parts of Asia: there are people playing the game to support their families. The developer behind Axie Infinity, who was 19 at the time, fell in love with CryptoKitties and thought it was so cool that he mixed elements from the game with Pokémon gameplay to create Axie Infinity.
- If you want to start with the Free2Play game, you need the Ethereum cryptocurrency, you have to buy the game currency with it and use it to buy 3 of the creatures, Axie. They were pretty cheap a few years ago. As the game grew in popularity, the starting price to even play Axie Infinity kept rising. In February 2022, the price was already around $87 (via stealthoptional).
- In the game there is always the possibility to invest more money, but also to earn money. Axie Infinity is at the forefront of a wave of paid games that some studios like Ubisoft are now fond of. With cryptocurrencies and NFTs, gamers should now be able to earn money from games themselves – the studios behind the games expect a lot from that as well. Players and developers repeatedly criticize this trend.
NFT the new trend in gaming, companies are worth billions of dollars – but why?
What did the pirates loot? As the “Ronin Network” reports in a blog post, hackers managed to withdraw money from Axie Infinity through an exploit:
This is worth around 550 million euros.
Network gave the game studio special rights because the game had so much hype
How was the hack possible? As the network explains, Axie Infinity has finally been too successful in recent years.
In November 2021, there was such a rush for Axie Infinity that the Ronin Network gave Sky developer Mavis special permission to transact more easily. It was at the request of Sky Mavis.
This would have allowed the attackers to pull off this major hack by gaining access to Sky Mavis’ systems. Thus, the popularity of the game became its downfall.
The Ronin Network token behind Axie Infinity dropped 20% after the hack became known.
And after? The Ronin Network says it wants to protect itself from further attacks and is now working with various government agencies to “bring criminals to justice”.
The American side Kotaku, which is very critical of NFTs, can’t help but say that NFT companies always advertise their incredible security and then keep reporting those expensive heists and hacks.
In fact, on MeinMMO, we’ve also repeatedly reported NFT-related scams:
People Are Investing Fortunes In Virtual NFT Monkeys – Developer Cheats Them Out Of 2.3 Million Euros