Axie Infinity’s Ronin Chain Sees Renaissance As Gamers Return

RON is up 45% in the past week, with daily users soaring above one million, driven by integrations with third-party games like Pixels.

By: yyctrader Loading...

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Ronin, a Layer 1 blockchain built as a companion network for the play-to-earn game Axie Infinity, is experiencing a resurgence as the Web3 gaming sector heats up again – and this time, it’s mostly not about Axie.

Once written off after a $600 million exploit in March 2022, Ronin is now the dominant gaming chain, attracting hundreds of thousands of daily active users. As of February, Ronin commands a 29% market share of blockchain gaming, according to Footprint Analytics – higher than BNB Chain and Polygon combined.

Web3 Gaming Market Share chart
Web3 Gaming Market Share

Amid the rising activity, the network’s RON token has soared 60% in the past month and is up more than 1,000% since October 2023. Among gaming coins with a market capitalization of at least $1 billion, it’s the second best-performing asset after Gala Games, according to CoinGecko.

RON Price chart
RON Price

Ronin’s comeback can be attributed to several factors – updates to Axie Infinity, its emergence as a destination for non-Axie games, and substantial RON sales by the FTX estate coming to an end. Onchain data shows that a walletreportedly belonging to the defunct crypto exchange sold 9 million tokens over the past 30 days. It continues to hold 1.27 million RON.

screenshot of RON transactions reportedly from the FTX estate
RON transactions reportedly from the FTX estate

Axie Infinity was the poster child of crypto gaming during the 2021 bull market and was even credited with helping thousands of people in the Philippines weather the pandemic. Despite its AXS and SLP tokens crashing more than 90% in the bear market, the game released several updates, including Axie Infinity: Origins, which introduced new mechanics such as free starter Axies and more gameplay options. However, according to DappRadar, activity remains at a fraction of its 2021 levels.

“Axie origins DAU has seen continued decline over the past 8 seasons, with lower levels now than seen in the bear. Axie classic has since made a promising comeback with LAN tournaments announced later in the year, however, core gameplay issues haven't been addressed and left some dedicated community members to feel unheard,” Indes, a longtime Axie community member, told The Defiant.

Axie Infinity has not replied to a request for comment from The Defiant.

More recently, Ronin has become a favored destination for non-Axie games, such as Pixels, a farming game that migrated to Ronin from Polygon last year, contributing to a surge in daily active users. Pixels and Carv, a project developing gaming credentials, currently account for the bulk of network activity.

Pixel and Carv each have nearly 400,000 daily users.

Top Dapps on Ronin
Top Dapps on Ronin

Meanwhile, Ronin’s total value locked (TVL) has risen fivefold in the past six months to $244 million, though it remains well below its pre-exploit peak of nearly $1.5 billion. Axie has been averaging around 15,000 daily users – less than 2% of the total.

“The top Web3 chains are the ‘exchanges of web3 games’ - the kingmakers…Study how Ronin got Pixels airdrop. AND Pixels massively grew DAU after coming to Ronin,” said Alex Svanevik, CEO of Nansen, a blockchain analytics provider.