Axie Infinity was losing gamers even before record Crypto hack

    The popular play-to-earn Axie Infinity game had been losing users even before the record cryptocurrency hack disclosed last week.
    By: BLOOMBERG
    | Updated on: Apr 04 2022, 09:12 PM IST
    Jeff Jiho Zirlin, co-founder of Axie Infinity, speaks during NFT LA in Los Angeles, California.
    Jeff Jiho Zirlin, co-founder of Axie Infinity, speaks during NFT LA in Los Angeles, California. (Bloomberg)
    Jeff Jiho Zirlin, co-founder of Axie Infinity, speaks during NFT LA in Los Angeles, California.
    Jeff Jiho Zirlin, co-founder of Axie Infinity, speaks during NFT LA in Los Angeles, California. (Bloomberg)

    The popular play-to-earn Axie Infinity game had been losing users even before the record cryptocurrency hack disclosed last week restricted the ability of players to move digital money out of the virtual world. 

    The number of daily active users, or DAUs, has fallen 45% to 1.48 million from a peak in November, according to data compiled by Axie Infinity owner Sky Mavis. The latest tally is for the week ended March 28, or a day before the roughly $600 million hack was discovered. Current figures weren’t immediately available.

    The decrease has been particularly noteworthy since December, when updates to the game were announced, and on March 23, when hackers stole the Ether and USD Coin cryptocurrencies from Axie’s Ronin bridge, a sidechain built to facilitate faster and cheaper transactions for the game.

    Sky Mavis, the developer behind Axie Infinity and Ronin, has said that it is committed to reimbursing players as soon as possible but hasn’t given details on how they plan to do it in case lost funds are not recovered. Meanwhile on Monday, the hacker started to hide their tracks by moving around 1,400 Ether to Tornado Cash, a crypto asset mixing service, Coindesk reported.

    A broad market sell-off in December led to more downward pressure on the prices on smooth-love potion (SLP), the native currency of Axie, according to Martin Lee, a data journalist at blockchain analytics firm Nansen.  

    “Daily earnings dropped and so did interest in the game. Those that bought-in at the highs started to feel fearful and naturally doubt creeped in,” Lee wrote in an email. Lee adds that players are awaiting the game’s “Origin” patch that looks to revitalize, improve and increase the depth of game play.

    The concern is that if the developer isn’t able to give a clear timeline on reimbursements, than players will lose trust on the platform and move to other similar games, further accelerating the decline in users and activity.

    Read more: Axie Infinity Delays Launch of Origin Online Game After Hack

    Vietnam-based Sky Mavis is backed by investors which include Andreessen Horowitz and Alexis Ohanian, the co-founder of Reddit.

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    First Published Date: 04 Apr, 09:12 PM IST
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