The popular play-to-earn Axie Infinity game had already lost users before the cryptocurrency record hack was revealed last week.
The popular play-to-earn Axie Infinity game had lost users even before the record-breaking cryptocurrency hack revealed last week limited players’ ability to move digital money out of the virtual world.
The number of daily active users, or DAUs, has fallen 45% to 1.48 million since a peak in November, according to data collected by Sky Mavis, owner of Axie Infinity. The last count is for the week ending March 28, or a day before the roughly $600 million hack was discovered. Actual figures were not immediately available.
The drop has been especially notable since December, when updates to the game were announced, and on March 23, when hackers stole Ether and USD Coin cryptocurrencies from Axie’s Ronin Bridge, a side chain built to allow faster and cheaper transactions for the to make games possible.
Sky Mavis, the developer behind Axie Infinity and Ronin, has said it is committed to refunding players as quickly as possible, but has not given any details on how they plan to do this in the event that lost money is not recovered. Meanwhile, on Monday, the hacker began covering his tracks by moving about 1,400 Ether to Tornado Cash, a crypto-asset mixing service, Coindesk reported.
A wide-ranging market sell-off in December led to more downward pressure on the prices of smooth-love potion (SLP), Axie’s native currency, according to Martin Lee, a data journalist at blockchain analytics firm Nansen.
“Daily earnings fell and so did interest in the game. Those who bought into the highs started to feel anxious and of course doubts crept in,” Lee wrote in an email. Lee adds that players are waiting for the game’s “Origin” patch that will revive, improve and deepen the game.
The concern is that if the developer is unable to provide a clear timetable for refunds, players will lose faith in the platform and switch to other similar games, further accelerating the decline in users and activity.
Read more: Axie Infinity delays Origin online game launch after hack
Vietnam-based Sky Mavis is backed by investors including Andreessen Horowitz and Alexis Ohanian, the co-founder of Reddit.