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Axie Infinity has been losing gamers before the Ronin Network hack


Contrary to the belief that gamers are leaving the popular play-to-earn game Axie Infinity because of the recent hack, available information shows that the platform had lost nearly half of its users even before the heist, Bloomberg News reported.

Axie Infinity loses gamers

In the week of March 28, CryptoSlate reported that Ronin Network, the bridge side chain that facilitates crypto transactions for the game, lost over $600 million to hackers.

This led to the developer temporarily suspending withdrawals for gamers on the platform leading to speculation that this might have affected the number of users on the platform.

However, according to data provided by Sky Mavis, the developer behind the play-to-earn project, the number of its daily active users (DAUs) was falling even before the March 23 heist.

Source: Bloomberg

Per the data, the game had lost around 45% of its DAU, which was now about 1.48 million users. A far cry from its all-time high of over 8 million users in November 2021.

Explaining the slide

A data journalist at Nansen, Martin Lee, opines that one of the factors behind the drop in usage is the huge market offsetting of the game’s native currency, Smooth-Love Potion (SLP), which happened in December and led to a dip in price.

The decline in the players’ earnings & rewards inadvertently led to a drop in their interest. Lee further states that the price decline too created fear for users who bought the currency at higher rates. Also, most players are awaiting the game’s new patch named “Origin,” which they hope will revive the game.

It is also noteworthy that the platform’s inability to provide a timeline for repayment may further lead to a decline in players’ activity. as they may no longer trust the platform’s ability to recover the stolen funds, refund them, or even their general security. Players might be tempted to port to other identical games instead.

Hacker begins transferring assets

According to another CryptoSlate report, on-chain data shows that the hacker has begun moving some of his stolen assets in an attempt to cover his tracks.

Per the report, the hacker transferred over 1,000 ETH to Tornado Cash, but there are indications that the hacker might not be able to convert the assets into fiat because only centralized exchanges would have sufficient liquidity to run such amounts.

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