Published on: 14/10/2022
NFT Game Axie Infinity Loses 62% Of Players In One Year
Axie Infinity has reportedly lost 62 percent of its players in only one year. The game recorded only 701,000 average monthly players, below the numbers reported for January 2021.
In one year, from September 2021 to September 2022, the game’s monthly users declined from 1.955 million to 739,000 players. As per multiple sources, the decline was caused by the recent crypto market crash, which caused trading volumes for digital collectibles between players to drop by 98 percent since January.
As of late January 2021, Axie Infinity had an average of 850,000 monthly players, 21.3 percent more than last month, according to data collected by Activeplayer.io. At the end of January this year, Axie Infinity recorded a player count average of 2.78 million, five times higher than in September.
In November 2021, the Axie Infinity NFT marketplace recorded two million Axies sold. At that time, it was valued at 140,956.7 Ether or $639.5 million. In the past 30 days, the sales have dropped to only 311,300 Axies sold.
Axie Infinity game mechanics contribute to decrease in players count
Aside from the crypto market situation, changes in in-game mechanics partly contributed to the decrease in player count. Axie Infinity, developed by Vietnamese studio Sky Mavis is known for its in-game economy, which uses Ethereum-based cryptocurrencies. Sky Mavis charges players a 4.25 percent fee for trading Axies on its marketplace.
Axie Infinity is an NFT-based game focusing on breeding Axies and battling players online. To benefit from Axie Infinity’s idle battle system, players must battle, collect, raise and build kingdoms for their Axies. Players also can buy, sell and trade resources they earn in the game.
To play the game, players are required to own at least three Axies, in-game creatures that players use to engage in battles. Recent changes to the game’s mechanics have made new players need to spend around US$400 to meet this starting requirement, with the cheapest Axie costing approximately US$307. Until the update, Axie prices averaged between $250 to $500. The game’s developer said that the most expensive Axie sold cost $820,000.
Additionally, the price of Smooth Love Potion (SLP), Axie Infinity’s in-game rewards token, fell more than 95 percent. With the situation, Sky Mavis removed references to “play-to-earn” on its websites and marketing as its tokens had plummeted in value. Also, the floor price of an Axie has dipped to around US$20.
Analysts have linked the drop in token prices with the intense bear market of the crypto industry. In January 2022, trading volumes across digital collectibles dropped significantly worldwide.
This year, Axie Infinity’s Ronin Bridge was attacked by hackers, who successfully stole $620 million in assets. These included 173,600 in ETH and $25.5m in U.S. dollars. Ronin developers confirmed that the hackers had attacked private keys to execute fake withdrawals.
The breach is one of the biggest crypto heists in industry history. The FBI said in a release that the hacker groups Lazarus Group and APT38, allegedly sponsored by North Korea, were responsible for the attack.