After earning $5.3 million in their initial sale, creators of the Friendsies NFT project suddenly announced they would be "pausing" their project due to "market volatility". The project promised buyers "a companion for the metaverse and beyond", that would "be your AR/AI friend to help guide you for life", and that they would eventually develop a "Tomogatchi-like game that is play-to-earn". No game ever emerged, nor did promises of a community treasury or other plans to "build out the brand".
After partnering with the renowned auction house Christies to sell nine early-access mint passes, the NFTs were launched in April 2022. Each one started minting at 3.33 ETH in a Dutch auction, which at the time was around $12,000. Now, the NFTs have been selling for around 0.01 ETH (~$17).
The project's social media accounts went dormant late in 2022. On February 21, 2023, the project announced that "As the project founders, we have decided that it would be best to put a pause on Friendsies and all future digital goods for the time being... However the volatility and challenges of the market have made it very difficult to move this project forward in a way we can be proud of. For now, we have decided that it's best to allow the space to further mature." Some who asked questions like "So no AI friendsies as promised in your roadmap? What's going on?" found themselves blocked, and shortly afterwards the project deleted its Twitter account.
After being called out by crypto sleuth zachxbt for rug-pulling, the Twitter account returned to insist that they were not rug-pulling, and that "we were overwhelmed with hate and threats". Some Friendsies holders also blamed crypto influencers who had promoted the project near the beginning.