Metaverse That Doesn’t Exist Yet Bags $70M in Ethereum

Metaverse That Doesn’t Exist Yet Bags $70M in Ethereum


Key Takeaways

  • A new gaming project called Pixelmon has raised $71.4 million in an NFT sale.
  • In the hours after the mint, Pixelmon NFT prices crashed hard, giving early minters a paper loss of over 60%.
  • Pixelmon has revealed few details about the game it is creating, causing many early buyers to sell for a loss.
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    Pixelmon, a two-month-old NFT gaming project, has raised over $70 million in Ethereum from its genesis mint. While most Pixelmon NFTs sold out at close to 3 ETH, the floor price for the collection has since plummeted by over 60%. 

    Pixelmon Speculators Hit Hard

    Mania is returning to the NFT market. 

    Pixelmon, a Metaverse project promising an AAA open-world adventure game, launched its genesis NFT collection Monday after only two months of activity. The 8,079 NFTs were sold in a Dutch auction format with bidding opening at 3 ETH, around $9,489 at the time. Every NFT sold out within an hour, with the majority selling at the opening price. The project raised a staggering 23,055 ETH through the NFT sales, worth $71.4 million at current prices. 

    However, in the hours that followed the auction, the price of Pixelmon NFTs on the secondary market crashed hard. The market value for Pixelmon NFTs is now over 60% down from the 3 ETH mint price (the current floor price for a Pixelmon NFT on OpenSea is around 1.12 ETH). 

    Pixelmon’s Twitter account launched only two months ago and has already attracted almost 200,000 followers. Although Pixelmon only recently arrived on the NFT scene and the entry price was higher than most other NFT drops on launch, speculators didn’t hesitate from rushing into the mint. There were other red flags surrounding the project: the identities of the team members are unknown, and the project has little to no prior connection to any key figures in the NFT space. 

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    As part of its marketing campaign, Pixelmon promised to create “the first AAA quality game of the NFT space” with a fully-developed Metaverse experience. Aside from this vague mantra, the project’s website reveals few details about the game’s development, instead emphasizing its NFT roadmap. After holders spent a huge amount on the genesis mint, Pixelmon has also promised them the chance to spend even more on an upcoming sale for plots of virtual land similar to the ones found in Metaverses like Decentraland and The Sandbox. Holders will also receive PIXEL tokens sometime over the coming weeks, but the utility for the tokens remains a mystery. 

    Currently, the main thing NFT holders have to go off are supposed screenshots from the Pixelmon game posted to the project’s Twitter account. The game itself has not yet released an alpha version and has no proof of concept available. Users can, however, download the 675-megabyte Pixelmon demo to play.

    Crypto Briefing tried out the Pixelmon demo to find it is more of an interactive cinematic trailer rather than anything that illustrates what the game will actually be like. While the graphics and lighting are high quality, the player cannot interact with anything in the demo besides a rideable horse. After approximately two minutes of wandering around, the demo cuts out and fades to black, with the message “to be continued” appearing on screen. The whole experience raises more questions about the game than it answers. 

    Since the start of the year, NFTs have again exploded in popularity, with avatar projectss like Bored Ape Yacht Club and upcoming gaming projects such as Crypto Unicorns soaring in value. As a result, speculation on new projects is increasing as NFT flippers look for the next project to hit it big. However, while quality projects stand to go up multiples in value, many projects are also looking to capitalize on the current market exuberance. 

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    Only time will tell whether Pixelmon will do right by its NFT holders. The project is sitting on vast cash reserves, rivaling the budgets of many AAA games developed in recent years. With the cash injection from the NFT mint, the Pixelmon team estimates an alpha launch date sometime in the next four to five months. The Pixelmon developers will need to work fast to deliver a product on such a short timeline, especially with thousands of NFT holders so heavily invested. 

    Disclosure: At the time of writing this feature, the author owned ETH and several other cryptocurrencies.

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