A Metaverse That Doesn’t Exist Yet Pockets $70 Million in Ethereum

Key points to remember

  • A new gaming project called Pixelmon has raised $71.4 million in an NFT sale.
  • Within hours of the mint, Pixelmon NFT prices crashed, resulting in a paper loss of over 60% for early risers.
  • Pixelmon has revealed few details about the game it’s making, forcing many first-time buyers to sell at a loss.

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Pixelmon, a two-month-old NFT game project, has raised over $70 million in Ethereum since its inception. While most Pixelmon NFTs sold for nearly 3 ETH, the collection floor price has since dropped by more than 60%.

Pixelmon speculators hit hard

Mania returns to the NFT market.

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

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

Pixelmon’s Twitter account launched just two months ago and has already attracted nearly 200,000 subscribers. Although Pixelmon only recently arrived on the NFT scene and the price of entry was higher than most other NFT drops at launch, speculators weren’t shy about rushing in 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 key figures in the NFT space.

As part of its marketing campaign, Pixelmon promised to create “the first AAA-grade game in 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 massive amount on the genesis mint, Pixelmon also promised them the chance to spend even more on an upcoming sale for virtual plots of land similar to those found in Metaverses like Decentraland and The Sandbox. Holders will also receive PIXEL tokens over the next few weeks, but the usefulness of the tokens remains a mystery.

Currently, the main thing NFT holders have to do is supposed Pixelmon game screenshots posted on 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 the Pixelmon demo to find that it’s more of an interactive cinematic trailer than anything that illustrates what the game will actually look like. Although the graphics and lighting are high quality, the player cannot interact with anything in the demo outside of a rideable horse. After about two minutes of wandering, the demo cuts out and fades to black, with the “to be continued” message appearing on screen. The whole experience raises more questions about the game than it answers.

Since the start of the year, NFTs have once again exploded in popularity, with avatar projects like Bored Ape Yacht Club and upcoming game projects such as Crypto Unicorns skyrocketing. As a result, speculation on new projects is increasing as NFT pinball machines search for the next project to hit hard. However, while the value of quality projects is expected to increase, many projects are also looking to take advantage of the current market exuberance.

Only time will tell if Pixelmon will do justice to its NFT holders. The project relies on large cash reserves, compete the budgets of many AAA games developed in recent years. With the cash injection from the NFT currency, the Pixelmon team estimates an alpha launch date in the next four to five months. Pixelmon developers will have to work fast to deliver a product in such a short time, especially with thousands of NFT holders so heavily invested.

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

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