GM, everyone! In this newsletter, we will be diving into the Pixlverse and highlighting their innovative approach to GameFi, specifically through collaboration and a play-and-earn mindset (rather than play-to-earn). If you’re new to the space or want to learn more be sure to check out our glossary and list of sources at the bottom!
With the third revolution of the internet, power is being returned to the people in the digital space. Smart contracts built into the Ethereum network allow for trustless parties to work together towards a common goal. Gone are the days of self-serving silos with massive influence impenetrable to the individual. In its place, you will find a labyrinth of ecosystems working together towards a common, more prosperous future for its users. This will be especially apparent when it comes to gaming.
Imagine a world where your time playing translates to a currency that can be used across games and has real-world monetary value. Imagine a world where you can actually own cosmetics, trade them with your friends, sell them to someone you don’t know, or take them with you to a completely different game. Imagine a world where the owners of the ecosystem, were the users of the ecosystem. This is what is possible with web3.
Axie Infinity, which launched in March of 2018, proved that play-to-earn is feasible on a large scale but has yet to prove that it is sustainable over time. Since then countless teams have been working on new variations of the GameFi model aiming to establish a place for their project in the ecosystem. The games that survive will push the boundaries of the current GameFi landscape and provide the building blocks for future innovation. The Pixlverse, with its focus on collaboration and its pivot to play-and-earn, is positioning itself to be a leader in the industry.
The Pixlverse is a 2.5D metaverse focussing on accessibility and immersive gameplay. They minted on February 5th with a collection of 15,000 Pixl Pets and sold out in minutes. Their goal is to create a world “upon which the wider NFT Community can build web3 applications” and “bring their NFTs to life” through the benefits of the $PIXL ecosystem. Architected by the Sappy Seals team, Winter Bears, and 24px, the Pixlverse has already grown to over 30+ NFT communities. Each of these partnered communities will have pixelated avatars that their users can employ to explore, socialize, and play.
The purpose of the Pixlverse revolves around three paramount tenets:
Each of these has been specifically designed to tie back to the overarching theme of collaboration and building a stronger ecosystem for its users.
Throughout the history of crypto, we have seen blockchain technology and digital assets enable people to work together to own, build, and progress towards a common purpose. Through collaboration, a network can outpace and outlast any solo initiative or company regardless of the size. The founders of the Pixlverse understand the opportunity that web3 presents and consequently have enshrined community as one of their core values.
To accomplish this goal Pixlverse has taken a proactive approach with their partnerships. What started as a three-headed initiative has evolved into a community of communities. Aside from the avatars, each partnered community will get access to whitelist spots for every Pixlverse initiative as well as their own in-game community hub. These hubs will allow communities to further their own individual narratives while facilitating inter and intra-community encounters that will incubate a deeper and more connected Pixlverse user base.
With their development strategy, the Pixlverse team has devised an innovative system for rewarding the community that actually builds the experience. Rather than selling or airdropping land without a directed purpose, as most ‘metaverse’ projects so far have done, they have laid out a land-grant system that will enable community builders to reap full rewards for the things they build. This will incentivize builders to expand the Pixlverse while creating a feedback loop that generates a strong, devoted community of users.
The second major objective of the Pixlverse is to push web3 forward through education and innovation.
The Pixlverse aims to educate the masses on decentralized finance in an enjoyable and gamified experience. With the ever-growing variety of protocols, it is hard, even for a crypto-veteran, to stay on top of what everything is and how everything works. Through embedded open-world experiences the novice and the expert alike will get exposed to “well-polished, powerful and easy-to-use tools that [will] diversify and broaden their investment toolkits.” This will be made possible through their native token $PIXL. $PIXL is an ERC20 token that serves as the base layer utility token of the Pixlverse and will be required for all core Pixlverse mechanics. They intend to start with the following DeFi and governance elements:
The founders believe these aspects will position the Pixlverse to serve as a bridge between games and finance and provide foundational education for its community of users. They also plan to employ seamless, gamified dApps into the flow of the game to gradually acclimated players to the new web3 model. They believe this will encourage users to learn solidity, shift toward the web3 paradigm, or at the very least increase their understanding of how web3 works.
Innovation is another way the Pixlverse team plans on advancing the web3 movement. In the first four months, we have already seen this innovative spirit at work. In November they released a first-of-its-kind rarity-based staking contract that enables Sappy Seal owners to stake their Seals and earn $PIXL. And in December they released a $PIXL Marketplace with Founders passes, home decorations, and arcade/gambling machines that will have playable, $PIXL-generating utility within the world.
The marketplace also gave players a first glimpse into what Pixlverse land could look like outside of the grant program. For example, the Pixl Palaces can be used as profit-sharing businesses, social hubs, or anything partnered communities can imagine.
The Pixlverse founders believed that in order to make their collaborative vision a reality, everything in the Pixlverse must be modular and built to scale. They believe this is absolutely necessary to achieve their long-term goal of creating a true collaborative mega-world. This will also allow them to be agile in their development and “quickly respond to the emergence of new DeFi applications.” Their AlphaV2 launch is already live and provides players with a usable mockup of what will be included in Pixlverse homes. Functionalities included in the launch were homes equipped with a scalable network infrastructure, instanced (serverless) rooms, and a web3 API for saving traits, items, and house layouts.
As the mass crypto-adoption progresses, more and more people will enter the web3 landscape. To accommodate this, the Pixlverse intends on being an ecosystem that caters to crypto veterans and newcomers alike. With each Pixlverse initiative that is released, you will see accessibility and immersion as the common, underlying backbone. This is especially evident with the first module: Pixl Pets.
Pixl Pets, rumored to have formed in “The Glitch,” are your companions throughout the Pixlverse. Inspired by Pokemon and Neopets, they will follow you around and allow you to participate in quests, battles, and many more activities built by the community. They are comprised of 4 elements: Earth, Wind, Air, Fire, and obtain a unique, immutable genetic structure generated at mint. This sequence will have implications on the genetic structure of its offspring, as well as on what moves a Pixl Pet can learn.
The main arc of the Pixl Pets is a ‘play-and-earn’ 4v4 competitive PvP Arena game that will be the flagship initiative of the Pixlverse. This term ‘play-and-earn’ is deliberately different from the common term ‘play-to-earn’ because the founders believe “current P2E games are in danger of relying too heavily on financial incentives to attract players and drive the experience.” This is especially evident in the gradual decline of the revolutionary P2E game Axie Infinity that we referenced in our first newsletter. In the last 7 months, we saw a “99% plunge in the [token] price” which coincided with a 70% drop in Axie’s user base in the same amount of time. By reframing to play-and-earn, the founders hope to avoid similar struggles. They state that their “focus is on providing a fun-first, innovative and well-polished game.” They want a game where “players feel naturally incentivized to explore’ and play because at its core the game is enjoyable, while also rewarding them for their time and investments through the $PIXL token, in-game items, and NFTs.
With thousands of combinations of skillsets, moves, and genetic structures the founders plan to build a game that is easy to learn but difficult to master. Unlike the ‘pokemons’ of the past, Pixl Pets has been designed to introduce a skill gap that will cultivate the growth of a vitalized community of competitive gamers, while still providing a fun environment for the casual player. You will be able to level up your Pixl Pet by battling or by making additions to it in the form of ‘skill totems’. Forged from ultra-rare crafting items, totems are add-ons that boost your Pet for certain activities. These accessories combined with the variety of move set combinations will facilitate the definition of a dynamic ‘meta’ similar to what’s found in most competitive games. However, due to the nature of randomness in NFT minting, no two teams will ever be the same. This interesting twist on competitive gaming philosophy coupled with high stake tournaments will give the competitive scene the foundation it needs to thrive. Moreover, the nostalgic gameplay infused with P&E, breeding, and web3 technology will allow PixlPets to penetrate the eSports industry from an angle never before attempted.
This effort will be aided by the sponsorship mechanic that will allow pet collectors to provide “highly sought after Pets and/or funding entry” fees to competitive players in exchange for a share of tournament spoils. Sponsorship negotiations will be possible through an intuitive in-game interface with a wide variety of partnership options.
Outside of the arena, players will have numerous other opportunities to engage in the Pixlverse, many of which will encourage players to work together to complete certain tasks. For example, Quests are likely to be one of the earliest modules and will stimulate in-game cooperation as well as out-of-game information sharing. Details surrounding what Quests will entail have not been released, but based on the team’s past we hypothesize that they will follow a similar structure to Runescape quests: where players will complete “groups of interrelated tasks, usually involving a storyline, that can take anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours or even a few days to complete.” The founders have also teased randomly spawning dungeon expeditions loaded with loot to be gathered, Pixl Pets to battle, and utility NFTs to be found. These will be temporary, instanced for scalability, and aimed at driving user participation and ‘flocking’.
To better aid the web2 to web3 transition and position the Pixlverse as one of the communities to dominate this paradigm shift, the founders realize “standards of accessibility in the traditional gaming sphere should apply as closely as possible to ‘play-and-earn’ games.” Because of this accessibility is a chief philosophy for the Pixlverse which they plan to execute through leasing and breeding.
Leasing is a game mechanic made to allow players to participate in the Pixlverse and play the PixlPets battle game without actually owning a PixlPets. Similar to scholarships in Axie Infinity, new players can go to the Pet Center, pick out a team of 4 Pets, and immediately start battling. The owners of these Pets will automatically enter into a revenue share agreement with this player and earn a percentage of their Pixl winnings as passive income. This is designed to alleviate the pay-wall structure of many current GameFi games and mutually benefit all parties involved.
Breeding is another aspect of the Pixlverse that will help increase the accessibility of the world while adding new experiences to the game flow. Breeding will require two Pets and be limited based on a few factors: namely time and breed (genesis or not). We don’t know much yet about the specifics of breeding but we do know that offspring will depend on the genetic structure of the parents and that genesis Pets will have unlimited breeding capabilities. Breeding will bring an influx of Pets into the ecosystem that will allow genesis holders to reap financial benefits from their offspring and give people a lower price point to enter the Pixlverse. Through leasing, breeding, and sponsorship It’s likely that pet management will become a major ecosystem within the Pixlverse itself. This de-coupling from gameplay will enable players, if they want, to focus on the one aspect of the game they are most interested in.
After what has been a very exciting year for NFTs, we are beginning to see the market mature and communities establish themselves for the long term. Teams of various projects have made big promises and soon they will have to deliver value back to their communities. With an exciting new take on the traditional play-to-earn model with play-and-earn, Pixlverse has situated itself to do just that. Their core focus on collaboration when it comes to building, instead of competition, will make Pixlverse a base layer for projects to build their own narratives and games on top of. This will position the Pixlverse to become a community of communities that has the potential to outpace any solo initiative.
Like our newsletter has discussed with previous issues, capturing attention and network effects are critical to building a successful project in crypto. Similar to TreasureDAO, Pixlverse has built an in-house marketplace and a native token for its ecosystem, which will help alleviate liquidity issues and hopefully sustain its play-and-earn model.
The full launch of the Pixl Pet’s PVP arena has not been announced yet, but the Pixlverse team has shown a strong commitment to delivering on their promises. We look forward to seeing how they will continue to innovate over the next few months and push GameFi towards its full potential.
Wabdoeth - Co-founder of the Sappy Seals and Head of Marketing
CryptoKass - Co-founder of the Sappy Seals and Head of Operations
Ephi_BL - Visionary and Lead Game Designer
TheDiakou - Visionary and Lead Game Designer
gunga_eth - Head of Technical Development
QQ - Technical Game Development
NFTzyBoi - Head of Funding and Lead Tokenomics Engineer
camolNFT - Community Manager
MooneyNFT - Community Manager
jah_eth - Community Manager
Pixlverse Website - https://thepixlverse.com/
Pixlverse Twitter - https://twitter.com/ThePixlverse
Pixlverse Discord - https://discord.gg/75CGJXP3j9
Genesis Pixl Pets OpenSea - https://opensea.io/collection/pixl-pets-genesis
Genesis Pixl Pets Contract - https://etherscan.io/address/0x4e76c23FE2a4E37B5E07b5625E17098bAaB86c18#code
Pixlverse Items - https://opensea.io/collection/pixlverse-items
Pixl Palaces - https://opensea.io/collection/pixl-palace