Months after becoming the laughing stock of the NFT community, the once-hyped Pixelmon project is attempting a comeback.
In February 2022, Pixelmon raised $70 million from the sale of around 8,000 NFTs. The team promised to deliver a Pokémon-esque experience, a claim that gave gamers all over Web3 reasons enough to invest in the project, despite the lack of information on the game’s development. To the surprise of many investors and the general NFT community, the project unveiled a ragged artwork that was widely panned and converted to memes.
To prove the extent of the damage, a founder of the project went as far as labeling the art reveal a “horrible mistake.”
Several months later, it appears the Ethereum-based game project is staging a comeback. On Tuesday, Pixelmon announced a new leadership team and presented a new roadmap following the release of a more polished artwork.
The joke NFTs which sold for as much as 3 ETH ($8,100) apiece in February has now been remade into interoperable 3D characters that can be used within Pixelmon’s upcoming online game.
Earlier this year, Pixelmon was taken over by Web3 VC studio LiquidX, with the latter acquiring a 60% stake in the project. Moving forward, LiquidX co-founder Giulio Xiloyannis will serve as CEO of Pixelmon.
“I firmly believe that over time we will be able to build Pixelmon into one of the strongest IPs in the gaming and web3 spaces, spanning across an ecosystem of entertainment-related assets. These assets will be interconnected and interoperable thanks to NFT technology. Gamers will be able to port characters, abilities and skins across the ecosystem, and NFT holders will be able to benefit from the performance of all assets,” said the new CEO in a press release.
Apart from remaking the art, Pixelmon is planning to launch a brand-new collection to go with its upcoming game. The Gen1 Pixelmon collectibles will reportedly “encompass 68 genesis playable species and over 130 unique evolutions,” the company said in a press release. Early adopters have also been promised exclusive access to in-game land.
Although Pixelmon had initially planned to debut a playable alpha test version of the game by the end of 2022, alpha testing for the game will begin in Q1 2023 under the new roadmap. The updated roadmap features game items like virtual land NFTs, as well as utility and governance tokens to fuel the game’s economy. In general, the full game is expected to be released by late 2023.
Meanwhile, Pixelmon has revealed that it will offer a free-to-play mode that can be accessed by anyone without a monster NFT, which is currently priced at around $500.
Interestingly, while the test of the artwork has been upgraded and overhauled, Pixelmon has left Kevin, one of the ragged items that turned it into an inglorious icon of the NFT space, largely untouched. Kevin is holding on to its ogre-like, pixelated form.