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Game Watch January 20, 2023

The $450M Bored Ape Metaverse Collapsed Servers at Launch



The $450M Bored Ape Metaverse Collapsed Servers at Launch

Dookey Dash, a game where players trudge through a messy sewer system in search of a key to a treasure that a monkey excreted, has gone live. The Bored Ape Yacht Club, or BAYC, launched the game on Jan. 18 to a collapsing server.

According to the Bored Ape Yacht Club trailer on Twitter, the game evolves around the story of Jimmy the Monkey, whose “atomic shit or excretion” during a party at the yacht club accidentally opens a spacetime continuum.

Long story short, a mysterious figure appears, presents a box and a key to open it. For some strange reason, Jimmy the Monkey ends up swallowing the key and attempts to excrete without success.

With the key stuck in his alimentary canal, players have to traverse through the sewer that is the human system – well, monkey system really – and navigate the various bends to uncork Jimmy from below.

ApeCoin (APE), the native token of the BAYC metaverse, rose 7% to $4.92 on the news. The asset has plunged more than 81% from its all-time-high of $26.70 on Apr. 28, 2022, according to CoinGecko.

Dookey part of $450M Bored Ape metaverse

Like Temple Run, the popular infinite runner that crossed one billion downloads in 2014, Dookey Dash is another one in the genre. The game will be the first that Yuga Labs, the company behind the popular BAYC, has launched as part of its $450 million metaverse initiative.

It remains to be seen whether the game will be as fun as its storyline. Dookey Dash players will need what is being described by Yuga Labs as a “Sewer Pass” NFT to play. Those who already own a Bored Ape or Mutant Ape NFT can automatically play the controversial game.

Also read: Metaverse Creator Stephenson Opens Up On It 30 Years Later

Another option will be through the acquisition of one from someone else who has the Sewer Pass. By surviving the run, collecting “fragments,” and avoiding obstacles, a player can also accumulate points.

In the fashion of Temple Run, Dookey Dash will also have small transactions where players can buy things like boosters with cryptocurrency. In three week’s time, players must attempt to achieve the highest score possible by collecting items and completing quests in the game.

After that, a process of validating sewer passes will commence on Feb. 15, with the highest scorer winning a key to a “mysterious and very important box.” The sewer passes boast of four different tiers. Of these, the higher tiers award players with higher scores due to multipliers and also allows users to purchase power-up packs for 2 APE, or about $10 at prevailing market prices.

“On February 15th, validated Sewer Passes will be eligible to transform into a mysterious new power source,” the official BAYC account tweeted.

‘Too much excitement’ crashes servers

The game’s launch has not been without problems after the server collapsed owing to what the company described as “too much excitement for the server to handle.”

“Server issues have been fixed, Dookey Dash is back online. ApeCoin boosts that expired during the downtime will be refunded its full amount back to the wallet they were purchased from,” the company said in a tweet.

It seems players are having a good time. “First run through Dookey Dash, already addicting af Super clean UI on mobile, even through MetaMask browser! Well done Team Yuga!,” reads a tweet from Chris.

BAYC says it is not joking about monkey turd. “We’re taking this shit seriously and won’t tolerate any monkey business on the leaderboards,” it warned.

“We’ll be keeping our eyes peeled throughout the activation for any cheating and hold the right to remove any suspect scores after our auditing process.”

Image credits: Shutterstock, CC images, Midjourney, Unsplash.


Floki Inu (FLOKI) Volumes Surge 300% on China Metaverse Game Plans



Floki Inu (FLOKI) Volumes Surge 300% on China Metaverse Game Plans

The price of Floki Inu (FLOKI), a memecoin inspired by Elon Musk’s pet dog, jumped 15% on Sunday and trading volumes soared over 300% on Monday. The rally came as traders and investors bet on the project, which is pushing to attract more users for its Valhalla metaverse game in China.

FLOKI surged from $0.00003120 to $0.00003587 over the weekend, according to CoinGecko data. Trading volume for the token climbed to $99 million on May 29, up nearly 300% from the previous week’s average of $25 million.

As of writing, however, the price of FLOKI fell 2% on the day to $0.00003291 and average 24-hour trading volume dropped to $17.12 million. The token is down more than 90% since its all time high of $0.00033651 on Nov. 4, 2021.

Floki Inu (FLOKI) Volumes Surge 300% on China Metaverse Game Plans

FLOKI 7-day price ($)

Chinese flock to FLOKI

Floki is a cryptocurrency that began life as a memecoin but has evolved to become a fully fledged web3 project. Created in Sept. 2021 by an anonymous team of developers, the Floki ecosystem now includes a decentralized exchange, an NFT marketplace, and Valhalla.

In February, the team announced it would be targeting China in its latest push to attract more players for Valhalla, a play-to-earn (P2P) metaverse game that allows players to earn FLOKI tokens by completing quests and battling other players.

Also read: BBC’s Doctor Who and Top Gear Coming to the Sandbox Metaverse

Since the announcement, Floki now has a Chinese website and its technical documents, including the whitepaper, are available in the language. Floki is working with Btok, a popular web3 social network in China, to “introduce FLOKI to 10 million Chinese crypto users.”

Floki has also been running ads for Valhalla during some of the biggest sporting events in China such as the Chinese Super League and the Chinese Basketball Association. It also sponsored the just-ended World Table Tennis Championships Finals in South Africa.

The ads have helped to raise awareness of the metaverse game among Chinese gamers.

“We’ve gotten an influx of Chinese traffic today due to the CCTV-5 [the main sports channel in China] feature, and we want to remind you that FLOKI is strategically positioned for Hong Kong and China opening up to crypto,” said the Floki team in a tweet.

Hong Kong eases crypto regulations

The focus on China is a major development for Floki. The Chinese market is one of the largest and most lucrative in the world, and if FLOKI can successfully tap into this market, it could see significant growth in the coming years, observers say.

Floki’s China push comes at a time when the Hong Kong government is expected to legalize crypto trading starting June 1, allowing citizens to invest in assets such as bitcoin (BTC) and ethereum (ETH) on regulated crypto exchanges.

“While FLOKI is a global cryptocurrency our goal is to be the most known/used crypto. That won’t be possible without China and Hong Kong,” the team wrote on Twitter.

The Chinese version of Floki’s play-to-earn metaverse game Valhalla will be released in the second half of 2023 and will feature a variety of gaming experiences like racing, fighting, and role-playing, it added.

On mainnet, users would have to hold a certain amount of FLOKI in their wallet to make a character playable. The game is still in development, but it has already generated a lot of excitement among the Floki Inu community

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Kids’ Favorites Lego, Thunderbirds and Pokémon Set to Join Metaverse



Kids’ Favorites Lego, Thunderbirds and Pokemon Set to Join Metaverse

Kids’ favorites Lego and Thunderbirds are set to join the metaverse, having recently signed partnership deals with Epic Games and Sandbox respectively. At the same time, collectibles game Pokémon is seeking an expert in blockchain, NFTs, and the metaverse to join its team as children’s brands strive to keep up with the rapid pace of technological innovation. 

With children often quicker to adapt to and adopt new technologies than their parents, children’s brands can’t afford to miss the opportunities the metaverse presents.

Lego builds metaverse dream

Danish toy company Lego has teamed up with Fortnite’s parent firm Epic Games to enter the metaverse market. The plan for Lego is to begin offering its products within the virtual realm and to allow creative minds to start building in the metaverse.

Lego ceo Niels Christiansen revealed the company would take its signature brand and philosophy from traditional shops into immersive 3D. 

“We know very well how to immerse consumers into the Lego universe in stores,” said Christiansen to Yahoo Finance on Monday.

“We’re working very hard to create that feeling of getting into the Lego brand universe also digitally.”

The toy company is no stranger to innovation. In 2022, 48% of its toy line consisted of lines launched that year. The same philosophy of renewal should serve the company well in the digital space.

Lego will utilize Epic Games’ Unreal Engine after a significant $2 billion investment with the firm. Last year, Lego recorded a surge in profitability with revenues of 7.7 billion, a 17% increase over the previous year.

Christiansen has credited the company’s previous efforts in digital media for the rapid growth. It hopes to increase that growth yet further thanks to its partnership with Epic Games.

Thunderbirds are go

British television group ITV Studios has partnered with Web3 firm Reality+ to take the Thunderbirds into the metaverse

Tracy Island, the not-so-top-secret international rescue headquarters, will be available in the Sandbox metaverse from Monday, March 13. The experience will consist of 15 quests and mini-games and will of course feature Thunderbird NFTs.

Lucie Stoffers, the head of brand and licensing at ITV Studios, was keen to street the importance of the deal. 

“We are super excited to work with Reality+ and The Sandbox team to take the next step in our partnership and bring Thunderbirds to The Sandbox,” said Stoffers on Monday.

“This will allow Thunderbirds fans from around the world to discover Tracy Island and complete new rescue missions, as well as get access to a bespoke NFT collection.”

Pokémon for blockchain, NFTs, and the metaverse

While some brands find their audiences more than ready to jump into the metaverse, others are slightly more cautious.

The perfect example of this is Pokémon. A recent job posting for ‘Corporate Development Principal’ indicates the company is seeking to further explore the convergence of these technologies and what they could bring to it moving forwards.

Pokémon’s job posting states that it requires someone with “deep knowledge and understanding of Web 3, including blockchain technologies and NFT, and/or metaverse.”

Augmented reality game Pokémon Go was arguably well ahead of its time. First launched in 2016, at its peak it was played by over 230 million players. Today Pokémon Go averages around 9 million daily players.

There are many reasons why Pokémon could be in a great position to exploit the current technology wave and turn it to its advantage. Now, all it needs to do is convince its skeptical fan base (see above tweet) that it’s the right move.

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New Pokémon Hire Suggests Gaming Giant is Eyeing NFTs, Metaverse



New Pokémon Hire Suggests Gaming Giant is Eyeing NFTs, Metaverse

The Pokémon Company is looking to hire a Web3 and blockchain tech expert, suggesting the Japanese gaming giant could be taking a more serious look at the metaverse and NFTs.

According to a recent job posting, The Pokémon Company wants to add to its president and corporate development team someone with a “deep knowledge and understanding of Web3, including blockchain technologies and NFT, and/or metaverse.”

The employee, a department head, is also expected to be “deeply connected to a network of investors and entrepreneurs in Web3 and metaverse.” Among some of the key result areas, the candidate should introduce “brand new Pokémon experiences to the world.”

Pokémon pivots to crypto gaming

Pokémon’s new hire represents a major pivot for the firm popular eponymous gaming franchise. For a long time, the company resisted dabbling in blockchain-based games, or even NFTs, preferring instead to stick to traditional games.

Also read: Instagram Abandons its NFT Feature One Year After Launch

In cryptocurrency gaming, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) can be bought, sold, traded, or used in other contexts outside of just one game. It means characters in the game could have monetary value. Blockchain games include types such as play-to-earn (P2E), move-to-earn (M2E), digital collectibles and others.

An NFT is an immutable and unique unit of data stored on the blockchain. NFTs can be used to represent items such as photos, videos, audio and other types of digital files. NFTs shot to prominence in 2020 when big brands and artists sold them for millions of dollars to cryptocurrency lovers.

However, nonfungible tokens appear to have lost some of their glitter thanks to a downturn in the main crypto markets. Despite waning interest, The Pokémon Company may be keen on venturing into blockchain gaming and NFTs, as per its job listing.

According to DappRadar, the blockchain gaming industry continued to see significant growth during the third quarter of 2022.

New Pokémon Hire Suggests Gaming Giant is Eyeing NFTs, Metaverse

The number of unique active wallets in the sector rose by 8%, or 912,000, month-over-month, ensuring its share of Web3 remained at over 48% in Q3. Gameta was the most used dapp in September, with over 1.33 million unique wallets.

Not all gamers love crypto gaming

Launched in 1996, The Pokémon Company is a Japanese company that builds video games. Its most popular is the Pokémon franchise, which consists of video game software, a trading card game, anime television series, films, home entertainment products, and other ventures.

The company is jointly owned by Nintendo, Game Freak, and Creatures. All three companies have officially announced an NFT-related project separate from Pokémon, which enjoys enjoys a cult following.

Pokémon is seen as some sort of prima donna within the blockchain space. It comes with an enviable “built-in fanbase, mobile and console-based games, and a trove of collectible trading cards, including some rare cards that sell for millions at auctions.”

But the company could face resistance from gamers who have previously registered their displeasure with video game developers stepping into crypto gaming. Some players argue that creating NFTs for popular game titles is a controversial way of monetizing video games.

Critics point to features such as loot boxes and in-game micro-transactions as a hindrance. Monetisation of popular games has also been tainted by the negative publicity around crypto assets, including scams, fraud and the collapse of exchanges.

Projects such as the iEA and Team 17, developers of the bestselling Worms franchise, have since abandoned plans for blockchain gaming, the UK’s Evening Standard reported. Others like Final Fantasy studio Square Enix remain interested in crypto-based games such as P2E.

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