This Week in Crypto Games: GameStop Meme Coin Explodes, Pixelmon’s Comeback Continues

By Decrypt February 04, 2024 In Airdrop, Gaming, NFTs, Pixelmon

The crypto and NFT gaming space is busier than ever lately, what with prominent games starting to release, token airdrops piling up, and a seemingly constant array of other things happening at all times. It’s a lot to take in!

Luckily, Decrypt’s GG is all over it. And if you need a quick way to get caught up on the latest moves around crypto video games, we’re debuting This Week in Crypto Games.

Our weekend roundup serves up the biggest news from the past week, along with a few other tidbits you might have missed. We also showcase a few of our original stories from the week, and lastly give a brief update on the buzziest gaming airdrops of the moment.

Biggest news 🎮

GME 2.0: There’s a GameStop-inspired meme coin on Solana—and like most buzzy meme coins (including Dogecoin and BONK), it shot up rapidly before starting to crash down to earth. It also echoes GameStop’s own meme stock saga, but this token isn’t an official project.

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GME was down by over 50% as of early Friday but then was climbing again on Saturday morning, so who knows where it’ll be come Monday? Interestingly, Friday was also the day that GameStop’s own official NFT marketplace shut down, as announced in January.

Image: Pixelmon
Image: Pixelmon

Pixelmon plans: At the peak of NFT bull market hype in 2022, degens dropped $70 million on creatures from Pixelmon, a crypto take on Nintendo’s Pokémon sensation. The artwork, which the game’s founder called a “horrible mistake,” became an industry punchline.

But two years later, with new ownership (as of late 2022) and upgraded artwork, Pixelmon is turning into a real gaming ecosystem with games large and small—and newly minted $8 million seed raise from major backers ahead of a MON token launch.

Shrapnel early access: Anticipated extraction shooter Shrapnel, built on Avalanche, announced its early access launch on the Epic Games Store late Friday. Owners of “Extraction Pack” keys can grab the limited chunk of early gameplay and compete in upcoming sessions, help shape the game as it evolves, and potentially earn a share of SHRAP token rewards.

Binance pushes back: After fantasy game SkyArk Chronicles pulled in $115 million worth of bids for a buzzy NFT auction last weekend, Binance Labs called out the game studio for apparently misrepresenting its investment. SkyArk apologized, but the public pushback from the crypto giant’s VC arm left a lot of skeptics and grumbling NFT buyers in its wake.

ICYMI ⏱️

  • The Immutable zkEVM layer-2 scaling network on Ethereum launched this week in an early access mode as games like Guild of Guardians, Shardbound, and MetalCore plan their moves to the chain before the first half of the year ends.
  • Card-battler Parallel, which earned GG’s 2023 game of the year honors while still in closed beta, launched a fresh in-game season this week with new NFT cards—and teased an open beta rollout that sounds imminent.
  • Yuga Labs teased a new Otherside-themed mobile game this week, in development with studio Faraway. It looks like some sort of management or casual strategy game, and comes amid the launch of Serum City—a game from Faraway and Novel Labs featuring Mutant Apes (but not Yuga’s official Ape branding).

GG spotlight 👀

Here are a few of our original stories from this past week that we think are well worth a weekend read:

Airdrop ETA 💸

MixMob: Solana-based game MixMob airdropped its MXM token this week to NFT owners and beta players. It debuted on ByBit and there are staking rewards available, plus there are more token earnings and Saga smartphone benefits to come.

Portal: Cross-chain gaming token PORTAL was expected to launch its airdrop in January, but announced this week instead that it was launching a dashboard ahead of the impending drop.

WUF: The WAX NFT network took its first wallet snapshot this week for the impending airdrop of WUFFI (token name: WUF), a gaming meme coin that various WAX games plan to integrate ahead of a planned expansion to Solana. No word yet on the actual token drop.

MOCA: Mocaverse, the Animoca Brands metaverse gaming community, is getting a MOCA token via the MOCA Foundation. No word yet on timing or airdrop details, but Mocaverse will officially support the token and is lining up partners alongside it.

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