In February 2022, we saw one of the most amusing but damaging project reveals in Web3’s brief history: Pixelmon. The game raised over $70 million, some of that figure was through NFT sales that saw over 15 $ETH in volume. One even sold for around $8,000 at the time. Now, Pixelmon is looking to resurrect and regain the trust of its followers, and you know what? It just might.
The Original Pixelmon Catastrophe
Pixelmon had a lot of hype, a lot of funding, and some alluring previews of what was to come. The project aimed to be an expansive metaverse, to bridge NFT collectors, Web3 gamers, and traditional gamers onto one beautiful island to co-exist. You could adopt Pixelmon (purchase the NFTs), train them, fight them in tournaments, join teams, navigate social hubs, play mini-games, complete quests, collect resources… the list goes on. Like many Web3 projects, they were not short of ambition. Also like many Web3 projects, the launch was catastrophic.
In essence, the preview clips were in a different galaxy than what ended up being shown to players. All you need to know about the situation is contained in one of the best tweets crypto has ever seen:
AHAHA I'M DYING ! @Pixelmon WTF ? pic.twitter.com/z94thtcgrh
— LaGuez (@_LaGuez) February 26, 2022
Pixelmon Reborn: Under New Management
Like a failed restaurant, Pixelmon has hung out an “under new management” sign. The initial reveal in February was of such a comically low standard, it was undeniable and could not be shrugged off. The new Pixelmon management has not shied away from it, instead setting back the roadmap timeline and overhauling the art. In fact, the art style has changed completely from its blocky, Minecraft-esque origins.
LiquidX, a metaverse studio and VC firm, acquired a 60% stake in the Pixelmon project. Now, LiquidX’s co-founder, Giulio Xiloyannis, has been hired as the CEO of Pixelmon. In addition to Xiloyannis, a new lead 3D artist has been hired, Cosmo Midias. While Xiloyannis has taken one of the most difficult jobs in Web3 right now, Midias has taken on the easiest; if the art is created outside of MS Paint, it will have come on leaps and bounds. Fortunately, Midias also appears tremendously talented and the latest 3D models are looking superb.
We've been sharing updates and redesigns with our holders in discord throughout these past few months – be sure to check out our Art Updates channel to see the latest character progress! pic.twitter.com/lZCbcixgLm
— Pixelmon (@Pixelmon) May 26, 2022
The new leadership team has already conducted a Q&A, albeit with either highly cherrypicked questions or planted audience members. However, a more interesting interview was with Midias which was live on Twitch, but a Medium article contains a lot of the information.
I also appreciate that the new team isn’t taking Pixelmon’s history too hard or making it taboo to talk about. As you can see below, Kevin (the character who shot to infamy and can be seen on the left of the lead image) is still in the hearts of many.
— Pixelmon (@Pixelmon) September 27, 2022
Will this new team resurrect a project many had decided was a scam? Not necessarily, but maybe. Do you remember in Arrested Development when the Bluth Company is moved up from a “triple sell” to “don’t buy”? Well, that’s where I’m at now. The project is interesting enough that I will follow it, and the new direction and art both give me hope, but it’s still incredibly ambitious and has a starting point far behind projects of neutral standing.