After the highly anticipated artwork series was panned as shoddily made and just plain ugly, the Pixelmon non-fungible token (NFT) initiative became the laughingstock of crypto Twitter.
One Pixelmon owner said that their Pixelmon hatched half-submerged in a patch of grass and appeared to be “dead,” while another said he received an empty patch of grass with no Pixelmon in sight.
Even the Pixelmon creators admitted that the NFTs were of “poor quality.”
Pixelmon generated a stunning $70 million on mint on February 7, making it one of the most successful launch sales in the NFT industry. The project sold out in less than a day, with buyers paying up to 3 ETH per mint (about $9,200 based on past ether pricing).
The “biggest and greatest quality game the NFT area has ever seen,” according to the project’s route map or “lite paper.”
This involved creating a Pixelmon metaverse with play-to-earn features and advantages for “Generation 1” Pixelmon owners, such as land airdrops, early access to the Pixelmon token presale, and staking awards.
The Pixelmon crew quickly issued an apology and went into damage control mode in response to the social media outcry.
“I would like to apologize on behalf of myself and Pixelmon for everyone that has been affected by this,” project lead Syber said Sunday in an “Ask Me Anything” (AMA) forum held on the Pixelmon Discord channel. “When we began this project, we were not thinking it would get as big as this.”
Syber blamed the failed artwork on poor execution and a “very small team,” promising to compensate Pixelmon NFT owners.
The pseudonymous Syber revealed himself to be a 21-year-old male named Martin in another Discord announcement. “The lives of my team and family have been threatened,” he added.
“The plan was always to use the funding raised from mint to create proper and better models –- our NFTs are updatable and what they look like now is poor quality – we own up to that – they will be made better,” he wrote in a Discord announcement. “We felt pressured to push reveal and the reality is we weren’t ready to push the art work.”
Pixelmon, according to Syber, is working to correct the situation. The initiative announced on Saturday that it has struck a cooperation with Magic Media, a video game development studio, to complete the game.
“The team has taken a step back to examine the issue so we can move ahead even stronger,” Syber stated in a Discord message today. We’re currently in discussions with a number of consultants, credible project managers, and public relations agencies.”
On the marketplace OpenSea, the Pixelmon NFTs were trading at a floor price of around 0.4 ETH, or $1,100, as of Monday afternoon.
However, the whole experience appears to have increased the value of some Pixelmon NFTs.
On OpenSea, the viral “Kevin” character, which some have compared to an ugly zombie Squirtle, is fetching almost 3 ETH.