Pudgy Penguins, which announced that it will be releasing NFT-linked toys at Walmart this year, is entering a new industry: online gaming.
Pudgy World is an interactive digital playground for Pudgy Penguins NFT holders, toy owners, and newcomers.
Early access version launches by April next month
The early access version of Pudgy World will launch by April next year, and players will be able to choose between story-driven and open-ended playthroughs. Pudgy Penguins CEO Luca Netz made the announcement at the contemporary art event Art Basel held in Miami on the 9th.
“Pudgy Penguins fans have been waiting for more ways to interact with the characters for a long time,” Netz said, adding, “A place like Pudgy World gives players the ability to take their fandom to the next level.” “I can do it,” he said.
Walmart launches physical toys
Launched in July 2021, Penguin’s NFT project recovered after a period of infighting, including a change in management, and finally launched a series of tangible, real-world toys such as stuffed animals and figurines in the United States in September. announced that it will be sold at 2,000 Walmart stores. The deal marked one of the first major breakthroughs for NFT brands to enter mainstream consumer culture.
Netz told TechCrunch that he expects toy sales of more than $10 million (approximately 1.45 billion yen, equivalent to 145 yen to the dollar) in the second half of this year.
Toy manufacturers are increasingly rolling out physical toys alongside virtual gameplay tie-ins for the digitally native generation of consumers. Last summer, toy maker Spin Master released Bitzee, a Tamagotchi-like virtual pet that comes in a palm-sized box. Meanwhile, Hot Wheels this year released the Rift Rally Game, an immersive virtual world that owners of toy car kits can access.
CoinDesk previously reported that Pudgy Penguins toys will come with a scannable code containing a birth certificate for Forever Pudgy, a character who lives within Pudgy World.
According to Pudgy Penguins, players will be able to explore Pudgy World as their own customizable character. The brand’s first “hero characters”, Pudgy and Peaches, will also appear in the virtual world.
The Pudgy Penguins NFT collection first launched in July 2021 and sold out within minutes. Since then, it has grown to over 4,000 people holding 8,888 NFTs, according to data from NFT marketplace OpenSea. The collection’s starting price is about $27,000, up from $90 more than two years ago. According to data from CoinGecko, the collection has a market capitalization of approximately $250 million.
｜Translation and editing: Rinan Hayashi
｜Original text: Pudgy Penguins to Launch Webkinz-like Virtual World in 2024