This Week in Web3 and NFTs: CryptoPunks, Nifty Island, Cool Cats, & more

CryptoPunk #6940
This Week in Web3 and NFTs: CryptoPunks, Nifty Island, Cool Cats, & more
CryptoPunk #6940

Welcome to the OpenSea digest. Let’s look back through the biggest NFT and web3 news of the week.

CryptoPunk #6940 Sells for Over $500,000 USD

A big-ticket NFT sale just gave us flashbacks to the 2021 bull run. On January 21, CryptoPunk #6940 changed hands for a staggering 205 ETH (approximately $507,617 at the time of sale), marking the highest sale in the NFT space over the past month. 

More broadly speaking, the sale occurred at a moment when web3 news outlets everywhere reported a 17.72% surge in sales volume across the whole NFT market. But even independent of general market conditions, the sale is undoubtedly significant. Punk #6940's journey from its modest 0.280 ETH minting price (roughly $128) in December 2017 to half a million dollars today exemplifies a sustained long-term interest in digital art collectibles. 

The sale follows another relatively recent headline-grabbing transaction made in November 2023, when CryptoPunk #7458 sold for 600 ETH (approximately $1.14 million at the time).

As the NFT market continues its upward trajectory, collectors and investors alike are keenly watching.

‘Axie Infinity: Homeland’ Launches

Axie Infinity players: If you were feeling overlooked, your fate is about to turn around. Axie just launched its Homeland Beta, promising to increase the number of daily active users (DAU) and juice up its gameplay incentives with what the company describes as a “reward renaissance” for active players.

The Beta phase kicked off on January 24 and will shift the focus from land staking rewards to increased in-game earnings. Homeland will also introduce a variety of new ways for players to collect rewards, such as daily emissions, Moonfall, Moonbeam, and special quests. 

Other key updates include a major graphics overhaul, a Land Delegation marketplace, NFT Axie integration, material quality upgrades, and an enhanced AXS reward loop. The daily earning cap per plot has also significantly increased, alongside the Moonfall reward pool, offering players as many as 45 daily prizes.

'Nifty Island' Game Launches Open Beta

Nifty Island, a new social multiplayer game, launched its public beta on January 17. The game combines user-generated content (UGC) with NFT incentives and invites players to explore, build, and customize their own islands for free, similar to popular worlds like Roblox and Fortnite's UGC mode. 

It’s also competitive, with special (and intense) “Capture the Flag” and “Team Deathmatch” modes. In addition, players can collect "blooms" and unlock NFT rewards. The game embraces a multi-chain approach and is partnering with over 120 NFT collections to give players ultimate avatar customizability.

Currently available for Windows or Mac, Nifty Island also introduces a novel "play-to-airdrop" model which is designed to reward gamers with its native token. 

LiveArt to Launch Chris Levine’s First NFT Collection Featuring Banksy and More

The global web3 art platform LiveArt has teamed up with U.K.-based light artist Chris Levine for his debut NFT series, "Icons," which blends digital and physical works. 

The collection features 500 NFTs, each coupled with a signed fine art print of cultural giants like Banksy and Kate Moss. A portion of the proceeds will reportedly aid the Trussell Trust’s fight against UK hunger and poverty. 

Levine, known for his transformative light art and holography (including a famous Queen Elizabeth II portrait) is freshly venturing into web3, promising collectors a novel art experience. The “Icons'' collection marries Levine’s groundbreaking work with LiveArt's digital platform. Pre-sales are exclusive to LiveArt Pass holders, with the official launch slated for January 31. You can mint your LiveArt Pass on OpenSea.

SEGA Joins Finschia Foundation as a Governance Member

SEGA has stepped into the web3 arena with Finschia Foundation, joining as a Governance Member through its Singapore subsidiary. This collaboration marks SEGA Singapore's entry into decision-making and network validation within the Finschia ecosystem. 

In addition to governance, SEGA is also set to develop web3 games leveraging its iconic IP, signaling a new chapter of immersive gaming experiences. Alongside industry giants like SoftBank and LINE NEXT, SEGA's partnership with Finschia promises to blend traditional gaming prowess with cutting-edge blockchain technology, fueling anticipation for what's next in the gaming world.

Immutable Partners with Cool Cats

Cool Cats just entered into the mobile gaming scene with web3 gaming ecosystem Immutable, utilizing the cutting-edge Immutable zkEVM by Polygon

The partnership, featuring exciting collaborations with SyncStudio and PlayEmber, will soon unveil its first live mobile game, "Cool Cats: Match Quest.”

Available to users worldwide, the game will integrate Immutable Passport to manage on-chain identity and sign-on, lessening friction so players can more easily embark on adventures in Cool Cats’ Cooltopia and win unique digital cosmetics.

As Cool Cats ventures into web3 gaming's future, this move represents a major milestone in blending NFT culture with interactive gaming experiences.

Darewise, Animoca Japan, and Honda Announce Collaboration

Global metaverse innovation company Darewise Entertainment, alongside Animoca Brands Japan, teamed up with automotive giant Honda to co-develop innovative web3 automotive gameplay in the upcoming sci-fi massive multiplayer online game (MMO), Life Beyond

Set on the fictional planet of Dolos, this partnership promises to integrate Honda's pioneering innovation into the game, offering players new transportation methods and vehicle-related gameplay. The collaboration aims to blend Honda's world-class craftsmanship with Life Beyond's expansive universe, enhancing player experience with unique in-game items and activities inspired by Honda. 

This venture marks a significant step towards merging traditional automotive engineering with the growing web3 gaming landscape, driving forward the future of interactive digital entertainment.

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