168 Interactions, 6 Today
Even if you lose, you win: the latest auction model for the Ethereum-based virtual pet game promises to trigger a large gaming NFT drop.
Aavegotchi functions similarly to a crypto-infused Tamagotchi: maintain your pet ghost fit and spritely, and you’ll earn yield farming token incentives via Aave, a decentralised finance lending protocol. It’s the most recent entry in the burgeoning “play-to-earn” genre, a new form of videogame that helps pay the bills. Pixelcraft Studios is now pioneering a new subgenre for the game’s NFT auctions: “bid-to-earn.”
The Aavegotchi Haunt 2 NFT auction, which began Thursday and ends today, pays users for bidding on NFTs—crypto-collectibles—even if they lose the auction. When players are outbid, they get their bidded GHST tokens back, plus a payout of up to 10% of the original bid. The extra money comes from the bid that topped them.
Pixelcraft founder and COO Jesse Johnson told Decrypt the team revised the auction model after the first Haunt drop in March, in which 10,000 Aavegotchi NFTs sold out in 60 seconds. Although the auction was a success for Pixelcraft, many players couldn’t secure an NFT—and so couldn’t play the game without buying a ghost on a secondary marketplace.
“We had already established a tight-knit community over six months of intense creativity and development. The fact that the majority of the community came away empty-handed was definitely a failure,” said Johnson. “From that moment forward, we were determined to uncover better methods for NFT distribution.”
GBM licenced the new auction structure to Pixelcraft. Cryptograph utilised it for NFT auctions involving Paris Hilton and Ashton Kutcher. GBM, according to Johnson, has “galaxy brains” for developing a system that incentivizes users to bid on NFTs.
“This new approach is about more than just monetary incentives,” Johnson explained. “When you combine a GBM auction with a communication layer like Discord, you get a unique social experience. Across the board, the results are powerful and positive.”
An NFT acts as a proof of ownership for a digital or physical asset. While they are commonly used for generative artwork, profile images, and video clips, they can also be used to represent interactive video game elements.
The Ethereum-based monster-battling game Axie Infinity is the leading example in the space: its cute creature NFTs have generated just over $1.6 billion in transaction volume to date, according to CryptoSlam.
Aavegotchi’s Haunt 2 sale includes 12,000 portal NFTs for summoning the game’s ghosts, as well as a variety of wearing items for altering the creatures’ appearance. The auction will be held using Polygon, an Ethereum layer-2 scaling solution, until Sunday, August 29.
Pixelcraft reported that more than $60.8 million in bids were put in the first 24 hours, with around $1.5 million in incentives granted to users among 68,000 total rewards. So far, the biggest offer on a single item is 71,500 GHST (about $143,000) for a pair of “matrix eyes.”
Rather than trying to hide or reduce Aavegotchi’s crypto element, Johnson’s team is celebrating it with this auction format—and rewarding customers who participate. “GBM’s bid-to-earn approach, combined with Aavegotchi’s 100 percent on-chain ethos, has proven to be extremely powerful,” he said.
“We believe that cryptocurrency is popular. It should not be ‘abstracted away,’ but rather brought front and centre. Only then can events like the auction this weekend take place. The greatest of Web3 brings people together in fresh and meaningful ways that are explicitly gamified and memorable.”