In the summer of 2021, Axie Infinity provoked strong market excitement with its groundbreaking Play-To-Earn model. The success of Axie popularized the concept of GameFi and attracted a large crowd of developers and investors to join the GameFi craze, which triggered the appearance of multiple GameFi projects. In an effort to replicate the success of Axie, these latecomers transplanted the model onto other public chains.
Crypto Unicorns (CU) is a Polygon-powered decentralized game that aims to provide gaming experiences that integrate Play with Earn through the Play-and-Earn gameplay. At its core, CU features unicorns. In addition, there are also assets like land, berries, and milk in the game. Centering on unicorns, CU will launch Farming Gameplay followed by Jousting, Racing, and Team RPG Battle.
In November 2021, CU released 10,000 genesis Unicorn eggs on its official website at the unit price of 0.1 ETH. Through minting, users get Unicorn eggs, which are similar to mystery boxes, and pay network fees to hatch Unicorns. There are 9 Unicorn classes, the six classes covered by genesis eggs are Heart, Flower, Candy, Crystal, Cloud, and Moon, and the three hidden classes are Rainbow, Star, and OmNom. In addition to the class, each Unicorn has 6 parts and 18 genes. These genes determine a Unicorn’s attributes, abilities, and type, which come with different uses in subsequent games.
Each Unicorn hatched from a genesis egg can be bred up to 8 times. Breeding Unicorns costs Unicorn Milk, Rainbow Tokens, and Normal Berries, and as more Unicorns are bred, the cost increases. In addition, players can use boosters to increase the chance of the parents passing down their superior genes to the newborn Unicorn.
Land NFTs are the building blocks of CU, which is a farming simulation game. Players can assign their Unicorns to Land for agricultural production, including berry farming, and create other buildings on the land. CU has sold land NFTs for three consecutive months since November 21, with a total supply of 30,000 plots. There are three rarities of Land NFTs: Common, Rare, and Mythic. Players will form Neighborhoods by bringing their land plots together with guildmates, which will maximize their productive output. This gameplay will also meet players’ need for social interactions.
Axie Infinity’s Play-to-Earn model swept emerging markets, attracting droves of active users. To maintain existing assets or attract new funds, the model requires a well-designed game economy and sound token liquidity in secondary markets. However, failing to meet such requirements, most of copycat projects have diminished after an initial boom.
CU plans to build a sustainable economic system by optimizing the in-game economics, thereby balancing the relationship between Play and Earn. This approach not only provides players with economic benefits but also creates more medium-long-term values, such as the joy of gaming. The token design of the CU economy adopts a dual-token system that’s similar to that of Axie Infinity: Rainbow Token (RBW), which resembles AXS, serves as its governance token, while Unicorn Milk (UNIM), which is like SLP, functions as its consumption token and comes with an unlimited supply. Before its first game went live, to create a sound economic system over time, CU rewarded players who are willing to grow with the game through events such as free UNIM for staking Unicorn NFTs, free in-game items for staking RBW for 12 months, and free in-game items for taking a snapshot of UNIM balance. After the game is officially launched, farming has become the core of the entire economic system, which simulates real-world economic development — players holding different classes of Unicorns specialize in different production tasks, which enabled a suitable division of labor.
On May 2, 2022, the farming simulation game went live, bringing harvesting, crafting, gathering, Unicorn breeding, Unicorn evolution, and the introduction of the Rainbow Token marketplace. This phase will focus on Unicorn NFT growth via breeding and recruiting new players.
In Q2 2022, CU will be introducing Jousting Neighborhoods. The game will be launching nine Jousting Arenas over time to match each Unicorn class.
Racing will be released in Q3 2022. With Racing, players will enter their Unicorns in tournaments across a wide variety of tracks each with unique properties including weather.
In Q4 2022, CU will launch a 5v5 Team RPG with PvE and PvP components.
Team and institutional investors
According to its official website, Laguna Games, the team behind CU, is a world-class game development studio, with members from top companies and a strong track record in game development. As for institutional investors, in the second half of 2021, CU completed a $5 million seed round funding led by Bitkraft Ventures and Delphi Digital, with involvement from Transcend Fund, Headline Ventures, and Polygon Studios. In particular, Bitkraft Ventures has launched a $75 million investment fund for blockchain games and led a $60 million Series B investment in Immutable X. Delphi Digital, which is a well-known blockchain research and investment institution, excels at designing economic models and has helped Axie optimize its economic model.
In March 2022, CU concluded a $26 million token sale led by TCG and Backed VC. TCG is a unicorn company that has invested in multiple traditional sectors and crypto projects, including OpenSea and Dapper Labs. (TCG: https://tcg.co/portfolio/)
One of the most popular games on Polygon
CU’s first game has already been launched on May 2, 2022. Though it took nearly half a year from the release of Unicorn NFTs to the game’s launch, CU still received tons of market attention thanks to its world-class team, as well as a strong lineup of distinguished investors. As of May 6, 2022, CU has attracted over 42,000 Twitter followers and more than 37,000 community members on Discord.
With delicate game designs and cute styles, CU has earned extensive user recognition and may soon become one of the most popular games on Polygon.
* The above cannot be relied on as any investment advice.