Benzinga Exclusive: Will MetaHero Universe be the Marvel of NFTs?

Combining NFTs, DeFi rewards, and gamification with a new project in NFT comics and collectibles.

Would you pay $720 for a comic book? We remember being outraged when comics on the rack moved up from $.75 to $1.25, but one can’t turn back time and your opportunity to get in on the ground floor of the $720 comic book (the cost of 0.2 ETH in May) has passed. Now if you want issue #1 of PUNKS: “The Hunt for the Lost Robbies” you will be spending roughly $10,000 in ETH on the secondary market.

Punks Comic is brought to us by Pixel Vault. It’s a fully realized indie comic drawn by Chris Wahl, a Sydney-based artist who has done illustration for MARVEL, cover art for TANK GIRL, and art for DC Comics, Hasbro, The Phantom, Lucasfilm, and MAD magazine. It features characters inspired by NFT collectible trailblazers, CryptoPunks.

Pixel Vault is ready to offer more than just pride of ownership. Owners of PUNKS comic NFTs can stake their comics and earn $PUNKS tokens over a 24-month period. You also get fractional ownership of 16 CryptoPunks worth 600 ETH when the comic launched.


Or… you can burn your comic NFT. It seems a cold-blooded to burn a first-edition, mint-condition NFT issue #1 of PUNKS: “The Hunt for the Lost Robbies”. However, if you burned one during the burning period you were compensated with a Pixel Vault Founder’s DAO token. Like a choose-your-own-adventure book, but with a big financial incentive. The Founder’s DAO tokens are currently listed for just under $10,500.

And if you are an indie publisher and you make a hit based on a known commodity like CryptoPunks, what is the next logical step?
If you are made of ambition and creative zeal as Pixel Vault seems to be, you launch your own superhero comics universe complete with a stable of 140 core heroes.

Pixel Vault’s ambitious lineup of heroes in the MetaHero Universe is brought to us through Odious, their new art director. If you are an owner of PUNKS Comic you can purchase a Mintpass that may be exchanged for a Metahero at a future time.

So, how do you take a hit comic NFT and leverage it into a whole universe of superheroes? How do you optimize distribution specifically for the high-end collector so each issue becomes a cherished classic with a greatly increased value in just two months?

Pixel Vault Total sales from primary offerings is 2775 ETH which is worth $8,935,500 at the time of writing.

We spoke with CJ, VideoGameFreak, who works operations, business development, and media at Pixel Vault.

How would you describe Pixel Vault?

“Pixel Vault is at the intersection of NFTs and DeFi. We’re putting out what we believe is a very high bar of expectation for high-effort projects… And really building alongside the community, a community of supporters and collectors of our projects to continue to drive value to both the collectors and Pixel Vault.

So that’s where you see this self-feeding machine of… MetaHeroes incentivizing our early collectors of PUNKS Comic, the mechanisms of the staking and burning of the comic, providing a really interesting kind of push-and-pull balance of rewards,” CJ said.

Where do you see NFTs going?

“Well, I think it’s multifaceted. I think that NFTs are a higher beta version of Ethereum in a lot of ways. When I think NFTs I don’t inherently think NFT art. I think of the token, I think of utility, I think of all of the avenues in which that technology can be leveraged. NFT art is just the low hanging fruit that caught fire first,” CJ said.

What was the genesis of Pixel Vault?

“Founders Gfunk (@Gfunkera86), Preston Johnson (@SportsCheetah) and investor/advisor Beanie (@Beaniemaxi) — all three of them are NFT CryptoPunks collectors themselves. They got the inspiration to create original IP partially inspired by the CryptoPunks. So they brought Chris Wahl into the equation to create original characters based upon the pixelated JPG CryptoPunks. The comic book characters have taken upon lives of their own, and we’ll continue to see those characters develop a couple of comics down the line. The comics are representing fractionalized ownership of the underlying 16 CryptoPunks through staking of the PUNKS token.”

Is issue #1 of PUNKS: “The Hunt for the Lost Robbies” publicly available?

“It is not publicly available. It is accessed through a gated, tokenized access third-party website. So you do have to be in possession of the NFT in order to download it,” CJ said.

But once a token-holder makes a copy, how do you keep them from just sharing?

“It doesn’t reward them in any way. If anything, it would be at their own detriment. Because it doesn’t benefit the NFT holders to propagate the comic when the restricted access and the exclusivity of it is part of the appeal — being an Insider and in the know. And that’s a narrative that’s woven throughout the comic and it’s very topical. It’s relevant to what’s happening in the NFT culture. So there are many references and Easter eggs hidden throughout,” CJ said.

Have any of the big comic brands or other publishers come to you looking for a partnership?

“There have been some very big names that people would be familiar with, that have approached to either invest or collaborate. And the universal response is that investors will have no greater opportunity than the collectors that are already participating,” CJ said.

So in the MetaHero Universe, who are your standout characters?

“So there’s quite a few. There are what we call the core heroes, which is approximately 140 base characters that the generative characters are then going to be based upon. And they are coming from the planets throughout the MetaHero Universe,” CJ said.

So me about the upcoming game based on MetaHeroes. What style of game is it?

“It’s an interesting cross-section between an MMO and a shooter and incorporating those play-to-earn participation mechanics or the foundation of it is how do we incentivize and reward our collectors and players for participating and playing the game. With the tokens providing additional rewards and utility, how the driving factor is finding the fun because we’ve seen a lot a handful of these play-to-earn games really catch fire, but in our opinion, the game that can find their or find the balance of being a really fun game, that also rewards you for playing it is going to be something really special,” CJ said.

How story heavy will it be? Will it have missions like an MMO?

“You’re along the right lines. We will have some upcoming announcements shortly that will dive into the vision for the game and the lore. But yes, it’s working off the foundation of core heroes and villains. There’s a factionized participation there… where heroes can come together villains can unite together,” CJ said.

So you will have teamplay. Are you going to have PvP play?

“Yes. I don’t want to say much further than that,” CJ said.

Is the MetaHero Universe trying to be the next Marvel?

“We are trying to tackle what we think is an underserved market right now in comic books… the comic book market is sort of stagnant right now and we see that as an opportunity, using the medium of NFTs, to frictionlessly provide the collection component, and help build our collector base and our community around it. It’s different and very exciting,” CJ said.

Summary

The energy around Pixel Vault is palpable. They have had a triumphant three months. They have had one very solid hit with PUNKs comic and that put them in a good position to announce an even bigger project of completely independent IP with MetaHero Universe. A whole universe of heroes is a significant piece of IP to aspire to — but they can build that MetaHero Universe piece by piece, making money as they go and offering earnings and rewards to their exclusive fanbase.

It’s impressive that they are pivoting to a game — their strategy is to gamify the whole process of hyping, buying, and holding their NFTs. However, a game with the kind of team play they are thinking of can have a long development cycle.
In the meantime, I look forward to more great titles from Pixel Vault. If their content is as innovative as their use of NFTs and DeFi and gamification then we should see some really memorable special editions.

Published By : Yahoo! Finance

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