Major Hollywood talent agency William Morris Endeavor (WME) has signed a representation deal with blue chip nonfungible token (NFT) project Pudgy Penguins. The deal will help Pudgy Penguins to spread its intellectual property across film, television, and gaming. Pudgy Penguins has generated $250.2 million worth of sales on secondary markets since its launch in July 2021 and is the twenty-first highest-selling NFT project of all time. The project has already made moves to get the IP out into the mainstream, including the soft launch of physical Pudgy Penguin figurines that come with certificates of authenticity and a proof of ownership that is recorded on Ethereum.
Bitblox Games, a new blockchain gaming studio, has launched to build a suite of Web3 gambling games on the Solana-based Hxro Network. The studio will focus on developing player-to-player (P2P) games built around skill and speed, where players bet against each other as opposed to the ‘house’ such as Casino or bookie in regular gambling. The online gambling industry is estimated to grow 11.7% annually from 2023 to 2030, according to Grand View Research.
Palm NFT Studio has launched a new tool via Epic Games’ Unreal Engine that enables creators to make generative “game-ready” 3D assets and art collections. The tool, called the “Palm Generative Art Maker,” provides a simplified process for people to make generative art and assets, something which is usually quite complicated for creators that are not well versed in coding. The tool enables users to develop a concept in the plug-in, and then port the assets into Unreal Engine 5.1 to fine tune and add finishing details. From there, they can mint the assets as NFTs on the blockchain.
NFT start-up Cryptoys has unveiled the upcoming launch of Star Wars digital collectibles on the Flow blockchain. The NFT collectibles, or “digital toys” will drop on May 24, with each token priced at $39.99 a piece in a randomized “blind box,” with the buyer not knowing which character they got until after purchase. The NFTs will feature characters such as Darth Vader, Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia, and will come in different tiers of rarity ranging from common to ultra-grail.
In other news, Kenya’s lawmakers are considering the introduction of a 3% tax on crypto and NFT transfers and a 15% tax on monetized online content, according to a new bill introduced on May 4. Additionally, the former OpenSea manager who was accused of insider trading of NFTs was convicted on May 3 of wire fraud and money laundering in a New York federal court.