A Metaverse Wolf? That’ll Be $80,000 in Ethereum, Please

Key Takeaways

Wolf Game is an NFT-based play-to-earn game on Ethereum. It launched last week and has already traded 12,300 ETH on OpenSea.
Despite several smart contract exploits, the game’s rarest NFTs are changing hands for upwards of $80,000.
Several fork projects hoping to emulate Wolf Game’s success have spawned following its rapid ascent.

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Several forks have spawned following Wolf Game’s launch. 

Wolf Game Trading Volume Soars on Launch 

After digital rocks and cats, NFT collectors have moved onto trading sheep and wolves in the Metaverse. 

A new project called Wolf Game launched Thursday and has quickly become a hit in the NFT community. It currently has the second highest volume on OpenSea with over 12,300 ETH traded, trailing only Bored Ape Yacht Club. 

The game combines NFTs and DeFi with play-to-earn and game theory dynamics. Players can collect digital sheep, which can also be staked to earn an in-game token called WOOL. However, it also features digital wolves, which can kidnap sheep and earn WOOL as a tax. Similar to other popular play-to-earn games like Axie Infinity, the game’s characters—in this case sheep and wolves—can be used to breed more NFTs. Players can also acquire rare plots of virtual land; the game’s lead developer, who goes by the name The Shepherd, announced that early supporters would be able to claim free plots earlier this morning. 

Though the full game is not due to land until early 2022, it conducted a “stealth launch” last week with an initial drop of 10,000 NFTs minted in around one hour. Priced at 0.06942 ETH, sheep are now trading for as high as 7.75 ETH worth over $30,000. Wolves, meanwhile, command a higher price tag as they can be used to steal sheep in the game. Several rare wolves have already traded for between $75,000 and $85,000 at publication. 

Smart Contract Exploits

The game’s sudden ascent was no doubt helped by the support it received from multiple NFT influencers. One well-known collector known as Beanie has heavily endorsed the game on their Twitter account over the last few days, while Pudgy Penguins co-founder COLE claims to have minted a collection of wolves and sheep that are now worth over $500,000. Gary Vaynerchuk, who’s been active in the NFT space throughout this year, said that he had purchased a Gen0 Alpha 7 Wolf, one of Wolf Game’s rarest NFTs, in the game’s Discord server last night. FaZe Banks, a friend of Vaynerchuk with a Twitter following of 2.8 million, has also indicated that he’s been following the project on his official account. “Gm to those playing games on the blockchain @wolfdotgame,” he wrote in a Sunday tweet. 

Wolf Game has also faced several major hurdles in its first few days. An exploit in the smart contract’s code reportedly allowed players to guarantee that they mint wolves, the more valuable NFTs, rather than sheep, forcing The Shepherd to change the rules of the game. Additionally, as the Twitter user notstoops reported, a further exploit gave players the option to claim 6 million WOOL tokens rather than the intended 20,000 when unstaking their sheep NFTs. The Shepherd confirmed that they had paused minting Saturday then paused other elements of the game after notstoops highlighted the issue. They wrote: 

“Honesty is an important part of my work. @not__stoops is 100% correct. He has found a vulnerability that puts WOOL creation and unstaking at risk. In aiming to revolutionize NFT gaming, my #1 priority is to fix this.”

Despite the smart contract issues, the high trading volumes indicate that the market’s interest is still high. As is often the case with the most successful crypto projects, several offshoot forks have surfaced over the last few days, including Avax WolfGame, WolfGame BSC, and Wizards & Dragons. Still, each of those will have to build an engaged community to generate as much hype as Wolf Game has. 

Disclosure: At the time of writing, the author of this feature owned ETH and several other cryptocurrencies. 

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