In November 2021, Dutch developer Lucky Kat sold 5,555 NFTs for its forthcoming game Panzerdogs in 15 minutes, making $1.1m. Unsurprisingly, the company is now all in on blockchain games.
Lucky Kat started out making pixel art indie games before going into hypercasual. But Herdjie Zhou’s team were feeling disheartened by the space’s relentless pace and fierce competition. So they started looking into doing something new.
“We thought hypercasual was a great fit for us as a small team,” Zhou tells us. “So we dove into that genre, learned a lot about how to market these games, how to make data driven games and how to iterate and optimise.”
But with giants like Voodoo dominating the space with heftier resources – and Apple’s privacy measures making it harder to market its games – Zhou and his team started looking into other genres.
With several team members already invested in blockchain, and increasing water cooler chat around the space, they decided to test the waters with an NFT game – Panzerdogs, a spin-off of Thunderdogs, with its canine characters now doing battle in tanks.
The team announced the game in crypto-friendly online communities and built a following on Twitter and Discord. The tanks and the avatars were minted as NFTs and placed on Solana marketplace Magic Eden, and went on sale one evening at 10pm.
“We made over a million in 15 minutes,” says Zhou. “At 10.15, boom, we were sold out. We were like, wow, what’s happening here, you know? And that’s how our journey started into crypto. Luckily, we had a great start. And I’m seeing it as validation of the project. The reason that we sold out within 15 minutes means that people really want to engage with this project. And it gives us a lot of confidence to move on and build it into a bigger project.”
Some quick maths to explain the finances here: Each of the 5,555 avatars were put on sale for 1 Solana each. 1 Solana, at the time, was worth around $200. So 5,555 x $200 is $1,111,000. And that’s not the end of it, because creator Lucky Kat gets a 5% fee every time its NFTs are sold on.
The Panzerdogs demo is out now on PC, and will come to mobile as the lead platform once the project is complete by the end of the year.