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MetaVault: May 11th Town Hall Recap
Sidekicks = DOTs & Species? PV Sports? MetaHero rebranding? Lots to unpack from the latest PV Town Hall
This is MetaVault, the best way to keep up with the Pixel Vault universe: PUNKS Comic, MetaHero, United Planets, $PUNKS, $POW, and lots of DAOs.
Billed as the “One Year Celebration,” the May 11th PV Town Hall was the first major event held since their announcement of VC funding on February 2nd. And boy was it packed. We’ll dive into the details in a second.
But there’s something that I want to elevate above the recap because I think it’s incredibly important — and not being discussed enough in the community.
The MetaHero name is going away! Huh?! Here’s GFunk’s very small reference:
And as we build out MetaHero — which, some secret alpha, is actually going to be renamed over over the next few weeks.
PV is changing the MetaHero branding to … something else. The heroes and villians in our wallets will be renamed. I don’t know of another major NFT project that rebranded like this. And look, I don’t know why they’re rebranding, GFunk didn’t go into it. But it’s a big deal.
And it appears as if it will just “happen” to us. What I mean by that is we’ll have no say in what the rebranding is. In a lot of ways that makes a ton of sense. Companies don’t often give their buying customers an opportunity to name their largest franchise. Got it. But that’s a very old school media way of thinking about it. And I’d like to think Web3 has shifted the lexicon from “customers” or “end users” to “community members.” We’re certainly not family — and maybe not frens. But we’re definitely community. And the only reason that MetaHero has been successful is because of the community.
Something to think about.
Ok, the structure for the recap is based on the sequence of items from GFunk’s letter to the community. I nestle in content from the Letter, Town Hall, and any Q&A about that topic. Anything not specifically called out in the letter goes in the Misc bucket at the bottom. Lots to digest. Let’s go!
Letter. “The only “blue chip” without an identity — won’t be that way for much longer.”
So as we move across this next year, we've changed the business model for the PUNKS ecosystem. Specifically, we have said that the last PUNKS Comic for sale, the last of the genesis trio will be PUNKS Comic Issue Three, and the talk of sort of that MH1000, those assets that we had recaptured from Beanie earlier this year, will be a part of that gamified drop with with PC3, which is the PUNKS / MetaHero crossover. And so you'll notice if you look at the different cores that we've built, that we have made sure to include these fun crossover characters in the PUNKS ecosystem into the MHU. As we build out that universe, we want to make sure that 1.) there's the opportunity for interplay between these franchises, but 2.) that MH also very much has its own distinct vibe. So you'll see with these characters, we're going to have an amazing opportunity to sort of have interaction there as a first step to building the MH brand.
Q&A. Ned: On the MH1000, those are the 1,000 MetaHeroes that you got from Beanie, is that correct?
So it was actually less. He didn't have 1,000. We have 500 MHs and 383 MP1 that were acquired as part of Beanie’s exit. That's not our plan, we're going to keep some MHs in the company, just as assets we hold on our balance sheet, but then obviously not wanting to have such a large portion of the MH collection held by the business, the plan is to distribute heroes, mutants, and even some of the cores that we have back to our collectors via PC3.
There will be other bonuses tied in. I'll let you guys speculate what incentives there might be that might give you a better chance of winning a hero. After that the stories will actually be coming out much more frequently. Because, again, we're a storytelling business. We want to grow this IP. So having three or four sales a year to tell a story is just simply not enough.
Genesis Comic Set
Letter. “PUNKS Comic, Issue #3 will complete the Genesis Comic set and will be the last standard issue made available for sale (but don’t worry… the stories will continue). Issue #3, expected in June, will be the PUNKS x MetaHero crossover edition and will distribute many of the remaining Heroes, Mutants, and Cores that are currently held in the Pixel Vault, Inc. multi-sig.”
We're going to change the distribution method. These first three will will hold sort of a special place in the history of the business, and then moving forward, the distribution will change and you guys will get more information on that.
Q&A. Ned: So you're saying this is the last one for sale, it will be distributed differently?
Yeah, it will be. It will be allocated to the community in a certain way that I am not ready to unveil yet.
More PUNKS Content
Letter. “Courtney will get her time to shine as we are actively in talks to bring PUNKS to mainstream entertainment mediums.”
Courtney is going to get her time to shine. As part of this we're actively building out some awesome content that we're hoping to release around NFT.NYC to give you an idea of the look and feel we want to bring to that universe.
But I think there's a really amazing opportunity to use this franchise to sort of help bring our culture to the mainstream. CryptoPunks, which obviously was a huge inspiration to us, is I think something that's really important to sort of broad, mainstream culture. And PUNKS comic being the first to really tell that story, I think also has an important place there. So we're going to be building much bigger than we had originally anticipated across the PUNKS ecosystem.
Letter. We are working on arguably the most complex PFP collection to date in the NFT ecosystem.
Part I: DOTs will be comprised of seven unique tiers. Collectors will have a chance to transform their DOTs into larger characters with greater skills. These DOTs will be critical to the first stage of the MetaHero Universe game.
Part II: As part of this game, and in connection with the DOTs, “Species” native to each planet will be revealed. [Looking at you, planet holders]
Something that obviously you are all very excited about when it seems like there was some miscommunication within the community, given that I think people were expecting Sidekicks to drop as early as April, we definitely had always been targeting Sidekicks to be a part of sort of this “Phase Two Staking” launch.
The DOTs, which is the first part of the Sidekick project, will be a critical piece to ultimately unveiling different aspects to the overall universe that we're building in MH. And these DOTs will also discover the the sort of gen three character that is tentatively called Species right now, which will be native to the planets.
So all of the Sidekick holders, this is a lot more complex than I think anyone was even imagining. Even given what you saw on the Genesynth website, not only will it be a seven tier drop for DOTs, but there will also be a subsequent character that that will come out alongside the DOTs, where you'll have an opportunity to discover characters and also roam the planets as part of what will be understanding and governing the land across our ecosystem.
It will be the most complex PFP project in history, by far. But it’s gonna be awesome.
Q&A. Verbdan: The DOTs and Sidekicks, it seems to me that they're intertwined. We can all speculate what it might mean. But it seems like they might be a little different, like we can speak of the DOTs and then Sidekicks separately? Or are they intertwined in ways that I can't really articulate?
I think a good way to sort of reframe this idea of Sidekicks for everyone is that Sidekicks is sort of like the project codename. The DOTs will be the first piece to this. And I don't want to give away too much information about the DOTs. But I'd say that people's expectations for what a “sidekick” is probably more in line with our plans for Species. And the DOTs, which is the first piece of this Sidekick project will be critical to unveiling those species.
Letter. We are working with one of the most respected content studios in the world to reimagine what Identities, DOTs, and Species can look like.
This is a world that will embrace creativity. Many artists and storytellers will have the opportunity to give their viewpoint on what the world looks, feels, and sounds like.
“Style lockers”: Holders will have the opportunity to swap and display their characters in a multitude of styles (non-dilutive). This story has only just begun…
Ultimately, the look and feel of MH will be quite distinct from what you've seen today. We're working with one of the most respected studios in the world, someone that has really inspired us to help re-envision what this world looks and feels like. And there will be more news on that front in the coming weeks and months. But that's sort of a little teaser that you will in time have the ability to envision your MH and future a series of characters like DOTs and what we're tentatively calling Species in these different styles. So the MHU is one that we intend to have told through the lens of many different creatives, not just a singular vision.
The style locker, while you do have a character now, there will be different looks and feels given to those characters over time. And it will be non-dilutive. So you'll have the ability to envision your character in whatever style you see fit. We won't be adding to the MetaHero collection, but it's a constantly evolving PFP. Because ultimately, at the end of the day, this is about digital identity. And we want people to be able to really love the style of their character, something that speaks to them personally. So I think having these many different variations to the characters is something that's going to be incredibly powerful, and something we haven't seen in the NFT space.
Letter. We’re bringing on board leading Hollywood creative talent to help bring our stories to life on screen. More importantly, they are helping us to reimagine the Hollywood business model, towards one that prioritizes inclusivity and fosters positive change.
And that also speaks to our strategic advisors who, again, I can't name today specifically, but over the coming weeks and months, you'll get a chance to meet them. Not only are they helping to inform the creative that's behind MetaHero and PUNKS, but helping us to really find the right people in the space that are looking to make a change specifically focused on inclusivity.
Q&A. Ned: Are you working with Guy Oseary? And if so, in what way?
Yeah, so I'm not going to answer that directly. But I will say that some news on that front will be coming out soon.
United Planets DAO
Letter. The complex United Planets DAO structure is set to be completed this summer. I am of the opinion that this will be the most creative DAO structure to date — a technical leap forward. DAO voting (internally and across planets) will be a major component to the MetaHero Universe game and ecosystem. Pixel Vault will gamify DAO participation and hopes to set the standard for what an active and engaged community can accomplish in web3. We are counting on you!
We have community chat with elected members that are sort of helping to guide what becomes of this, this overall ecosystem, but we're looking to actually gamify DAO participation, so the DAOs will actually very much be a part of the game.
And the votes you make will influence your ability to interact within your own planet across planets, will speak to trade, land rights, etc. So, the DAOs are extremely slept on right now, and will be a huge piece of the overall MetaHero Universe puzzle. And so if you take away anything from this call today, the Sidekicks just got a lot bigger and the DAO is definitely being slept on. Because I think people don't really appreciate the idea of collective ownership so much, but like, how can we make it fun? Or, you know, how can this actually relate to this concept of digital identity? And I think we've, we've got an amazing solve in the works.
We're expecting that to be stood up at some point in, I believe, in June, July.
Jacob, who’s leading the DAO formation within PV, added:
So we've got, I want to say six devs, two UI guys, and a QA person working on a custom page that's actually going to allow people to interact with both a forum and voting in the same page. It's going to be fully custom from the backend and the front end, it's beautiful. It's amazing, and it's probably gonna be done, we have a target date of July 1. I really think it’s gonna set a standard for what DAOs should be doing, which is not relying on fragmented voting, and for mechanics, but instead having a streamlined process and looking for ways to really increase participation.
Pixel Vault Gaming
Letter. Led by Aaron St. John, former CEO of HitPoint Studios and Co-Founder of LuckyPoint Labs (both acquired by Penn National Gaming, Inc.), Pixel Vault Gaming (16 team members strong and growing!) will, over the next year, be launching a gaming platform and accompanying portfolio of games in the MetaHero and PUNKS Comic brand universes. The team will create a place to expand the collective story of these IPs that at the same time continues to drive value, utility, and (most of all) FUN to our existing NFTs and tokens.
And all of this will sort of be part of this flywheel under the PV umbrella — leveraging your NFTs to have one really amazing gaming experiences, both for PUNKS and MH. And that will tie in to the native currencies that already exist, and may exist in the future as the ecosystem expands. Real life utility.
So we're working with some partners that will be announced over the next few weeks to drive utility not just to future collections that they may be a part of, but our existing collectors.
And our Phase Two has been really leveled up a notch. I don't know if any of you had a chance to listen to the GoozEggz Twitter Spaces (see MetaVault 19), but he really has an incredible background in gaming, sold his last two companies to Penn National. And now we have a team internally that is 16 people strong. So really looking to make blockchain gaming a huge piece of the overall ecosystem for Pixel Vault. Everything that we do will not only be structured around story, but also leading into gaming as 1.) obviously a path or making all of this fun, because really that's what it should all be about, 2.) driving utility to these tokens that you know otherwise are things that just sit in your wallet, 3.) continuing to tell the story.
MetaHero Universe Game
Letter. In partnership with a global, indie studio focused on the future of AAA games, we are working to bring the MetaHero Universe to life within an immersive 3D environment within the next year.
There's a lot in flux because we are working with a really, really premier studio to flush out the MHU for some of our much broader aspirations in terms of content distribution. So for DOTs, we're looking to get those out ahead of the game, so that people have an opportunity to trade etc, and then have the game sometime in the fall. So, late summer, early fall is when you're gonna see a lot of movement on this front.
Q&A. Verbdan: How are heroes and villains going to work together?
Definitely the hero and villain aspect is being taken into account, especially as it pertains to the storytelling we will do through gaming. But ultimately, we want this to be something where everyone can give their spin to it, again, leaning into sort of that web three concept. So we want to keep a pretty good degree of freedom for each of these creatives to give their own spin. But as we develop the games, certainly there will be components of good and evil, and the DAO's will ultimately be able to dictate how they want to hold themselves across the universe.
Rushy: When we talked about gamified staking a couple months ago, and we talked about cores, I don't know if it was speculation or actually said about cores being treated something like alpha eight wolves, or something of that sort. Is that still something in the cards?
So that's not something I said, but it looks like a fun thing. Yeah, we're thinking about how we can have the cores be differentiated in gameplay. In the earliest stages of gameplay, as I've mentioned, the DOTs will be sort of be that initial critical aspect. But having your MH in conjunction with the DOT will sort of be added utility. But as we get deeper into more immersive gameplay, the MHs, and the cores will become of greater focus.
Letter. Our shared passion for sports led us to spin up a sports division, focused on telling athlete-inspired stories. We’ve brought on Tzvi “T” Twersky, former Sports Marketing Lead at TikTok and CMO of the Mamba Sports Academy, to lead the charge on this front. We’ll share more on May 20 on the main stage at VeeCon, so stay tuned to learn how we’ll be providing benefits to existing PV NFT holders.
Brought on T, he worked with and was a great friend of Kobe at the Mamba Academy, Sports Marketing Lead at TikTok, was an editor at Slam Magazine. So a guy that has really amazing knowledge of sports, really amazing connections across sports. And I think it's going to be an awesome opportunity for us to tell stories of athletes in sort of a fun, comic-type way. Ever since we launched Pixel Vault, we had sort of leaned into this idea of Decentralized Disney. And as you all know, ESPN is a big part of both the past and in the future of Disney.
Most projects have really shied away from wanting to expand too much. But I think it's really important that while we are cognizant of the token ecosystems, we want to give an opportunity for inclusivity and to welcome more and more people into this Web3 environment in a way that speaks to them. And today, all of the the projects that have focused on sports have really leaned into the idea of digital trading cards, and that is not what we'll be doing. We’ll continue to be storytellers, driving awesome utility to these tokens, one-of-one type experiences, access to different events. So very excited for the future of PV Sports. And we'll be unveiling some major news on that front that both speaks to future opportunities and benefits to our current holders in the coming month.
So if you had some sort of capability to not just tell a story that might not have been heard, but also tie-in utility. Whether that relates to your favorite athletes, merchandise, or an opportunity to go catch passes from a quarterback you've always loved, there are really cool things that can be done in these NFT ecosystems.
So we plan to be unveiling a lot of exciting things, especially as they pertain to sports, at VeeCon. I love AJ and love what he's doing. We do plan to work with them in the future, still solidifying what that might look like. But, yeah, Gary and AJ have been very supportive of our company. They’re investors, we work with them on WAGMI United. So yeah, very much friends of PV. And we'll definitely look for opportunities to work together.
There is obviously the differentiation that we're looking to tell stories, whereas Gary and AJ are more so leaning into the utility. And obviously, he has an amazing roster of talent over at the agency. So it's not directly tied, but we're definitely looking to do things with AJ.
Letter. We are working on the freshest gear in the Metaverse. We have teamed up with renowned designers across fashion and creative to bring you merch for PUNKS, MetaHero, and PV — available for purchase in our native currencies. We’ll share more soon about these upcoming limited edition collections.
Community Interaction with Content Creators
This improved business model where artists and creatives are actually reaping the rewards of their creative endeavors. And community has a much more close communication loop with the creatives that they truly love their work. And I think everybody here in the NFT space has really appreciated the ability to interact with the people that are making content.
So real life experiences, I think is something that we've seen really help build community — Bored Apes with their concerts. Their in-person activations have obviously been a tremendous hit, but we are looking to do something different. So as we continue to expand this ecosystem, we're gonna have really fun ways for people to interact with one another, share these experiences, and we hope to be able to kick that off at NFT NYC.
Rusty: If I heard you correctly, or read between the lines correctly, Staking Pool 2 might not be till June, July, August, maybe even September? So is there going to be a stop gap or extension of staking?
The Phase One Staking does end in early June. We plan to be launching the UPDAO voting mechanics sometime in the June / July timeframe. The $POW tokens do not belong to Pixel Vault. They belong to the DAO. So we're open and we would be in favor of extending that staking until the point where we're ready to launch this game that Aaron has been working on. But it's not something that ultimately lies in our hands. So we're working to get the update in place as soon as we possibly can.
Obviously, you all know it's really sort of a technical and creative feat that we've undertaken here. Ten DAOs interacting with an overarching federal government type DAO. So we're in favor of extending the staking. But we need to do it with a proper vote of the community because it's not something that is ultimately ours to give.
Ned: Would you be in favor of then distributing more than the 200 million $POW that was allocated for the first six months? And if we stake them beyond the six months, then we would be in excess of the 200 million $POW?
Yeah, so our thought was to extend the Phase One staking until which point we release Phase Two — the gamified staking — just so there is not an interim period. But again, that is something that is up to the community to decide. We're not going to be extending. So to be clear, the the allocation that was set forth, was 200 million tokens over those six months, we would not be just stretching out the timeframe where you're earning those same 200 million tokens. I don't think that that's a fair way to approach this. So it'd be allocating additional tokens to help bridge the gap between the end of phase one and the start of the game.
Chase: I know the Founders DAO is near and dear to your heart. I’m curious to hear your updated thoughts on what role the PVFD now plays in the overall PV ecosystem moving forward.
Our plan is to continue leaning into the PVFD as this empowered community voice across the things that we do under PV, but certainly also wanting to give the DAO its own voice. And we have an amazing panel of people that were elected by the DAO, that have been interacting with our team, where we can provide resources to sort of help enable some of the things that the DAO wants to accomplish. So the long and the short of it is we want to keep the PVFD engaged and by our side, but we also want it to have its own voice and ability to to do its own things. So, you know, it's sort of like a partnership with with our company
Town Halls, Communication
Ned: Is the plan to do this once every three months moving forward, or is there possibly once every six weeks or a month or something like that?
More often moving forward. This was a self-imposed, factory reset. I don't want to get into too many of the details. But, you know, things were said too far in advance of delivering. That's not the way I want this business to run. I don't think it benefits our team. I don't think it benefits the community having all of the luster worn off of these really amazing things we're accomplishing. Because they've been known by the broader ecosystem for six months, I just don't think that that's going to benefit anyone.
So moving forward, the loop is going to be much tighter, but I will be definitely more available than I have been between January and now. There's the pressure when I come onto these spaces that everybody wants to know what's coming, wants alpha. … We actually just brought on an amazing individual — Janet, she's joining us from Hulu — she's been a big part of a lot of their social activations. So not only in the future, do we plan to reward “whales” that that have a lot of assets with us, but actually also people who may not have as much money, but are driving value to our ecosystem through participation in other ways. And so we're definitely going to be much more actively engaged with the community as we move forward from here.
Rushy: So one thing I know that everyone wants to know about is $POW utility. Huge question. I saw in your in your letter that it's going to potentially be used to buy merch, maybe some other things in parallel. Is it gonna be listed? Are there any plans to list it on any exchanges?
So yes, it will be the currency to purchase the merch. It’s also a huge part of the gaming ecosystem that will be released in late summer, early fall and continuing throughout the next several years. And in terms of getting it listed, that is something that's top of mind for me, but first we need to drive utility to this token, get it flowing through the ecosystem. It needs much more liquidity.
Cores + IP Rights
Rushy: We all love cores, having one is great. But what about the IP sticking to the gamified staking? Maybe in the media, like what happens if a core is in a comic or? And to parlay on that question? Do you have other forms of media in mind that you can potentially discuss in terms of like movies, TV shows any kind of leak?
So yeah, the MH cores and obviously the PUNK cores will both be the key characters that will be depicted in film and or television — and we have those opportunities in progress. And I'll be giving more details on those shortly.
The core IP is sort of a hybrid model, right? We have rights to the IP to develop it in broader media, but also you as the core holder, have the opportunity to monetize it as well, in a more limited sense. So the idea here is that the work we do together, collectively brings value to that character. And so, you know, if your core Shimmer ends up in some MH TV show that that we end up launching, that core should, in a in a marketplace, become much more valuable, and you would have opportunities to monetize it across the Web3 ecosystem, perhaps merchandising, etc.
So I hope that answers your question. It has to intentionally be a bit broad. But as you see things start to take shape, and as we unveil things, you'll see how the cores will all fall into place in our broader media efforts.
Rushy: I was wondering if there was going to be more of a central repository of commercials that come out once a month from a marketing team, you know, and maybe non-Web3 marketing as well just to get more interest.
So we will be ramping up our marketing efforts. And we are planning for, although it will take some time to get there given the pace of actual high quality content production, we are planning to be releasing content at a pretty frequent cadence. But these are all things that we have in the works that will definitely take time. But we are mindful of not only wanting to give information to people but give you know, a marketing platform to get our products across the ecosystem because I think all of us would agree that we're collectively building something special here.
So trying to give VGF an opportunity to shine and I know economist is hard at work thinking through ways to to create written content that can help inform the community as they're entering, what could be consumed within the difficult to understand ecosystem. But also moving forward trying to simplify certain aspects of it. So I think it's twofold.
But you know, not wanting to lose sight of what made things a lot fun in the first place was not just the storytelling, but also the game theory and the token economies etc.
Some Disclaimers: None of this is financial advice. DYOR. And yes, I’m obviously a PV collector and long-term hodlr. Not a whale by any measure (maybe a squid?).