Pudgy Penguins signs with WME, Bitblox to make Web3 gambling games and more….

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Blue chip nonfungible token (NFT) project Pudgy Penguins has signed a representation deal with major Hollywood talent agency William Morris Endeavor (WME).

According to an announcement via Twitter on May 5, Pudgy Penguins is looking to spread its intellectual property across film, TV, and gaming.

Pudgy Penguins joins a growing list of big name NFT projects that have sought out Hollywood representation deals as a way to expand their brands and audiences. WME’s other NFT-related clients includes Dapper Labs co-founder Mack Flavelle, the Boss Beauties project, pseudonymous NFT artist FEWOCiOUS and artist Claire Silver.

Pudgy Penguins is the twenty-first highest-selling NFT project of all time according to data from CryptoSlam. Since launching in July 2021, it has generated a total of $250.2 million worth of sales on secondary markets.

Last month the project was acquired by Luca Netz of Netz Capital for 750 Ether (ETH), worth about $2.5 million at the time of purchase on April 3.

Pudgy Penguins has been gradually developing a Web3 ecosystem and community surrounding the project, and has already made some moves to get the IP out into the mainstream.

In late March, the project soft-launched physical Pudgy Penguin figurines that come with certificates of authenticity and a proof of ownership that is recorded on Ethereum.

Bitblox to build Web3 gambling games

A new blockchain gaming studio called Bitblox has launched to build a suite of Web3 gambling games on the Solana-based Hxro Network, a distributed liquidity layer for derivatives trading and betting applications.

The online gambling industry, or igaming, was worth roughly $63.5 billion in 2022, and is estimated to grow 11.7% annually from 2023 to 2030, according to Grand View Research.

In a May 4 announcement, Bitblox Games stated that it 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.

“Blockchain-based gaming provides additional transparency to igaming operators while giving players the ability to bet in new and engaging ways,” noted Bitblox CEO Brandt Page.

Specific games are yet to be announced, however more information is likely to come later this month as Bitblox is set to debut at CasinoBeats Summit 2023 in Malta between May 23 and May 25.

Related: A new frontier for collectibles: Preserving music history in NFTs with Legends of Rock

Generative art via Unreal Engine

NFT infrastructure and ecosystem developer 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 is dubbed the “Palm Generative Art Maker” and 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 was launched on May 4 and is available for download as an Unreal Engine plug-in.

Palm Generative Art Maker. Source: Unreal Engine

It 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.

Interest in generative art has surged alongside the growth of the NFT sector over the past couple of years, with profile picture/avatar-based projects such as CryptoPunks helping to popularize the method. While NFT art projects such as Tyler Hobb’s Fidenza have also driven interest in the computer-based art style.

Digital Star Wars toys on Flow

NFT start-up Cryptoys has unveiled the upcoming launch of Star Wars digital collectibles on the Flow blockchain, home to major NFT projects such as NBA Top Shot.

The NFT collectibles, or “digital toys” will drop on May 24, with the artwork bearing a similar design to Funko Pop figurines. Each token will be 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 rare, legendary, “Grail” and “Ultra Grail.”

Other Nifty 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.

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.

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