Major DeFi founders back play-to-earn game that hopes to be next Flappy Bird

A new play-to-earn (P2E) blockchain game that hopes to emulate the addictive success of 2013 mobile phenomenon Flappy Bird has drawn backing from some of DeFi’s biggest names.

Kain Warwick from Synthetix, Stani Kulechov from Aave, Tyler Ward from Barnbridge, angel investor Santiago Santos (ex-ParaFi Capital) and 0xmaki from Sushi joined a pre seed round this week for the forthcoming Fancy Birds which is due to launch in around a month.

Fancy Birds is a single player mobile game with 8,888 randomly generated NFT characters minted initially with custom features, that fight through levels to earn their spot as “the fanciest bird in the nest”.

Successful players earn 40% of the Fancy (FNC) token supply and upgrades will see the game launch multiplayer mode, with breeding, staking and tournaments planned. The team is in discussions to launch it on Ethereum NFT scaling layer 2 project Immutable X.

As with a number of other potentially big meme projects, Fancy Birds seemed to spring out of nowhere on Twitter a couple of weeks ago after Illuvium founder Kieran Warwick wondered on Twitter: “How has someone not created a play to earn Flappy Bird?” He told Cointelegraph:

“It’s not complex, just super addictive and a lot of fun and at its peak it had 100 million users daily. Turns out someone is actually building it and it’s in beta now.”

Warwick came on board as an advisor and helped organize the pre seed, and the team is now reaching out to Framework Ventures, Delphi Digital and a16z for the next round.

The snowballing project is reminiscent of Barnbridge founder and Flappy Bird investor Tyler Ward’s Non Fungible Pepe project, which was memed into existence by a number of the same people earlier this year, making millions in a few weeks before transforming into Universe.xyz for copyright reasons.

Related: Crypto Pepes: What Does The Frog Meme?

Warwick’s own project Illuvium is another forthcoming blockchain P2E game that’s growing exponentially. The price of the ILV token has risen from $33 in June to the $800 mark now, it’s amassed a half a billion dollar market cap and 200,000 Discord members.

Warwick also advised them on setting up community governance based on the models of Illuvium and Synthetix.

“The team has been really receptive, they’re going fully decentralized with a DAO first, and a governance council, with 100% of profits (collected platform fees) going back to stakers,” he said.

“We reworked the tokenomics so it makes a lot more sense so I think they are poised to be really big players.”

Illuvium is an official partner, and fans will be able to use an 8-bit version of that game’s main character Rhamphyre to play in Fancy Birds.

Fancy Birds hopes to appeal to the huge P2E community in countries like the Philippines. “It’s tapping into the same thing as Axie Infinity and it’s on mobile so anyone can play so I’m expecting a tonne of players to pile in,” Warwick said.

Meanwhile Warwick said the Illuvium team was gearing up for the launch of its first trailer showing the world exactly how the game works.

“We’ve obviously built up a ton of hype, we have nearly 200,000 people in Discord now and things are going really well. But the one thing that we haven’t shown is our gameplay trailer,” he says.

“There’s going to be a lot of people that are waiting on the sideline, and it should help us to get them over the line to say, ‘This is real. This is actually happening. It is a triple A game’.”

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