Walmart steps into the Metaverse, @NFT founder hacked and more

American retail giant Walmart has taken its first steps into the Metaverse with the launch of Walmart Land and Walmart’s Universe of Play on Roblox.

According to the company’s announcement Monday, Walmart Land is focused on “immersive experiences” with key features including a physics-defying Ferris wheel, unlockable tokens and badges, an interactive piano bridge, and a DJ booth for users.

Products from Lottie London, Bubble, UOMA by Sharon C and other brands will also be featured in the virtual world, along with a virtual goods store or “Verch” for users’ avatars.

In October, Walmart Land will add a motion capture concert called “Electric Fest” featuring performances by musical artists YUNGBLUD, Madison Beer and Kane Brown.

Meanwhile, Walmart’s Universe of Play offers games featuring products and characters from Jurassic World, Paw Patrol, Magic Mixies and Razor Scooters, and the opportunity to explore toy worlds and earn coins that can be redeemed for virtual goods.

The retailer first signaled intentions to enter the Metaverse after filing a patent with the United States Patent and Trademark Office on Dec. 30 covering its own “digital currency” and “digital token,” while a separate filing a Brand for the Walmart brand covered in virtual reality and augmented reality.

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The founder of the now-banned @NFT account is hacked

Leverage Game Media co-founder Jason Falovitch was the victim of a hack over the weekend when his account on NFT marketplace OpenSea was stripped of over $1 million worth of Ether (ETH) and NFTs, including a Mutant and Bored Ape and two doodles.

Falovitch is also the founder of the since-banned @NFT Instagram and Twitter handles, both of which were suspended after repeated platform community guidelines violations, and comes after allegations of promoting NFT projects without proper disclosure.

In a post to his more than 170,000 Twitter followers on Sunday, Falovitch, known on Twitter as @jfx, said he was hacked the night before and urged the public not to buy any of the items or anything else from his wallets.

Falovitch is well known in the community as the founder of the @NFT account on Twitter and Instagram. He is also co-founder of Leverage Game Media, a company he co-founded with American billionaire Mark Cuban that owns NFT assets and claims to help promote NFT projects through major sports social media sites.

However, his previous involvement in the NFT-promoting social media accounts has not escaped the notice of some of the resentful community members, with some calling the recent hack “karma.”

Pixelmon rises from the ashes

After a less than stellar response to the launch of its NFT collection in February, Pixelmon has returned with a new plan and leadership under LiquidX, a Web3 venture capital studio.

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According to the company statement, LiquidX acquired a 60% stake in the project, and LiquidX co-founder Giulio Xiloyannis will serve as Pixelmon’s CEO.

Earlier this year, many early minters of the Pixelmon NFT collection were disappointed after the project revealed the final art in February, which fell far short of expectations.

Now, under new leadership, the updated Pixelmon roadmap transforms the overwhelming monsters from the original NFT collection into 3D characters for use in the upcoming Pixelmon massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG).

Pixelmon was originally scheduled to release a playable alpha of its MMORPG before the end of 2022, but now alpha testing for the game will start in Q1 2023, with the game now scheduled for release in late 2023.

The new roadmap under LiquidX also includes the future launch of virtual land NFTs and separate utility and governance tokens to boost Pixelmon’s economy.

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AC Milan are working with Solana-based MonkeyLeague

Professional football club AC Milan (Rossoneri) has inked a new deal with MonkeyLeague, a Web3 football game powered by the Solana blockchain – becoming yet another sports brand using technology for fan engagement.

The partnership will see the creation of exclusive AC Milan-branded NFT game assets, including new players for the game, skins, in-game apparel and stadiums.

AC Milan Chief Revenue Officer Casper Stylsvig said the club was “thrilled” and called the collaboration one “that will allow us to strengthen our position in the field of digital innovation”.

According to the MonkeyLeague website, the game is a Web3-based Esports game that allows users to build and manage a dream team of at least six MonkeyPlayer NFTs, compete against other players and climb the league ranks.

AC Milan was founded back in 1899 and is currently the reigning champion of Serie A, the country’s top football league.

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