Walken, a Solana-based move-to-earn and win-to-earn blockchain game, has raised $4.7 million in a funding round led by Infinity Ventures Crypto and Shima Capital, with participation from Morningstar Ventures, Ghaf Capital Partners, Huobi Ventures, Dex Ventures, Yield Guild Games (YGG), YGG Southeast Asia, Big Brain Holdings, Moonchain Capital. Moon Holdings, OliveX of Animoca Brands Group, Genblock Capital, NFT Tech, SnackClub and many others.
The funding will rapidly scale game development and further refine the product with a sustainable economy, bringing a whole new level of engagement with the adoption of healthier habits.
Besides incentivizing users to monetize their health and exercise through a cryptocurrency token, Walken wants to onboard millions of non-crypto people and let them experience what the blockchain and decentralized finance can offer, using its friendly user interface, simple fun gameplay and adorable playable characters called Cathletes.
Walken is currently in closed beta and will officially launch at the end of June. The WLKN token’s listing will follow.
What is Walken?
Walken combines crypto rewards with physical activity such as walking, running, improving their in-game characters through continuous movement or winning competitions. It encourages players to build healthier habits through competing in the game and monetizing their steps.
Players can get started in Walken for free, with the game providing each player an entry-level Cathlete and a wallet to start earning after signing up. It’s possible to begin with zero investment.
Steps walked or ran in real life are converted into the in-game soft currency called Gems, with one Gem given for every 1,000 in validated steps. Gems fill the level progress bar of the Cathlete in-game characters; each Cathlete is generated from six randomly selected genes, and their stamina, speed and strength increase with each level-up. The rarity of a Cathlete — common, uncommon, rare, epic and legendary — affects their stats and energy pools.
WLKN is the game’s native token users receive for winning competitions. There are six competition leagues with a minimum-Cathlete entrance level and three running disciplines where Cathletes compete for WLKN tokens.
The more a player moves, the faster they can upgrade their Cathlete, win competitions and earn WLKN tokens. Players can use the tokens to upgrade their Cathlete’s performance and purchase valuable nonfungible token (NFT) items on the in-game marketplace to boost their stats and crush their rivals.
On the brink of a new trend
Walken is set to soar in the first quarter of 2022, having welcomed more than 10,000 players from more than 110 countries to closed beta on iOS and Android. The concept of gamifying physical activities has resonated with players on a deep level and motivated them to move more: Walken beta testers have recorded more than 830 million steps in three months.
With powerful backers committed to Walken’s mission and vision, the project will blend gameplay with a healthy lifestyle, combining personal health and fitness with game elements that tie into the NFT market. Its primary focus will remain as rewarding game players for physical activity and owning NFTs of Cathletes and their equipment, trading and breeding Cathletes, and upgrading and boosting them to earn more tokens.
Driven by an exponentially growing community, Walken is prepared to define the future of move-to-earn Web3 gaming. It already features a fully functional mobile app on iOS and Android, with NFTs and transactions recorded on the Solana blockchain.
The recently forged partnerships and funding raised have spearheaded the release of the much-anticipated game, with more ways to provide players additional utility for their tokens, fueling the demand for in-game assets, encouraging in-game investments and contributing to sustainable tokenomics.
Walken has onboarded Blockwiz, a premium crypto marketing solutions provider, to help with expansion in new markets.