Pudgy Penguins, the NFT brand known for its toys sold at Walmart, is expanding its horizons into the online gaming world with the upcoming launch of “Pudgy World,” an interactive digital universe. This new platform is aimed at Pudgy Penguin NFT holders, toy owners, and newcomers to the brand.
The company’s CEO, Luca Netz, announced during Art Basel in Miami that the early-access version of Pudgy World is set to launch before April next year. The virtual world offers players a mix of narrative-driven and open-ended gameplay experiences.
“Pudgy Penguin fans have long been awaiting new ways to engage with their beloved characters. Pudgy World is designed to elevate their fan experience to a whole new level,” Netz stated.
Pudgy Penguins, launched as an NFT project in July 2021, navigated through internal management upheavals and, in September, made a significant leap into mainstream consumer culture by launching a line of physical toys. These toys, including plushies and figurines, are available across 2,000 Walmarts in the U.S. and are anticipated to generate over $10 million in sales in the second half of this year.
The launch of Pudgy World is part of a growing trend where toymakers are offering physical toys alongside virtual gameplay for digitally inclined consumers. For instance, Spin Master released Bitzee, a tamagotchi-like virtual pet, and Hot Wheels introduced its Rift Rally Game, blending tangible and virtual experiences.
Each Pudgy Penguins toy comes with a scannable code that includes a birth certificate for a digital ‘Forever Pudgy,’ a unique character that resides within Pudgy World. Players can explore this digital playground with customizable characters and encounter the brand’s inaugural “Hero Characters:” Pudgy and Peaches.
Since its initial drop in July 2021, the Pudgy Penguins NFT collection has grown significantly. With 8,888 NFTs owned by more than 4,000 people, according to Open Sea data, the collection’s floor price has risen from $90 to roughly $27,000. The collection’s market cap, as reported by CoinGecko, is nearing $250 million, reflecting its substantial growth and popularity.