Understanding Walken Move-to-Earn

Tomas Vitolo

Nov. 30, 2022

Investment Highlights

Before diving deeper into Walken, let’s review some investment highlights:

  • Walken’s total number of users is currently 533,678, averaging 131,695 weekly and 45,764 daily and it’s been growing over the past few weeks (during a bear market). 
  • Walken is available to play for free and there’s no need to connect a wallet to start playing.
  • Walken is backed by reputable VCs including Huobi Ventures, Animoca Brands Group and Moonchain Capital.
  • The game doesn’t require any skills, you just improve with perseverance and discipline.
  • The game developers focused on simple gameplay mechanics to onboard non-crypto native users.

What is Walken?

Walken has gained considerable amount of daily users in the NFT gaming space.

                                                                      Source                                                                                

Walken is an NFT move-to-earn game that connects healthy lifestyle, gaming and crypto. 

Walken focuses on the natural human need to walk and be physically active and rewards its players for leading a healthy lifestyle through gamifying daily activity. Steps you walk in real life are converted into the in-game soft currency called Gems, which are used to level up CAThletes (NFT characters). CAThletes compete in running disciplines for $WLKN tokens – SPL-Tokens based on Solana Smart Contract.

The more a player walks, the stronger their CAThlete gets, winning them more tokens per competition. Users are rewarded with WLKN tokens for exercise and in-app gameplay. Your characters in the game are NFTs which means you can earn tokens as well as create additional NFTs that can be bought and sold on the market. Not only are CAThletes all unique and distinctive, but users can customize their attributes by earning Gems.

                                                              Source

Tech/Infrastructure

Walken lives on the Solana blockchain. The game is available to play without creating a crypto wallet or connecting to the blockchain. However, to use external marketplaces to buy and sell resources (or other NFTs, such as accessories for your CAThlete), you will be required to connect your account to a wallet. 

Management Team

The management team is completely doxxed and includes the following: 

  • Alexei Kuluvets – Co-Founder and CEO 
  • Alexei Porodzinsky – Co-Founder and BizDev Director 
  • Konstantin Kozlovsky – Co-Founder and Product Director 
  • Dmitry Lubnevsky – COO 
  • Mihail Rukavishnikov – CTO 
  • Maxim Sologubi – iOS Evangelist 
  • Uladzimir Paulenkovich – Head of Design 
  • Julia Bazhanova – Marketing Queen

Despite the team being doxxed there was very little info regarding the team’s experience.

Investors 

The Walken ecosystem is backed by a well-regarded group of investors. Below you can find a list of selected investors:

Walken Investors

User / Social Stats 

Based on Footprint Network Gamefi as of December 21, 2022, the total number of users for Walken is as follows:

  • 533,678 total 
  • 131,695 weekly 
  • 45,764 daily  

Over the past six months, we have seen a gradual decline in Daily Active Users (DAU). However, we recently saw a spike in daily active users on November 30, 2022 which reached an all-time high of 49,535. It appears this spike is related to the November 21, 2022 announcement the Walken team made via Discord about Walker Runner, a new game mode that the project will incorporate in the near future (see Game Mechanics section for more info).

With the exception of a few spikes, NFT volume for Walken over the past six months has been relatively flat.

The total transactions are over 2,5 million and as we can see on the chart below. Additionally, November had an impact on the Walken transactions and they are slowly increasing again near their ATH monthly transactions.

Walken Transactions over the last 3 months.
Source

                                                         

As of December 21, 2022, Walken has over 190,248 followers on Twitter and over 56,000 members on their Discord server with an average of 6,000 online members. Online members are very important when you take a project into consideration because it shows how active the community is. Generally, we look for a project to have at least 8% of their total discord members online as a minimum.

WLKN Token

WLKN is a fungible governance and staking token used to enhance a user’s adventures in the Walken app. This token can be used inside the app to buy different objects. Also, WLKN token holders will be able to vote in the future of the project as well as stake it to earn rewards. In order to win more battles and earn more WLKN tokens, users need to keep upgrading their NFT characters and move to the next level. The team hopes this will be an incentive to use the token in the game and will reduce sell pressure on the tokens. Currently, the price of the token is trading at $0.043. Its highest value was $0.16 and was reached in late June 2022.

                                       

Over the past 3 months, $WLKN is down 15%.

Game Mechanics / Meta

A new Walken user is rewarded with 1 Gem, equivalent to 1,000 steps. The Gems gained by walking are used to upgrade the user’s NFT characters. Whereby upgrading Speed, Strength and Stamina (the three characteristics of your CAThlete) will help with player Battles. You can start playing the game for free and you will start as a level 0 CAThlete. Once your CAThlete reaches level 5, it will become a full-fledged NFT and can be sold on the open market.  

How to Battle

The battle algorithm will match players in random, but in an organized way. Your chances of winning will increase as you level up your CAThlete. Additionally the level of your CAThlete will determine the amount you can earn. Users will be provided with a Free-to-Use, unique CAThlete when they first launch the app. It will have a limited number of lives per day. Each battle costs one life. To participate in more battles, users can buy CAThletes via the NFT Marketplace or you can upgrade your free CAThlete in order to have more energy. 

The gameplay is easy and simple. The algorithm will match you with another CAThlete and once combat starts it will last no more than 10 seconds. Ultimately, the CAThlete with better statistics will win. Gameplay is quick and simple and allows users to play many competitions a day. 

The maximum reward for a battle when your CAThlete is level 0 is 0.1 WLKN, worth $0.0043. Each competition costs one energy. The maximum amount of energy and its recovery time depends on your CAThlete level. For example a level 0 free CAThlete has a maximum of 3 energy and its recovery time is 1 hour for each energy. 

The Walken team will show leaderboards to improve the Walken experience for players. The leaderboards will show player participation over the course of the seasons’ weekly rotations. The most accomplished players will receive WLKN benefits via their applications. According to the team, this will be available in the near future. 

Position in LeaderboardWLKN Reward
130,000
210,000
35000
4-102500
11-251500
26-501000
51-100500
100-1000350
1000-2500200
2500-5000100

There are six different leagues where your CAThlete can compete. 

Competitions LeagueMaximum Reward in WLKN tokens
League 1/ CAThletes Level 1-20.1 WLKN tokens
League 2/ CAThletes Level 2-30.19 WLKN tokens
League 3/ CAThletes Level 4-50.45 WLKN tokens
League 4/ CAThletes Level 6-71.03 WLKN tokens
League 5/ CAThletes Level 8-92.02 WLKN tokens
League 6/ CAThletes Level 105.14 WLKN tokens

How will the Walken Runner mode work?

To compete for a share of the WLKN prize pool in the Runner Mode, you’ll need to join the Tournament. The more Gems you collect and use to boost stats, the more likely you are to defeat your enemy. Users will need to pass through the maximum number of green gates to boost their in-game health. Defeat the enemies by running to earn tickets.

Tickets are necessary for you to climb in the weekly Leaderboard. The Walken Tournament will run in seasons. Each season lasts 7 days, aftewhich the top players will be listed in the official channels. The tournament will be free to enter.

ROI Scenarios

Now for the part everyone is interested in – ROI. Assuming you just play with your free level 0 CAThlete you will be able to compete every hour. That is the rate your energy is recovered. Assuming you are awake 16 hours of the day and you play every time you’ve got your energy available, you will have 16 competitions a day. 

Remember CAThletes level 0 earns a maximum of $0.1 WLKN tokens per competition. Assuming the best scenario of winning all of the competitions, you will be earning $1.6 WLKN a day. A total of $0.0688. You can always upgrade your CAThletes in order to earn more WLKN in every competition. For your CAThlete to upgrade you will need Gems or clothes. As we mentioned before you will be earning one Gem every 1,000 steps. You can buy clothes on the Marketplace with WLKN tokens. The cost of clothing varies but you can find plenty for less than 25 WLKN. 

If a user dedicates time to walking every day, there’s no doubt that by collecting Gems, he will be able to upgrade his CAThlete to higher levels. Users can also buy CAThletes from the marketplace in the app. A level 10 common CAThlete costs around 2800 WLKN, or $120. Remember that a level 10 CAThlete has the opportunity of earning a maximum of 5.14 WLKN per competition. If a user plays around 20 competitions per day with a level 10 CAThlete winning 50% of them, you will be earning 51 WLKN a day. That being said, this user accounts for an annual return of 567% or a ROI of 54 days.

Below we have calculated various ROI scenarios for the CAThlete level 10 investment at different win rate scenarios (50%, 60% and 70%). For each of those scenarios we have included Base Case (price stays flat), Upside Case (price rises 20%) and Downside Case (price drops 50%). We are assuming the user plays 20 competitions per day. 

Thes are pretty high ROIs which makes us question whether or not they are sustainable. If these ROIs are only fueled by new users entering the game we would proceed with caution.

Game Developments Expected in 2022

  • New game modes, tournaments
  • Staking
  • Walken runner tests
  • Merge and fuse feature
  • Offline events and partnerships

Key Takeaways

  • Walken offers a unique concept combining two ideas (move-to-earn and play-to-earn) that are attracting a significant amount of users.
  • The dev team appears to be very transparent and has been communicating constantly on how the project is developing.
  • Easy and simple to understand app reduces a key barrier to entry.
  • Depending on win rate assumption, we calculated a Base case of ROI range of  567% – 1030% based on buying a level 10 CAThlete for 2800 WLKN, or around $120

Key Risks

  • The management team appears to be relatively inexperienced
  • Walken is operating in the play-to-earn space which has historically been characterized by boom and bust cycles. 
  • Sustainability of in-game economy.
  • The move-to-earn space is extremely competitive.

Check out Walken’s Website, Twitter, Discord and Telegram.

P2E Analytics Pro Research

This is the first research article as part of our Pro Research platform which includes weekly research reports, deep dives, yield farm opportunities and market insights. We are publishing this for free for a limited time. Sign up for our newsletter below for future updates.

×