The Rebirth of CatBlox
To the CatBlox community:
We want to start with a sincere thank you to every single community member who has participated in CatBlox over the past six months since our mint day. From our incredible Treasury Board and OGs, to the new and enthusiastic members, to those who participated in giveaways or shared our message on Twitter, to those who simply jump in to share gifs in Discord, to those who air their frustrations and make suggestions for improvements. Each of you individually contributed to what CatBlox is and we wouldn’t be here without you.
Before we get to the meat of the update, we quickly want to take a minute at this six-month mark to pause and reflect on how much we’ve accomplished together as a community in such a short period of time.
We began in February with our 9,999 item Genesis Collection, inspired to be a canvas for collaboration. Immediately following, we began a boundary-breaking collaboration with PUMA, created our amazing Genesis Treasury and Board, starting with a $40,000 donation to charities worldwide, and launched our free mint MetaPortal collection, another 9,999 item collection. Next was our built-by-scratch claim for our free T7 track jackets and seamless mint out of PUMA’s capsule collection in a bear market. Into Season 2, we launched giveaways from our partners at SUPERF3ST and GameStopNFT, organized 3 successful IRL meetups, and made history as the first-ever NFT collection with a broadcast commercial (seen by over 4 million people on ESPN). Most recently was our free mint, 6,400 item, live-updating, AR collection in partnership with TBT. We gamed, laughed, cried, and created what we genuinely believe is one of the most active, most empathetic, and strongest communities within the space that is supporting us and keeping us honest every step of the way.
For many NFT collections this would be more than a year’s worth of activity and we (somehow) did it all in six months. A huge thank you to everyone who put in the work to make these things happen and to the participants who supported, participated, and experimented with us along the way.
While those things fill us with pride, we’re not satisfied.
We have admittedly accomplished a lot for a young NFT collection, but there have been many hard lessons learned along the way that have made these 6 months less than ideal for our members.
First, we are grateful to our friends at PUMA for believing in us and collaborating with us out of the gate, including the recently announced NITRO PASS allow list spots. Still, we learned quickly that a young brand collaborating with a global institution is immediately defined by that collaboration. While our community is expecting Web3 timelines, collaborators cannot work at that pace. They have worldwide logistics and supply chain constraints, stringent legal parameters to protect brand integrity, established marketing timelines and massive teams that they have to weave in. All of these concepts affect our ability to communicate with our community. The nature of these complications are certainly understandable, but also something that takes considerable time to comply with and properly execute. Managing the reality of global brand operations along with justified Web3 expectations is a significant challenge in ways we did not anticipate. A challenge that justifiably frustrated members at times.
Unexpected changes to the TBT roster and promotional partners also threw a wrench in our Season 2 free-mint Capsule, which did not operate with the ease our members expect and deserve.
This has manifested in other, less obvious ways as well. There have been several large partnerships teased in Spaces or Voice Chats, partnerships that were days away from launching, that never came to be due to last-minute legal considerations from the highest levels at these organizations. While this includes brands that have been rumored but not announced, it also affected our planned activation with GameStopNFT which was originally scheduled to launch on the first day of Season 2. (GameStopNFT will remain a prizing partner for The Vault.) Communications across all partnerships are often required to be ready to deploy days in advance, but must be signed off by various levels of marketing and legal before going public, and delays in this process often feel frustrating for members as they wait for more information.
The Seasons approach also provided some unexpected challenges. What was intended to provide an always-fresh feeling of themes and brand activations turned out to confuse many people (particularly new members) and made it difficult to understand what the identity and purpose of CatBlox was.
Throughout all of these challenges, the attention has been primarily on the brand partners at the expense of opportunities to build CatBlox as a brand and experience of its own. The current approach was designed with the NFT market of February 2022 in mind, a time when collectible art was the meta and brands were eager to jump into Web3 as quickly as possible. That approach is not sustainable nor a business model that can succeed in the current market. The volume on secondary reflects that.
This has been a conversation we have been having internally for quite some time. There have been countless meetings about how to address this and ensure that CatBlox as a brand can drive its own destiny and become a force of its own in the market; finding ways to deliver an experience to all core Genesis members as its primary function. I think we all want people to know what we are when they hear the word CatBlox, not think “oh the PUMA collab project?” or “the basketball guys?”
More importantly, we want to be able to control our own brand in a way that creates value through experiences, entertainment, and engagement on timelines we define. That wasn’t working with our seasonal collaboration format.
With all of that, and countless suggestions and feedback from community members in mind, we are announcing a new CatBlox brand coming this year. Allow us to (re)introduce ourselves.
In the coming weeks, we will be relaunching the brand and mission of CatBlox as a narrative/lore-driven collection with a full internal ecosystem and easy to understand collection of NFTs. The remainder of 2022 will be focused on introducing the world to our new fictional universe, providing backstory, and being laser-focused on the key technical deliverables you can expect to enable this vision. This will create the groundwork to achieve our initial goals and create entertainment-focused experiences for our members.
Inspired by alternate reality games (ARGs), members will be immersed in the new fictional metaverse of CatBlox and must work together to unravel its mysteries and unlock the various interworking features of its ecosystem. Our founding team has a very deep history in the entertainment industry, so creating entertainment and story-focused experiences for our members that are enhanced by benefits and innovative technology is our sweet spot.
This is a monumental change, so let’s take a moment to go over what this includes:
External Image and Communications
In the coming weeks, CatBlox Studios will become the fictional CatBlox Corporation.
We will be launching a new in-world website that will serve as the main hub for all things CatBlox. It will be where you learn about the fictional company and setting and, in the coming months, access the virtual world of CatBlox through a server map, mint and burn new items, find the (locked) Vault, and manage your experience and identity as a member. All with refreshed in-story branding that drives home the story we’re excited to tell.
All social media will simultaneously transition to our new brand to make the experience more immersive and engaging for new members. In addition to our main account, there will be hidden Twitter accounts and Twitter advertisements waiting to be discovered with clues or puzzles that lead to where the story is going next. We will strongly focus on Twitter as our main means of communication and engagement, while Discord (which has been simplified) may be seen as more of a lounge. We want to create a story everyone wants to share publicly along with a community tradition of following, amplifying, and supporting our fellow members. When someone subscribes to CatBlox through a Genesis Collection purchase, their Twitter notifications should go through the roof.
The team will be communicating regularly through Twitter and weekly Twitter Spaces to share updates and tease upcoming activations, in addition to community-run Spaces on CBLX Clubhouse.
At the time of launch, members will receive a video that sets the stage for the fictional universe in which CatBlox exists. Now is our chance to put the spotlight on our new story.
We will also be launching an email sign up form on our website where members can opt-in to receive the most important updates, ensuring they do not miss a mint or deadline simply because they have been off social media for a week or two while busy with responsibilities in their life.
The website, social media refresh, new assets, and email sign up are expected to launch in mid to late September.
The Core CatBlox Set
We want to make it easy to understand what makes up the CatBlox ecosystem in terms of NFTs. That’s why we will be introducing the concept of the Core CatBlox Set, three collections that together provide the most complete CatBlox experience.
CatBlox Genesis Collection
The Genesis Collection will forever be our origin and the soul of the experience. A member must own a Genesis Collection cat in order to work with any other areas of the CatBlox ecosystem.
MetaPortals were our first free mint and will remain an important item for any CatBlox member who wants to fully engage. Their function will evolve and will no longer require direct transfer-style burns, a messy user experience from the start. In fact, their mere presence in the wallet of a CatBlox member may provide benefits… or information on its own.
The third item in the Core CatBlox Set has not yet been announced, though there have been rumors of its existence. While this collection must be unlocked by the community as you push the story further later this year, here’s what you should know about it:
While we launched intentionally to make the Genesis Cat a canvas and reflect the spirit of popular collectibles, we also understand there is a deep desire from members to identify more closely with the NFTs they own.
The third collection is focused on NFTs with new art that members can identify with, use as PFPs across social media, and serve as your digital identity in the CatBlox ecosystem. It is currently being built in a way that allows us to evolve it with the brand and add interactive functionality that can directly impact the story down the line. It can be expected towards the end of the year. It will not cost ETH to mint for Genesis members outside of gas.
While our PUMA Capsule Collection will continue to provide benefits as promised to owners (including a CATNIP bonus) and our TBT winners will soon receive their promised prizes, capsule collections will become significantly more rare and only utilized when necessary to enhance the brand and ecosystem moving forward. Seasons will be phased out in favor of our continuing main storyline. By focusing on the CatBlox story and ecosystem, we can build a stronger brand and work collaborations into that ecosystem in a much more impactful way that provides value to all members while supporting our brand, rather than defining it. Collaborations may become less frequent to start, but they will be much more impactful to our community.
CATNIP and The Vault
CATNIP and The Vault will play a very important part in our ecosystem. CATNIP will not only be points that can be redeemed for rewards we’ve talked about before, but also will be used to participate in and advance the story. Certain events in the future may require members to work together and pool CATNIP to unlock the next phase. In other words, CATNIP will be a resource used in MANY aspects of our ecosystem, not just rewards redemption. It will require decision making: Will you passively earn and redeem rewards now and then, or will you maximize your earnings and contribute to the progression of the storyline?
CATNIP will be distributed to members based on the quantity of cats owned and duration of ownership. If you have owned a Genesis Cat since mint and/or own multiple cats, you will be very pleased.
CATNIP is also tied directly into the lore of CatBlox Corporation and has some mysterious properties of its own.
The Vault will not only be a place for rewards as we have described in the past, but will evolve to be the primary place for key lore items that personalize your experience, along with a storytelling location in the fictional world of CatBlox. It is currently still locked, so expect to work together with your fellow community members to discover how to get inside as one of your first major storyline tasks in the new chapter of Catblox.
Throughout all of this, we still feel it is valuable to provide benefits to our members along the way. Some brand collaborators may choose to interact with the community in this way and our team is currently sourcing ways to benefit our subscribers consistently. From wellness access subscriptions to professional career coaching, we are looking at many different types of ongoing benefits, but we want your help particularly in this area to determine what is most valuable to you. We will be announcing a dedicated individual to focus on this effort in the very near future.
Finally, we are immensely thankful to all of you who continue to hold us accountable and share suggestions, feedback, and first-person experiences of challenges you’ve encountered with our activations. This is what helps us improve above all else. We want you to continue to hold us accountable and will be sourcing feedback in the coming weeks to gauge desires and preferences so we can better guide this next chapter together. As always, feel free to share any suggestions in the #suggestions channel. We closely monitor this and share messages across the team daily.
We are so excited to take everything we’ve learned and relaunch CatBlox as an entertainment, lore and ecosystem-driven brand with all of you. We can’t wait to share the backstory and play along as we together reveal the rich fictional world of CatBlox Corporation. This new approach will give us significantly more control over our communications schedule, our brand, our timeline, and the methods and efficiency with which we provide engaging experiences and value to our subscribers. We begin together in early September.
It’s time to dig into the mysteries of CatBlox Corporation.
It’s time for rebirth.