One week after launching its massive XAI token airdrop, Arbitrum’s Xai gaming network has another big piece of news: Blockchain game developer Laguna Games is migrating Crypto Unicorns and related NFT games over from Ethereum sidechain network Polygon.

Founded in 2021, the expanding Crypto Unicorns ecosystem includes the core land-based building and battling experience, spinoff jousting, and party games. The project’s NFTs have generated about $35 million worth of trading volume to date.

Laguna Games co-founder and CEO Aron Beierschmitt told Decrypt that the team had run into “challenges” operating a game on Polygon, particularly with network gas spikes that made it more expensive to operate the game and created friction for players.

He said that Laguna Games began subsidizing players’ network gas fees to the tune of some $5,000 to $10,000 a month but that it was unsustainable. Xai, described as a layer-3 gaming network built on top of Arbitrum (itself an Ethereum layer-2 scaling network), lets players avoid such fees entirely thanks to a gas subsidy.


“You just need to obfuscate some of that friction while not getting rid of the things that actually matter, like the security of the actual assets themselves,” Beierschmitt explained. “It really is an enormous number of things that are going to improve as we move all of our contracts over.”

No official timeline has been set for the migration, but said that Laguna Games is operating on “an ASAP basis” to finalize the plans and working closely with Ex Populus, the game studio that works alongside the Xai Foundation and Arbitrum developer Offchain Labs on the Xai network. Ex Populus will also provide marketing support for Laguna, acting akin to a publisher.

Due to having more than 25 smart contracts that not only collectively power Crypto Unicorns NFTs but also gameplay logic, Beierschmitt claimed that it will be the “largest migration in the history” of blockchain games due to the sheer amount of code that will be ported over to Xai.

He said to expect a “staged rollout” that includes several migrations along the way, along with “probably some airdrop announcements and fun stuff too.”


Tobias Batton, co-founder and CEO of Ex Populus, told Decrypt that it’s “huge validation” to have an established crypto game studio like Laguna Games move over to Xai. He added that there’s been a “massive influx” of projects that are looking to build on and/or migrate to Xai, and that there will be many more announcements ahead.

“We’re really excited that right out of the gate, we have some evidence that this is actually going to work,” Batton said, “and that big players are moving to our ecosystem.”

Just last week, the Xai Foundation launched the XAI token, offering an airdrop to reward users that operate Sentry Nodes to support the network, certain NFT owners, and users who interacted with a Binance launchpool campaign. XAI hit a new high price of $1.21 on Wednesday, pushing the value of the total airdrop (125 million XAI) to over $151 million.

Edited by Ryan Ozawa.

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