Following the release of a digital mini-game called “Sheep a Sheep,” which has recently gone viral in China, a new GameFi version has quietly been launched. While ownership of this new version is denied by the official developer, its token price has experienced roller coaster-like fluctuations within a short period of time.
In mid-September, Sheep a Sheep (羊了个羊 Yángle Ge Yáng), which is available on Tencent‘s WeChat platform, suddenly went viral, as its high level of difficulty became a trending topic on various Chinese social media sites. Since September 14, the game has attracted more than 1.6 billion netizens on Douyin and has more than 60 million daily players. According to WeChat’s statistics, 26 million players participated in a challenge on September 14, causing the server to break down several times.
On September 24, the university from which Zhang Jiaxu, the founder of game developer Beijing Jianyou Technology, graduated from, made a large display board and placed it in the campus for exhibition. This move attracted students and web users to engage in further discussion. Jianyou’s second-largest shareholder is Xiamen Leiting Network Technology, a subsidiary of A-share listed G-Bits.
Right after it gained popularity, a GameFi version of Sheep a Sheep appeared, adding cryptocurrency concepts such as a token economy and NFTs, while retaining the original core gameplay. However, Jianyou Technology denied ownership of the version on September 27 and claimed it amounted to infringement. “The company received a report that someone posing as an employee of the company had published a blockchain version of Sheep A Sheep on the BNB Chain. We have never developed or licensed any blockchain games,” it said.
According to a white paper of the project, the GameFi version of Sheep a Sheep was developed and launched by the original programmer of Jianyou Technology. It is a blockchain game developed based on BNB Chain, which was originally launched by Binance and now is one of the public chains with the most users.
Compared with the original version, the GameFi version has removed the relatively simple first level, and has two versions for mobile phones and computers. It requires users to connect a cryptocurrency wallet to log in, and the UI design has changed from the original farm to the token most familiar to the Web3 community.
The biggest difference between the GameFi version and the original is the introduction of a token economy. A virtual currency called “YLGY” has been launched in this version, which is used to buy items such as elimination cards.
The main feature is that users can split the tokens in the prize pool after completing the game. According to the white paper, there are 100 million YlGYs, and 50% of them are in the prize pool. The specific amount of each day’s prize pool will be adjusted on the previous day. The prize pool will be reset at 22:00 Beijing time, and all rewards will be distributed at 24:00 Beijing time. In addition, the team said it would reserve the right to change the prize pool allocation rules, and that its NFTs would be paired with its own NFT trading platform.
It’s worth noting that the price of a YLGY token has experienced wild swings since its launch on September 22. According to CoinMarketCap’s data, the price of one YLGY token was initially around $0.012 after its launch, but at the time of writing, it is priced at $0.001356. Some users thought that the project developer could issue and destroy coins at will, and directly called them “shitcoins.”
The game link is now unavailable. Jiemian News quoted a lawyer as saying that the issuance of a large number of tokens overseas on the foundation of a popular Chinese game may constitute the criminal absorption of public deposits and fundraising fraud, over which domestic judicial authorities have jurisdiction. At the same time, there was no innovation in the gameplay of the GameFi version, and the content, other than tokens, is not ensured to be open and transparent by using blockchain technology. Moreover, the project developer retains the right of interpretation with a high degree of centralization, leading to high risks.