An NFT collection for an upcoming blockchain game has just raised the bar on fundraising in the crypto space — and raised questions about just how overheated and frenzied the NFT market is right now.

Pixelmon raised US$70 million in a mint event this morning to build what it says will be an AAA-quality Web3 game that involves catching and trading Pixelmon creatures.

Users paid as much as 3 Ether (US$9,450) to mint a Pixelmon today, with the price dropping by 0.1 Ether every 10 minutes in a “Dutch auction” format. The last of the 7,750 Gen1 Pixelmon available for minting today apparently went for 2.4 Ether, social media posts indicate.

Other recent NFT mints have been for 0.05 to 0.3 Ether (US$157 to $944) – although Pixelmon backers would argue their NFTs have “utility” since they can be used for this upcoming game.

But it’s not like the game is ready for release. The Pixelmon website says that typically these kind of projects take “at least” two to three years to develop, but with the expected increase in funding from the mint strategy, they expect to release an alpha product by the end of the second quarter and finish development by early Q3.

“Pixelmon making over 1980Ξ holding a 3 ETH Dutch auction with only a website and a twitter account is either very inspirational or terrifying,” posted one Twitter analyst, making a typo over how much they raised — more than 19,800 Ether, not 1,900.

The Pixelmon creatures were selling for between 1.3 and 2.0 Ether on Opensea this afternoon, with 4,700 in volume traded, meaning that anyone who had minted one in the hopes of making money on a quick flip was having to sell for a loss.

Like many crypto projects, the team behind Pixelmon appear to be entirely anonymous, at least judging from their website.

For what it’s worth, here’s the demo.