The 21-year-old Kiwi founder of a crypto gaming project that raised US$70 million in Ethereum during its hyped launch three weeks ago is apologising after its NFT eggs hatched to reveal some underwhelming artwork.

As Stockhead reported on February 8, thousands of users paid a whopping 3 Ether (US$9,450) to mint a Pixelmon during its Dutch auction event, with the small team netting a total of 24,158 Ether.

Those eggs hatched into Generation 1 Pixelmon on Saturday – and the results utterly failed to impress.

“3 Eth” was trending on Twitter on Saturday as users mocked the artwork.

“I’m not going to sugar coat it – we made a terrible mistake,” the project’s leader, “Syber”, posted in Discord.

“We endeavoured to try something new and not done before on OpenSea with our 3D Pixelmon, beyond the regular image or video…

“To put it simply, we are sorry. This is unacceptable. We felt pressured to reveal and the reality is we weren’t ready to push the art work. This does not represent the brand and we will fix this as we have let many people down with this reveal.”

Going forward Pixelmon will has pledged $2 million to revamp and redesign the NFTs at a higher quality using a different studio, he wrote.

Syber said the project was started with just a small team in December, and got much more attention than they were expecting.

Syber disclosed he was 21, that his name was Martin and lived in New Zealand.

He held an emotional “Ask Me Anything” YouTube livestream on Sunday, admitting mistakes while promising that the metaverse project would continue despite the adversity.

He also said the team had been dealing with death threats.

During the AMA, Syber also apologised for a lack of communication and the project spending 400 Ethereum (US$1 million) from the project’s treasury on NFTs, including Bored Apes and Mutant Apes.

“I apologise for that, how it looked and the impact it had on the project and on myself as a founder,” he said.

“A few NFTs were purchased, and that was irresponsible and I take accountability for that; it was not the right move now … it was never an attempt to sneakily go away and buy some NFTs that would be used for personal gain.”

Pixelmon’s leadership team only paid itself less than 2 per cent of the total funding raised, he said.

He said Pixelmon can’t offer refunds – something many community members would apparently prefer – but will create the game that it has promised.

Pixelmon creatures were selling for a floor (minimum) price of 0.319 Ether this afternoon.