Mythical Games is proud of Blankos Block Party, Of course. Co-founders John Linden and Rudy Koch are happy to have found a significant following, and they are excited to partner with brands like Burberry and Deadmau5. They were Great pleased to receive an additional $ 75 million from investors this month, bringing their total funding to $ 120 million. But really, Blankos Block Party is no longer a side activity for Mythical Games. What Linden and Koch are actually selling is an NFT-focused gameplay and development ecosystem.
The problem is, for the majority of Mythical’s audience, it sounds boring as hell. It’s much easier to sell Blankos, a colorful online world filled with user-created toys and cartoon vibes, only to push the blockchain economy on a child gamer base and mainstream brands.
“Blankos is obviously the proving ground, ”Linden told Engadget. “We control all the levers of Blankos, which is awesome, so we can do a lot of testing and really see what’s hitting the community. But the idea behind this is to adjust it so that other games can use the same concepts.
Blankos was never meant to be a complete game. It started out as a tech demo, a way for legendary developers to present their NFT market to potential business partners. Blankos works on the premise of affordability, ownership, and rarity – it’s a free title where players (and brands) can create game worlds without any coding skills required, and also craft items and unique characters to collect or sell as NFTs. The Blankos themselves are squasy, Funko-esque toys, bringing home the idea that they’re collectibles, even though they’re completely digital.
This NFT market is at the heart of Blankos, and that’s what Mythical is really interested in building.
“What NFTs allow us to do is bring the player into the economy so that they can participate in the value they bring to the game,” said Koch. “Thanks to the items they earn, the levels they build, the customizations they make, they own the NFTs. They own the items, for the first time. And they can play with them, they can sell them.
The idea of selling in-game items for real money isn’t new, but the ownership that comes with blockchain technology is. There are existing markets where players buy and sell rare game keys, digital weapons, and cosmetic gear, although these operate in legally risky terrain. Players often don’t own the things they are trading – the game developer does. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive has a notoriously hot gray market, with players who would be spend north of $ 100,000 for specific weapon skins.
“We’ve seen gray markets appear around the most popular games, almost all of the popular games,” Koch said. “The players clearly see the value, and they want to buy and sell things from each other… [but] it has always been on the fringes, it has always been illegitimate.
Linden agreed and added, “When these gray markets appear, they are not safe. You don’t know if you’re going to get the assets, there’s a lot of fraud in these things, there’s a lot of laundering, there’s a lot of different things, and negative things have happened in these gray markets. And I think that’s what we want to try to legitimize. We want it to be part of the game, of the ecosystem, so you can design with it. “
When Mythical was showing Blankos for big brands about three years ago, the NFT industry was a strange and little-known space. It was centuries before the Big boom (and bust) NFT of 2021, back in the days when most people were just starting to hear about blockchain technology, mostly from a Bitcoin perspective. Today, NFT marketplaces are so fashionable that they have become outdated.
Overall, this is good news for Mythical. Linden and Koch no longer have to spend time explaining blockchain-based ownership or trying to avoid saying “NFT” altogether.
“There is a new generation of collectors, right? Linden said. “And the fact that they’re willing to pay that money for tokenized JPEGs, which – we’ll see what the value is, in the long run, but I think [the NFT craze] showed is he showed the mentality. It showed where consumers’ interest is heading, that they view digital assets as assets. “
To this end, Blankos Block Party does not need to be successful. Mythical didn’t even need to win the Twitch chat, who wasn’t aggressively impressed with the Blankos showcasing this week at E3 2021. What really matters are the big brands and gamers buying into Mythical’s in-game NFT ecosystem.
“The game doesn’t have to be a grand slam,” said Linden. “We are not necessarily trying to assume Roblox, but what we’re seeing is the community is loving it. The community really loves what we do, the brands love what they do, so we’re definitely going to invest heavily behind that, to really show that and show all these new concepts that we want to do. How does gameplay affect ownership? How to play to win? What does this mean in a game? “
Blankos Between Early access this week, bringing “several hundred thousand” players to a six-month beta. Brands and artists such as Burberry, Deadmau5, Michael Lau and Quiccs plan to release in-game items this year, and Mythical coordinated a Blanko NFT Twitch Drop for viewers of its E3 2021 show on Monday. Over 100,000 NFTs were purchased in Blankos until now.
In the long run, Mythical is concerned with ensuring that its NFT economy is sustainable. Mythical isn’t the only studio trying to make NFT a thing in games, but they’ve been working on this issue for years and have hired people who are experts in live events, ticketing, and financial systems. Eventually, if all goes according to plan, the studio will shift to a distribution role similar to that of Valve or Epic Games, licensing its blockchain technology and overseeing the game savings of other studios.
“Our main focus will be to bring this technology to many other game developers, and we are already in talks with a number of them to integrate it into their world as well,” said Linden. “We’ll probably have a few announcements later this year for sure.”
Blankos is certainly not Fortnite or Roblox, but it is not necessary. Just introduce Mythical’s NFT concept to the video game industry.
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