Launching a New Play-to-Earn Game Studio by@metapunk

Launching a New Play-to-Earn Game Studio

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metapunk

All futures need a movement and identity.

As a science fiction fan since I was a child, I have always loved the strange new worlds, the vast array of species and stories of that genre and as I grew older, I wanted the opportunity to develop a universe of my own and make it a reality for others to immerse themselves in.

Project Gateway is that reality; a space-themed, open-world massively multiplayer online game (MMO) that combines elements from other successful titles but around an entirely original IP and one which includes a deep and immersive narrative for players to explore and enjoy.

To a certain extent, and to use a much-maligned term, the overall design and goal is a virtual universe that will sit within the much larger Metaverse. We believe that every online game will eventually become a piece of the whole and start to adopt the various components that are required as standard.

Nevertheless, this is a long journey for the industry and won't happen overnight.

Project Gateway (a working title for now) is the result of a combined effort to create this new type of MMORPG and there are several differences in the game design we believe will bring the video game community and the cryptocurrency community together to enjoy the world they'll inhabit and eventually create for themselves.

Four years ago, I had this vision - to create a large, open-world game that also allowed players to be rewarded for their time. It wasn't called play-to-earn then, in fact, there was no real name for it because it didn't really exist.

Back in 2017/18, there was also the gold rush in the form of ICOs (Initial Coin Offerings) to fund new games - a type of crowdfunding that involved the cryptocurrency community by launching a new currency token to invest in that tied itself to the game's economy. It was something that we had resisted moving toward because we could already see where the trend was going to lead.

And we were right - many, if not the majority, of those projects, failed or simply vanished with the money.

Our game design and IP centred around a real working, player-driven economy that was underpinned by blockchain together with crafted in-game assets that yielded value for players to trade in between each other. At the time, NFTs were not even considered as part of the video game industry and as a result, traditional investors couldn't see why this was needed at all.

This meant we couldn’t move forward and halted all work on the concept early in 2019.

Fast forward to today and this is a very different story.

From the concept work and early game design developed I decided to take another shot at the project and rebuild the studio from scratch.

Today, we're fortunate to have found early game investors and play-to-earn visionaries who not only believe in the vision of the project but also in the studio itself and we have raised $1.7m in an early pre-seed round to begin work.

There is a long road ahead of us and delivering a game of this size will be years in the making with a studio larger than the size we are today but we have already made a start.

How are we doing this?

We are not launching a token for example.

At the moment there are many questions around the regulation, the transparency, accessibility and speculative behaviours it drives which is at odds with the video games industry as a whole. The goal is to create a video game in which people will still be immersed within in years, if not decades to come and that requires a massive shift in thinking beyond the current crop of tokenised games with little depth.

Existing titles like World of Warcraft, Elder Scrolls Online, EvE Online and even Second Life have shown that with the right consideration and mix of gameplay, lore, player-driven economies and open-world mechanics this can be achieved.

The next stage in this genre evolution is to combine these elements with the ability to reward players for their engagement and time. We're not the first by any means - Entropia Universe has been operating like this for years but in order to do so had to register as a legal banking entity. Decentralisation and the cryptocurrency movement offer an alternative path.

We are using Bitcoin for the value creation for players.

This is tied to a unique player-driven and owned economy, which is being designed by our two economists (again, something which sets the studio and the project apart from others).

Why Bitcoin? For starters, it's listed on and supported by every exchange and not likely to disappear. Our onboarding aligned to our wallet partner, Zebedee, offers one of the easiest and most accessible sign-up processes there is - there is no messing around with Metamask or other complex tools and web-based exchanges that instantly turn off would-be new players who just want to log in and enjoy the game.

Our plans for NFTs (non-fungible tokens) go far beyond JPEGs and collectibles and even though the mechanisms were conceived 4 years ago they are still ahead of where most thinking is landing today in and outside of the games industry.

Many of the game's technical IP goes beyond blockchain and will result in patent applications because they're unique, but ultimately they will add value, depth and will not detract from the gameplay or for the players themselves.

And what of the studio itself?

We are an eclectic mix of video game veterans, juniors, and newcomers to the industry, each bringing their own set of skills and experiences to bear that absolutely and perfectly complement what we're going to build. We're a diverse studio and already looking at different ways to operate as a team; looking at adopting a fully hybrid work ethic that's shaped around each individual and not an office environment. As a result, we have gained access to talent across the globe rather than hiring within a single region.

We're not afraid of what's ahead or to do things differently, and we hope to show you what a bunch of Carbon Based Lifeforms can achieve when they come together under one roof.

Theo Priestley, CEO, and Co-Founder

Watch out for more over the coming weeks and months as we sign up more partners and hire more lifeforms and begin to reveal more about the gameplay, the development roadmap, and timescales for Early Access.

And don't forget to sign up and get notified when we eventually go to press about the game's launch itself and to follow us on Twitter. We'll be setting up our other community forums, servers and channels soon!

Also published on: https://www.carbonlifeforms.net/post/launchingthestudio

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