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(Kitco News) – Epic Games, the company behind the popular online multiplayer game Fortnite, has officially waded into the world of blockchain gaming by launching Blankos Block Party on the Epic Games Store.
Blankos Block Party is a nonfungible token (NFT) powered online creation game created by Mythical Games that was originally launched as an open beta in December 2020. Since its launch, the Web3 game has accumulated more than one million users according to Mythical Games.
The game studio first revealed its plans to bring the free-to-play title to the Epic Games Store back in June, managing to beat out Gala Games and its western-themed shooter Grit for the honor of being the first Web3 game to launch on the popular PC gaming marketplace.
Blankos Block Party was inspired by designer/vinyl toy culture and allows users to play and collaborate in a colorful online world. NFT technology is used to represent unique items in the game, like avatar designs and accessories, which users can buy and sell through the game’s marketplace.
A number of well-known brands and artist partners have already signed on to be part of Blankos Block Party by offering limited-edition drops, including Burberry, Atari, and musician Deadmau5. For interested players, it’s important to note that owning an NFT is not required to play the game.
The version of Blankos Block Party that launched on the Epic Games store is functionally identical to the playable version on the games website. Both versions are currently available in an “early access” state ahead of the game’s full launch, which is scheduled to occur on Sept. 28.
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Final Fantasy creators double down on blockchain
In other blockchain gaming news, Square Enix, the Japanese game developer behind the globally popular Final Fantasy franchise, has signed on to become a node validator for the blockchain gaming project Oasys.
According to the announcement from Oasys, Square Enix managed to claim the last of the project’s 21 initial validator slots. Along with becoming a validator, the pair has also teamed up to create the next generation of blockchain games on Oasys’ EVM-compatible proof-of-stake (PoS) blockchain.
The main focus of the collaboration will be on the creatine of Triple-A quality games with play-to-earn (P2E) integrations. Other Oasys gaming partners include Double Jump, Bandai Namco and Ubisoft.
In January, Square Enix president and CEO Yosuke Matsuda signaled that he was interested in the idea of introducing blockchain-enabled “token economies” into games to incentivize both players and users that generate content to add to the games.
“With advances in token economies, users will be provided with explicit incentives, thereby resulting not only in greater consistency in their motivation, but also creating a tangible upside to their creative efforts,” Matsuda wrote.
“From having fun to earning to contributing, a wide variety of motivations will inspire people to engage with games and connect with one another. It is blockchain-based tokens that will enable this. By designing viable token economies into our games, we will enable self-sustaining game growth.”
The company’s first dip into the realm of NFTs occurred in July with the release of tokenized character figures for $129.99 featuring characters such as Cloud Strife from Final Fantasy.
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