Jam City Launches Blockchain Game Division, First Play-To-Earn Title, NFTs
“Tis the season for blockchain game announcements from big publishers, with Jam City announcing a new division focused on the red-hot sector, along with its first play-to-earn title and the pending sale of 10,000 accompanying characters built on non-fungible tokens.
This week’s announcement marks a big move by Culver City, Calif.-based Jam City into new kinds of games beyond their mobile-focused portfolio. The first title from the new division is called Champions: Ascension, a multi-platform fighting game built on Web3 protocols where players earn cryptocurrency.
As part of Champions: Ascension, Jam City will mint and sell 10,000 unique “Prime Eternals” characters built on NFTs that will have the best potential to earn within the game, the company said. As is increasingly common, buyers will be able to resell the NFT characters through a digital marketplace, build structures on virtual property, and forge virtual items, along with socializing and gameplay. Jam City has created a presale site for those who want to buy the NFTs, and a Discord server tied to the game and its NFTs.
“Web3 gives us the opportunity to incorporate player input, direct ownership of the characters, and ultimately player agency that is not currently possible with standard game technology,” said Jam City CEO Chris DeWolfe. “With Champions: Ascension, Jam City has the opportunity to help define this next generation of gaming. This is why we’re so bullish on investing heavily in multiple Web3 projects.”
A Jam City release describes the game play as “an RPG battle game that takes place in the world of Massina, which has been at peace for 1,000 years. Ruled by generations of Emperors, the people are united and entertained by its gladiatorial games in a grand arena fought by outlandish beasts known as Eternals. These alchemical creations are imbued with a primordial essence such as life, death or arcane, and possess special abilities. These essences are worshiped as deities by the people as the balance between the different Houses influences their daily lives.”
The company said it will eventually mint lower-level characters who can play, build and socialize in the game as well, though with less earning potential and promised access to Jam City developers through the Discord channel.
“We’re taking our long-term expertise and knowledge of gaming and blockchain to create a highly dynamic and truly unique experience, and we’ll be involving our community in building and executing our roadmap in a way many have promised but few have managed to meaningfully deliver on,” said Jam City President and COO Josh Yguado, a company co-founder with DeWolfe. “However, the most important part of this experience, which is true of all our games, is that it will be fully accessible. The beauty of Champions is that it will be rolled out across multiple platforms, and players do not have to be crypto experts to get involved. We are re-drawing the rules when it comes to engagement and ultimately will provide a deeper, richer, more rewarding experience that allows players to generate real income while playing the games they love.”
Earlier in the week, Zynga announced a strategic alliance with Forte, whose tech tools are used by dozens of publishers making blockchain-based games. That announcement came a few weeks after the company named a new VP of blockchain games, Matt Wolf.
Indie fantasy title Forbidden Runes already has released its NFT champions, some 10,000 wizard characters that populate its massively multiplayer online space. Resale prices on those characters have ramped up significantly, costing anywhere from about $4,000 to $40,000 each, company executives said.
Sites such as Decentraland and The Sandbox are more like blockchain-based open platforms on which creators can build immersive experiences, attracting homesteading big brands such as Adidas, Nike and Atari.
Jam City also released a YouTube teaser trailer featuring a bit of Champions: Ascension gameplay: