Mimicking the other companies like Ubisoft, Com2Us, and Zynga, the entry of Jam City to NFT gaming is an important one. These companies, just like Jam City does, were reported that they embrace Web 3 -seemingly the future of computing decentralization- and blockchain. Big-name game developers like Will Wright, Austin Grossman, Peter Molyneux, and Graeme Devine, along with many others have been getting into NFT gaming as start-ups fuelled the multibillion-dollar market this year earlier.
Transition to the era of NFT is proven to be somewhat painful so far. Earlier this year, GSC Game World’s Stalker 2 had caused the raise of concerns from gamers about NFT gaming, including scams, money laundering, and focus on profit over actually playing the game. So in a way, Jam City’s entry into the market feels like the beginning of free-to-play games, as well as the beginning of social and mobile games.
The new business model NFT promises is by validating unique digital items using the security and transparency of blockchain’s digital ledger. Allowing users to have their investment, the special equipment as useable in-game items, for many, create a profitable market to utilize.
After the initial pioneers had set foot in the field of NFT gaming, Jam City thinks that it is ready to be amongst them. Seeing the potential on the market, Jam City’s CEO Chris DeWolfe said in an interview with GamesBeat that it’s quite an opportunity to empower players with ownership of their characters as well as other advantages of NFT gaming.
“We believe NFTs have been interesting and, to a certain degree, maybe overhyped, but where they’re really going to shine is where they can be plugged into an environment where there’s utility for the NFTs. And so fundamentally, we think that there is going to be a user behavior change. It’s happening right now, where folks want more control over their web experiences, their computer experiences.”
Spending NFTs in a game acquires you an asset and as DeWolfe said you may even be able to use that asset for completely different purposes of entertainment. You can also always sell it.
“And there will be a more collaborative experience between the game developers and the players in terms of the direction that the game is going to take. With direct input from that perspective, it’s going to be much more of a community. It’s going to be way more socially driven. We’re going to be utilizing Discord in a lot bigger way.”
In an interview with GamesBeat, Johnny Casamassina, Head of Design at Jam City says that the first title is a “play-to-earn” adventure game set in a high fantasy universe, titled Champions: Ascension. The game is developed exclusively for Web 3. After making PC/console games for 20 years, a decade ago, Casamassina switched to the mobile game industry. At the interview, he also stated that making this game was a long-time desire of his.
“We feel very heavily invested into Web 3 computing, and games are going to be one of the first big applications there. We have been investing over the last nine months to creating blockchain experiences for users. One of the projects is one that we’ve been working on for quite a while.”Johnny Casamassina
First NFTs are a one-time offer
Before the time of the launch, Jam City will release a limited run of 10,000 NFTs called ‘Prime Eternals’ starting with a whitelist-only private sale.
Now, it’s lore time:
Champions —the characters that players can own — dwell in the world of Massina, where the peace is maintained for the last 1,000 years. Citizens of the empire are united and entertained by the fight of Eternals, the species that are different from the people of Massina.
Eternals are filled with different essences such as arcane, death, and life and they possess their unique abilities. The essences they consist are regarded as deities, worshiped and followed by people as they are concerned about the balance between ‘Houses’ since it directly influences their life. The changes in Massina will be impacted by the players with the help of blockchain technology, of course.
The release of 10,000 NFTs, namely Prime Eternals will be a one-time deal only that seems to affect how the gameplay folds for good. The players who possess these NFTs will have the highest in-game rewards potential and access to some perks that are not available for those who do not possess these NFTs. Perks include unique gear, early access, chance to chat with the developers via Discord, — which could be important for the players that want to see certain changes in the game since they will be accessible to developers who have direct authority to make requested changes — and many other things.
Focus of the Gameplay
Players will experience gladiatorial combat that demands on-foot decision-making, careful planning, and strategical actions to be victorious. The skills of Champions can be improved and they can be set with various equipment before stepping into a battlefield. Forging is another mechanic for your Character to benefit from and forging equipment and armor from the bones of defeated enemies is a cool feature. Land ownership is another important aspect of the game where you expand your territory and leadership rank. You can also form alliances with other players and merge the essence of two different Champions to create one greater Champion.
Additional Champions tiers with different levels of in-game rewards potential and gear access will be introduced at a later date. Champion NFTs can be used in-game to interact with other players, whether it’s in a competitive, cooperative, or socializing manner. Jam City is aiming to find the middle ground between hardcore gamers and crypto investors with this game.
In hopes of finding such middle ground, DeWolfe said:
“We’re shooting for all of our games to be very approachable, where you know, when you’re actually playing the game, you don’t have to download all these crazy wallets. There is all this friction getting into a game. But this will be as easy to start a game as any other free-to-play game.”
Champions will come with different levels of rarity.
“These are assets that essentially just exist forever,. The Champions will be doing battle, one against another. And out of those battles, there will emerge one victor, and one loser. The Champions who rise will essentially be able to absorb the essence of the fallen champions, making them stronger. “Johnny Casamassina
The competition increases along with the victories of players. The influence of movies like 300 and Thor Ragnarok is apparent in the game.
Later on, Jam City will make it possible for players to build and craft in-game to benefit their Champions or to use them as assets to trade within the player-to-player marketplace. Such activities help players to enrich their collection and strengthen their influence in Champions Universe, engaging the community and creating opportunities for players to enjoy and trade the game with the piling digital goods over time.
DeWolfe stated that the company will first focus on web games before expanding into mobile games. Jam City will be doing everything possible to create a metaverse to support the game, including the use of new technologies such as NFTs, minting, staking, and trading.
First come first served
Given how new and promising the market is, it’s no surprise that Jam City considers this move to be an opportunity for being a pioneer for a big change in the game industry. Just like the first free-to-play games and app stores came and change the habits of game consumption, DeWolfe and cofounder Josh Yguado believe the next big change in the market and brand new wave of player experience democratization is happening right now.
There is no information about what tech vendors will be used or which mobile platforms are targeted moreover the web that is confirmed by Jam City.
There’s a strong belief in Web 3 games from Jam City, they have faith in the deep gameplay opportunity that Web 3 creates opposite to current blockchain games which have light gameplay created by blockchain experts rather than game developers.
DeWolfe said the following in that regard:
“We have a deep understanding of managing game economies, live operations, incredible graphics, great gameplay, engaging the customer, understanding customer motivations, creating utility in collection mechanics. We have really mastered the game collection mechanic. Blockchain games are going to be very loosely utilizing a collection mechanic.”
Plenty of Resources
Jam City recently raised $350 million in funding, later acquired Ludia for $165 million. Jam City has over $800 million in lifetime bookings, and Panda Pop has over $400 million in lifetime bookings. They also created Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery.
DeWolfe is also known to start MySpace in 2003. The success of the site is significant, often considered as THE social network of the world until Facebook took over.
“We were at the forefront of mobile, which we saw as the next big change in computing. We think that blockchain is bigger than that.”Chris DeWolfe
DeWolfe thinks that NFT gaming is beyond the hype. He mentioned how countries such as Colombia and El Salvador are embracing blockchain. Jam City now employs 1,300 people and will devote significant resources to its blockchain division.
“To be successful, you need to have all the qualities that a great free-to-play game maker has developed over the years. It’s still about creating really deep, rich entertainment experiences. And that’s not going to change.”Chris Dewolfe