LONDON (Bywire News) - In a major development for the developers of Fortnite, Epic Games has announced their first NFT game to appear on their marketplace. Although only in beta mode, they say it already has more than a million players.
Blankos Block Party, launched on the Epic Games Store and developed by Mythical Games, is the first Web3 title published by Epic Games. Previously, it was available from Mythical Games’ own website after the launch of its open beta in December 2020. Since June, the company said they have accrued more than one million total users.
The studio has made it clear that it aims to bring the free-to-play game to the Epic Games Store. However, it’s not clear if it would be the first blockchain game to reach the marketplace.
Blankos Block Party lets users play and collaborate in an online world and is inspired by designer and vinyl toy culture. NFTs are used in the game to represent unique items that can be bought and sold through the in-game marketplace.
The game has secured a number of brand and artist partners for limited edition collaborative drops including Burberry, Atari and Deadmau5.
On the other hand, NFTs are not required to play the game. Instead, the NFT token represents ownership of items including in-game characters, weapons and virtual land. Epic Games claimed more than 194 million users by the end of 2021.
NFTs in-game have received plenty of hype over the past couple of years, but the industry is still working out its best response. Major games publisher Steam, for example, has said developers will not be able to publish games on its platform which are integrated with crypto or NFTs.
Epic Games, on the other hand, take a different view with its founder, Tim Sweeney, taking to Twitter to explain their policy. Although they don’t use NFTs themselves, they say they are willing to allow games which do as long as creators abide by laws and market guidelines.
“Epic Games Store will welcome games that make use of blockchain tech provided they follow the relevant laws, disclose their terms, and are age-rated by an appropriate group,” he tweeted. “Though Epic's not using crypto in our games, we welcome innovation in the areas of technology and finance.”
There is not much difference between the beta of Blankos Block Party and the version launched on Epic Games. Both versions are being described as being in an “early access” state with plans for the full game to launch on September 28th.
(Writing by Samba Jallow, editing by Klaudia Fior and Tom Cropper)