CCP Games, the creator of EVE Online, has raised $40 million to create a blockchain-integrated game set within its sandbox sci-fi universe. According to the studio, the new game will build on the company’s blockchain-related research and development.
CCP Games CEO Hilmar Veigar Pétursson said, “With advancements made within blockchain, we can forge a new universe deeply imbued with our expertise in player agency and autonomy.” The project is currently codenamed “Project Awakening.”
The Web3 title will take place within the EVE Online universe but will be a standalone game. Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), a crypto-forward venture capital giant, led the round, with BITKRAFT Ventures and Makers Fund also participating.
CCP Games said the game’s key elements would utilize smart contracts with attention paid to composability, open third-party development, and data persistence. It’s unclear if the title will interact with public blockchain networks like Ethereum, as is the case with other metaverse offerings such as Decentraland and The Sandbox.
EVE Online, which was published 20 years ago, has long been a staple of the massively multiplayer genre and still averages more than 273,000 daily players, with a total base of around 9.5 million accounts. CCP Games’ grand-scale battles have become fixtures of gaming history and internet lore.
The new game represents a milestone for the budding entertainment sector as a venerable studio in CCP Games embraces Web3. Andrii Yasinetsky, CEO and co-founder of NFT data analytics firm Mnemonic, said, “It’s a great sentiment, in general, having a serious team backed by a respectable firm for the Web3 gaming market.”
Blockchain gaming could bring regular users to Web3 and attract further investment for other developers looking to build similar products, Yasinetsky said.
Epic Games Looking to Launch Web3 Games
It’s not just Eve online that’s looking to break the Web3 gaming market. Epic Games executive Steve Allison said recently the company has nearly 20 third-party, crypto-enabled games that are expected to hit its online store over the next year.
The games will be on the Epic Games marketplace, although none will be developed or published by Epic itself. In fact, the first crypto game, Blankos Block Party, has already been launched by Mythical Games.
In terms of the crypto gaming industry’s potential, Allison said Epic Games would learn more once more games are launched on its platform.
While investments in blockchain games and metaverse projects have had a solid start in 2023, last year was a challenging year for the blockchain gaming industry. However, Epic Games is taking precautions and keeping a distance financially from the crypto games that operate in its marketplace.
Publishers are responsible for transactions, customer service, and refunds, although Epic keeps a close eye on safety. Allison also stated that Epic is aware of the reputational weakness that some crypto ventures carry, and so will be intolerant of any “bad behavior” from gaming projects.
Web3 Gaming The Logical Step for Mainstream Adoption
The emergence of big names like CCP Games and Epic Games into the Web3 gaming space marks a significant shift in the gaming industry. As more traditional gaming companies explore blockchain and NFTs, the possibilities for immersive, player-driven experiences in the metaverse will continue to grow.
With increased investment and interest in the space, it’s likely that we will see even more innovative and creative games emerging in the near future.
The potential for blockchain and NFTs to revolutionize the gaming industry is enormous, and we are only just beginning to scratch the surface of what is possible. The future of gaming is set to be a thrilling and constantly evolving landscape.