Epic Games has been one of the market’s few large traditional game developers and publishers to express a strong interest in NFTs. While the tier one gaming business hasn’t been particularly aggressive in the field just yet, Epic CEO Tim Sweeney has a well-known pro-developer position and has stated that NFTs can be quite useful in gaming if given enough time and development.
While Epic has most likely hedged their bets and will be a second mover’ – not the first, but certainly not the last – there has been some traction this week as Epic has placed their first-ever NFT game, ‘Blankos Block Party,’ on the Epic Games Store.
Blankos Block Party & Epic Games
Blankos Block Party was released as an open beta about two years ago by gaming studio Mythical Games, and Mythical has since claimed that over one million players have participated with the title. Blankos Block Party was uploaded to the Epic Games Store today, making it the first Web3 or NFT-based title to appear on the Epic Games marketplace.
We previously discussed Mythical’s concept for Blankos and Web3 gaming in general back in 2018, when the business raised $16 million in funding. The game combines a Roblox-like presentation with the appeal of a vinyl toy culture that is most aesthetically comparable to real life through brands like Medicom’s BE@RBRICKs, Funko Pop, and the like. NFTs are not required to play the game, but instead provide gamers with personalization boosts similar to those found in popular titles such as Fortnite or CS:GO.
Blankos Block Party was in open beta by 2020. Over the last two years, there has been a flurry of new collaborations, including artist partners like Deadmau5 and brand partners like Burberry.
Following Minecraft’s rejection of NFT support, Epic CEO Tim Sweeney has recently repeated his stance on NFTs. Sweeney underlined his vision for open and frictionless game development, whether or not NFTs are included. Sweeney argued in our report that “developers should be free to select how to design their games, and you should be free to pick whether to play them… I feel that shops and operating system developers should refrain from interfering by imposing their beliefs on others. We most emphatically will not.”