The studio behind the legendary space MMORPG, EVE Online, has secured a staggering $40M in a funding round led by Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) for a new project. This new project by CCP Games will be a AAA blockchain-based game.
If you listen to the Mint One podcast or are a regular reader of mine, you will know I bring up EVE Online on a near-weekly basis. There are a few reasons for this, including my love for EVE having started back in 2003 (even though I am not active on the game these days), but primarily, it’s how well a tokenized economy would fit seamlessly with EVE’s economy.
EVE’s economy is nothing short of a masterpiece. It is the expansive chaos of a capitalist society in the self-contained vacuum of an online game. EVE has a dedicated economist overseeing the markets and many economists and universities have used the game’s economy to study. What a tokenized economy and the game’s assets becoming NFTs would do to it could only be speculation, but it seems to me it would be a highly interesting and useful evolution.
Well, my harping on about CCP harnessing blockchain technology will have no bearing on this news and my thought experiment involving EVE Online is not a part of it either, but CCP is about to embark on developing a game with blockchain at its core.
CCP to Develop AAA Blockchain-Based Game
Yesterday, some significant news came out of Reykjavík, Iceland: a funding round led by a16z had secured $40M for CCP Games to build a new AAA title that uses blockchain technology. The round saw a lot of other big hitters in the Web3 VCs including BITKRAFT, Nexon, and Hashed, among others.
Although many outlets are reporting on CCP’s plans (with varying slants), few are citing the most important paragraph in the press release: “With key game systems developed on-chain, this new project will also leverage smart-contract blockchain technology, focusing on persistence, composability and truly open third-party development to create a new relationship between virtual worlds and players.”
What is worth planting a flag in here is that the key game systems will be developed on-chain. That is, we’re not looking at a new CCP game with tacked-on NFTs in some cash-grab shop in an attempt to throw a net over the Web3 community. This is a blockchain game.
Since its inception, CCP Games’ vision has been to create virtual worlds more meaningful than real life. Now, with advancements made within blockchain, we can forge a new universe deeply imbued with our expertise in player agency and autonomy, empowering players to engage in new ways. This financing has marked an exciting frontier in our studio history as we begin our third decade of virtual world operations. We are humbled by the confidence from our partners in the development of this new title.
— Hilmar Veigar Pétursson, CEO of CCP Games
EVE Online is one the most important games ever to be released, defining many elements of the MMORPG genre, epitomizing space-based games, and housing player-created events so significant they would regularly make the news.
CCP Games, as much as I revere them, have not got a perfect scorecard when it comes to creating subsequent titles, with some underachievers and stillborn projects in their past. Nevertheless, CCP has a pedigree for Homeric, cerebral, player-driven games and blockchain has the potential to help evolve their work into something gamers have never experienced before.