Storybook Brawl Closes: From SBF’s Favorite Game to Victim of FTX

"The death of Storybook Brawl is unambiguously the result of FTX, and it's a desperate shame. Good Luck Games was an indie studio that created a reasonably successful game, only to lose its playerbase upon being acquired. As if this wasn't cruel enough, before Storybook Brawl could usher in Web3-centric players, SBF defecated everywhere, FTX detonated, and the developers were in the blast radius. I hope someone comes in and rescues the project, but as it stands, Storybook Brawl is another victim of one of crypto's biggest disasters."

The FTX disaster will go down in history as one of the most profound financial collapses and its effects will ripple outwards for years. Unfortunately, a ripple has claimed another business: the TCG autobattler, Storybook Brawl (SB).

Sam Bankman-Fried went from tech visionary to one of the most loathed humans on the planet more or less overnight. FTX was a planet that loomed so large in Web3 that many smaller organizations orbited it faithfully. A sizable part of the planet was the gaming sector which has its own division that launched early last year, headed up by ex-Vice President of Warner Brother Games, Steve Sadin.

FTX also worked with many gaming studios and esports organizations which has transformed from the enriching hand of god to the corrupted touch of death. While some companies seem to have shed FTX and are running swiftly in the opposite direction to SBF’s cell, other companies were in too deep to recover.

Storybook Brawl, SBF, and FTX

Slightly over a year ago, FTX acquired Good Luck Games, the creator of a TCG-auto battler crossover called SB. Allegedly, this was a direct result of SBF enjoying the game. Although we cannot report on every acquisition, this one caught my eye because of the reaction to FTX’s takeover on the game’s Steam page.

SB released in the summer of 2021 and garnered itself a strong following for an indie game, as well as an “Overwhelmingly Positive” average review rating. Well, the game was promptly review-bombed into “Overwhelmingly Negative” for being owned by a crypto company, with some making their hopes very clear:

Unfortunately, that reviewer has got their wish: SB has announced it will be shuttering. After FTX sunk, the orphaned studio looked for any path forward, but came up short.

The truth is, this indie game was already struggling. Since FTX’s acquisition and the poorly-received developer comment that the studio is looking to implement non-cosmetic NFTs, the game has been hemorrhaging players. The cancellation of the SB world championships was a result of FTX’s filing for bankruptcy and that was the game and studio’s death rattle it seems.

The death of SB is unambiguously the result of FTX, and it’s a desperate shame. Good Luck Games was an indie studio that created a reasonably successful game, only to lose its playerbase upon being acquired. As if this wasn’t cruel enough, before Good Luck Games could usher in Web3-centric players, SBF defecated everywhere, FTX detonated, and the developers were in the blast radius. I hope someone comes in and rescues the project, but as it stands, SB is another victim of one of crypto’s biggest disasters.

Storybook Brawl SBF Sam Bankman-Fried
A screenshot of Storybook Brawl from Steam

Final Thoughts

It’s difficult to imagine how unlucky the folks behind this game must feel. Through a loose connection, a person tipped to be the world’s first trillionaire is a diehard fan of your game, choosing to play it even during meetings with the likes of Anna Wintour. Then, as this person’s wealth and influence grow, he looks to bring your boat up with the fast-rising tide, only to completely drown it.

There could be an unlikely lifeline, however: the SBF case and Michael Lewis’s book will undoubtedly bring a lot of attention to everything he touched, including this indie autobattler. There is a chance — albeit a little one — that the upswell in interest could resurrect the game in some way, or perhaps be acquired by a developer (if that’s even possible given FTX owned it). For now, though, it is just a footnote in web3’s biggest disaster and intrinsically linked to one of the most notorious human beings on the planet.

Robert Baggs
Robert Baggs
Full-time professional crypto writer and Editor of Token Gamer. Co-host of the Mint One Podcast. Obsessed with MMOs. London based. Primary holdings: WAXP, ENJ, & BTC. Secondary holdings: ETH, GALA, & MATIC

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