Blockchain Integration adds Massive Value to AAA Gaming Experiences, claims Shrapnel’s Mark Yeend
Shrapnel’s Mark Yeend explained how the AAA game integrates blockchain technology in early access STX1 to enhance player gameplay experiences.
Shrapnel is adopting a community-first approach, involving its community in every stage of development until the game’s free-to-play launch in 2025. Over 100,000 Discord members and 350,000 followers have shaped the game through ongoing feedback, with some even contributing artwork to the cinematic trailer.
Moreover, it also raised $20 million in Series A funding in late 2023, bringing the total funding raised to $37.5 million.
“Throughout the inception and development of Shrapnel, feedback from our community has always been invaluable, shaping the game into what it is today. We had a dream of breaking the mold of traditional game development, and our execution of early access gameplay puts players right in the driver’s seat, helping us steer towards a blockbuster-quality AAA first-person shooter game,” Mark Long, CEO of Shrapnel told Metaverse Post.
“This is both scary and exciting but with our community behind us, as we progress through the different stages of the Shrapnel Training Exercises, we’ll continue to deliver on our promise to listen, reward and empower players and creators,” Long added.
STX1 includes playable characters at maximum progression level, three guns, a grenade and the first special Sigma ability called “Sigma Wave.” Future versions will expand on these features.
Talking to Metaverse Post —- Mark Yeend, head of marketing and community at Shrapnel discussed the role of blockchain in the game and its utilization to enhance gameplay.
“Blockchain technology helps us enhance the game by allowing the usage of new capabilities to empower players to collectively own the game and its future roadmap,” said Shrapnel’s Mark Yeend. “Since the beginning, our number one priority has been to deliver a high adrenaline, extraction shooter that any AAA player would love.”
The inclusion of NFT collectibles intensifies gameplay mechanics by adding real stakes; items looted from defeated players can be kept permanently and have real-world value. Further, the SHRAP token enables community governance and player involvement in shaping the game’s future.
Shrapnel’s Professional Creator Tools for Game Customization
The studio emphasizes its unique approach to game development by actively involving the community for over two years. They engage with the community through various means like voting on artwork, writing fan fiction and interacting on social media platforms.
“It’s a fresh and honest way to involve players and (hopefully) grow our following as we build it. I’m excited because “early access” will last a while, so getting in now offers a ton of player value. We’ll probably switch to free-to-play when the player base supports it in 2025. In the meantime, our “Shrap-fam” is seeing first-hand how a AAA is made, and they dig it,” Shrapnel’s Mark Yeend told Metaverse Post.
According to Shrapnel, it intends to utilize the launch of STX1 on the Epic Games Store to engage its global user base and gather valuable insights for further development. They plan to grow the Shrapnel community, test the game and gather feedback from players.
Moreover, the studio is impressed by players’ insights and suggestions, focusing on player engagement times, lobby wait times, weapon preferences and emergent play styles.
Regarding the concept of Sigma, the mysterious in-game resource powering gear and abilities, Mark Yeend said “Sigma” is utilized for power-ups like the Sigma Wave and enhancing grenade detonations. Future versions of the game will introduce additional Sigma abilities in combat, tying the Sigma collection to the evolution of players’ Operators.
“Game assets on-chain can be truly owned by players, which means it’s possible to take skins or other items off platform, and player inventory won’t disappear or reset when the sequel comes out. Player usage can add value to assets too: like provenance, rarity, customization, asset history, and more,” Mark Yeend explained.
“If you kill me and loot my body and extract, you keep my stuff – forever. And it has real-world value. It’s sellable on our Marketplace or on a 3rd party marketplace. That’s an exciting paradigm shift for gamers.”
During the early access period, collecting Sigma is crucial for dominating the Leaderboards and winning a part of the prize pool. The studio encourages players to join early, improve their skills, and get accustomed to winning in the game.
“Our professional-grade creator tools, built using the Unity Game Engine, allow players to create and customize their Shrapnel content from weapons to skins, maps, terrains, audio effects, tournaments, events and more quickly and easily,” Yeend explained. “Creators then have the ability to sell their content in Shrapnel’s marketplace, where they are also able to track the ownership and history of assets on-chain.”
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