Video game developer Gunzilla Games, which includes noted filmmaker Neill Blomkamp among its leadership, announced today that it will launch a dedicated Avalanche subnet called GUNZ for its upcoming game, Off the Grid (OTG).
Blomkamp, the director of films "District 9," "Chappie," and "Elysium," is the studio's Chief Visionary Officer, and envisioned OTG’s world “from the ground up” according to the game’s website. "Altered Carbon" novelist and screenwriter Richard K. Morgan is also developing OTG’s narrative alongside Olivier Henriot, who previously worked on hit game franchises like Assassin’s Creed and Far Cry.
Off the Grid is set to launch sometime in 2023, and Blomkamp is also directing a cinematic seven-episode miniseries inspired by the game's world. While not much is known about the world’s lore, it has been revealed that the game will take place on and around the fictional Teardrop Island in the Pacific Ocean, where three greedy corporations battle for resources using high-tech soldiers with robotic body parts, sci-fi shields, and lots of guns.
Gameplay in Off the Grid is paramount, Gunzilla says, but it will also offer players an optional monthly battle pass subscription that unlocks access to the GUNZ marketplace on the Avalanche subnet. A subnet is a dedicated instance of the Avalanche blockchain that is insulated from the wider network and offers developers added customization options.
“The game can be enjoyed by both traditional gamers and Web3 gamers,” Gunzilla co-founder Vlad Korolev told Decrypt. “However, it’s not a Web3 game in itself—it is a traditional AAA multiplayer shooter that, unlike Web3 games, will be released on PC, Xbox, and PlayStation.”
“As a free-to-play game, we aim to compete with market leaders such as Fortnite, PUBG, Call of Duty: Warzone, and Apex Legends," Korolev added, "but with an additional component that gives players greater transparency, security, and ownership over their in-game assets."
Like the developers of fellow NFT-enhanced shooters Shrapnel and Deadrop, Gunzilla isn’t trying to hide Off the Grid's Web3 layer. But Gunzilla also isn’t trying to force NFTs upon players or make the game a “pay-to-win” experience either. Korolev's comments suggest that he's highly attuned to such concerns, as some gamers may still be wary of NFTs.
“We will not directly sell any in-game assets to our players, or hide any progression elements behind a paywall,” Korolev said. “The only way players can obtain in-game assets in OTG will be by looting them within the game or buying them from other players.”
When asked why game developers like Gunzilla choose to build on Avalanche, Ava Labs’ Head of Gaming Ed Chang told Decrypt that it’s because of Ava Lab’s support offerings.
“We've found that game devs love to build on Avalanche for its underlying tech and the support our team provides, such as with development, co-marketing, and launching subnets,” Chang said
He added that Ava Labs also supports projects with funding through the Avalanche Blizzard fund and Multiverse incentive fund. This week, Avalanche also launched its Avaissance residence program, a funding opportunity for digital artists and creators looking to launch Web3 projects on the network.
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