Fortnite developer backs Animoca subsidiary’s blockchain racing game

Fortnite developer backs Animoca subsidiary’s blockchain racing game

Australian indie game developer Grease Monkey Games, a subsidiary of Animoca Brands, has received financial backing from video game giant Epic Games to develop a new blockchain-based motorsport game Torque Drift 2

Receiving an Epic MegaGrant from the Fortnite developers, the funding will be used to develop the motorsport title, which is based on drifting. The Unreal Engine is a 3D computer graphics game engine developed by Epic Games, which has been used in many industries since it was first showcased in the 1998 game Unreal.

According to an August 18 announcement from Animoca Brands, the Epic MegaGrant, which ranges from $5,000 to as much as $500,000, will be used to develop a realistic gaming experience that is on par with other triple-A games that also use the Unreal Engine .

Considering that Grease Monkey Games is developing a play-to-earn (P2E) game, the Epic Games grant represents a remarkable show of support from the traditional gaming sector, which has often been at odds with blockchain games.

Torque Drift 2 is an upcoming drifting motorsports game with a tuning garage available to players from Q3 2022 and a full release date set for 2024. The game will use NFT (nonfungible token) parts, cars, decals and items that players can use to to build up their car and profile.

Players will also be able to create their own paint jobs and car tune NFTs, which can then be shared and sold on the Torque Drift 2 marketplace.

Grease Monkey Games is a traditional game developer that has been publishing original IP games since 2014, which have over 45 million global downloads. They were acquired by Animoca Brands in February 2022 and Animoca will support them as they transition to blockchain gaming.

Unlike traditional games where players typically purchase in-game items with real money but are then prevented from withdrawing the money, the incorporation of blockchain-verifiable NFTs into games is seen as a way to provide digital ownership over in-game content. As such, it enables players to sell items when they are done playing the game or want to exchange their items for new ones.

This type of model is often referred to as P2E, where actors are rewarded with financial value for participating in the ecosystem.

Related: NFT games have advantage over ‘money in, no money out’ games: Polygon’s Urvit Goel

Many critics of P2E games such as Udi Wertheimer point out that these games require wallets and the purchase of cryptocurrency before players can start playing, and are not as fun as traditional games.

Other critics such as Minecraft developer Mojang Studios have pointed to the implementation of NFTs in gaming as a tool for speculative pricing, encouraging profit-seeking over playability.

Animoca Brands, on the other hand, has been a prolific investor in blockchain-enabled games, with a portfolio that includes The Sandbox, Axie Infinity and Phantom Galaxies. Co-founder and executive chairman of Animoca Brands Yat Sui is a big advocate of digital property rights and believes it represents a paradigm shift towards a more decentralized society.