The crypto World has attracted a number of video game industry legends, including famous developers such as Will Wright and Peter Molyneux, who are now developing NFT-based games, and now there’s another big name on that list: Trip Hawkins, the original founder and CEO of video game giant Electronic Arts (EA).
Hawkins was announced today as co-founder and chief strategy officer of Games for a livinga startup developing games based on it NFTs and blockchain-based tokens.
Games for a Living was co-founded by Manel Sort, former First Vice President of Candy Crush Saga developer King. The two gaming industry veterans previously worked together at Hawkins’ former mobile gaming startup, Digital Chocolate.
“I am confident that blockchain combined with our vision can create a new gaming paradigm for the benefit of all,” Hawkins said in a press release. “We plan to do this in a way that helps improve game performance and value for players while maintaining the fun.”
The first release of Games for a Living, Elemental Huntersis available now on Steam in a traditional free-to-play version with no tokenized elements, although the publisher has done so before launched promotional Ethereum NFTs tied to the game and the will Release of an NFT “Battle Pass” in March along with its own GFAL token.
There will be an official Elemental Raiders tournament with NFT and token rewards in early March – but not on the Steam version of the game. It also teased a second game called Diamond Dreams, which will be an NFT-powered matching puzzle game.
A representative from Games for a Living told decrypt that its GFAL token will be minted on BNB Chain along with most in-game NFTs. However, some NFTs are minted on Ethereum (like the Battle Pass mentioned above) but are later “converted” to an NFT on the BNB chain via the company’s user portal.
The publisher’s whitepaper explains that it will eventually use its own private blockchain for gaming, rather than an open, permissionless network like ether or Solana. Games for a Living says it will set up a foundation to oversee the blockchain network and set the rules for other developers who can deploy their own NFT-powered games on the network.
However, private (or permissioned) blockchains are viewed by many crypto creators as contrary to the Web3 ethos, as they are not open and permissionless networks that anyone can freely build on. In some cases, networks built by a centralized company may gradually be decentralized and turned over to the community over time, but the publisher’s whitepaper does not explicitly state these intentions.
The rep said the company will “bridge everything to its chain” “at some point in the future.”
Hawkins was an early employee at Apple before leaving the company in 1982 to found Electronic Arts, which has grown into one of the largest video game publishers in the world. EA’s successful franchises include the sports brands FIFA and Madden NFL, as well as series such as Battlefield, The Sims, Need for Speed and Mass Effect.
In 1991 he left his managerial position at EA to found 3DO, a startup that released his own video game console, which was not a commercial success. He then founded the now-defunct Digital Chocolate in 2003 and remained its CEO until 2012. Since then he has advised or served on the board of gaming, technology and esports startups in the years since.
Editor’s Note: This article was updated post-release with additional details on which blockchain networks Games for a Living will be using for its games and assets.
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