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Epic Games store launches its first NFT game

Blankos Block Party, an online creativity game powered by NFT, debuted today on the Epic Games Store. After the launch, it became the first Web3 product to be published on the prominent PC gaming marketplace. The title was previously available on Mythical Games’ own website, and the company announced in June this year that Blankos had more than one million total users to date. The company announced plans in June to launch the free-to-play title on the Epic Games Store this year, but it was unclear whether it would be the first game of its kind to hit the platform. Gala Games had announced that their Western-themed shooter Grit would be the platform’s first Web3 game, but it is still unavailable.

Inspired by designer and vinyl toy culture, Blankos Block Party allows users to play and contribute in a colourful online world. In the game, NFTs are used to symbolise unique products such as avatar designs and accessories, which can be purchased and sold through the game’s marketplace.

Since its release, the game has collaborated with a variety of brand and artist partners for limited-edition drops, including Burberry, Atari, and musician Deadmau5. The game, however, does not require the possession of NFTs. An NFT is a blockchain token that represents ownership of an item, such as characters, weapons, or virtual land in video games.

Blankos Block Party NFT will be available on Epic Games Store

The Epic Games Store, which claimed more than 194 million total customers by the end of 2021, has approached Web3 gaming differently than its main competition, Valve’s Steam marketplace. In any case, Valve announced last autumn that developers would be unable to publish games on Steam that incorporated NFTs or cryptocurrencies in any way.

In response, Epic Games founder and CEO Tim Sweeney stated that while the studio, which publishes the blockbuster hit Fortnite, did not intend to use NFTs or Web3 technology, it would enable other artists to do so as long as they followed applicable laws and marketplace norms. The Blankos Block Party is powered by the studio’s Mythical Platform, which is based on the EOS.IO blockchain protocol but features a bridge to Ethereum, the dominant NFT network. Mythical is also working on numerous other games, including the licenced NFL Rivals, and raised $150 million in November at a $1.25 billion valuation.

Axie Infinity, an Ethereum-based game, has been the biggest success story in the NFT gaming market to date, producing more than $4 billion in total NFT trading volume. The Pokémon-inspired gameplay, on the other hand, has been criticised as shallow, and its play-to-earn economy began crumbling late last year, sending token prices down. Linden stated that Mythical Games, which was co-founded by former Activision, Oculus, and EA executives, is focusing on bringing “a safe NFT game” to the Epic Games Store. He also stated that the studio is more focused on gameplay and enjoyable experiences than on token-reward systems.

The Epic Games Store is a prominent digital PC and Mac game marketplace, with over 194 million players as of the end of 2021. Epic Games, the publisher of the hit game Fortnite as well as the designer of the widely used Unreal Engine software, has been more open to blockchain-powered games than competitor marketplace Steam.

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