Epic Games, the developer behind the popular battle royale game Fortnite, could be warming up to the idea of P2E gaming. It is emerging that the studio is now financially supporting the development of Torque Drift 2.
The P2E game is being developed by Grease Monkey Games, an Australian Indie games studio that also happens to be a subsidiary of Animoca Brands, one of the leading VC firms in blockchain gaming.
Australian indie game developer @GMGStudios, a subsidiary of Animoca Brands, has received financial support from video-game giant @EpicGames to develop a new #blockchain-based #motorsport game Torque Drift 2.⁰
Continue reading on @Cointelegraph: https://t.co/hEVW05I9Cq
— Animoca Brands (@animocabrands) August 19, 2022
Torque Drift 2 will receive an Epic MegaGrant. While it’s not clear how much exactly Epic Games is putting up, these grants typically range from $5,000 to $500,000.
Torque Drift 2: More Details
Torque Drift 2 is a motorsport P2E racing blockchain game currently under development. The game will be the blockchain version of Torque Burnout and Torque Drift, two popular web2 games developed by Grease Monkey Games.
Torque Drift 2 will also feature NFTs. In fact, the first whitelist sale has already begun on its official website. The racing game plans three major NFT sales with a total of 5000 digital collectibles up for grabs.
The game is also promising an exciting and immersive experience. Set in Tokyo, Torque Drift 2 aims to deliver high-quality gameplay, superior graphics, innovative game and garage customization, and so much more.
The Epic Games funding is a clear sign that the NFT racing game has the confidence of major industry players. It will help accelerate its development in the weeks ahead.
Epic Games’ Moves in Web3 Games.
Epic Games is no doubt one of the biggest gaming studios in the world. Founded in 1991, the studio has launched some of the world’s most popular video game franchises. This includes Fortnite, a highly immersive battle royale game that averages nearly 80 million active monthly players.
However, in recent years Epic Games has made several moves in P2E and metaverse gaming that suggest the company is warming up to this idea. First, the developer has opened up Unreal Engine, a 3D gaming graphics engine, to the blockchain gaming industry.
Many P2E and metaverse games are now leveraging this technology to deliver Triple-A games to their communities. It is likely that moving forward, most P2E blockchain games will leverage the computing power of Unreal Engine to deliver exceptional gameplay.
Metaverse Investments and Partnerships
We have also seen some other notable signs that suggest Epic Games is broadening its horizons into P2E. For example, The Epic Games Store announced early in June that it would host Grit, a P2E battle royale shooting game by Gala.
Grit was the first game from Gala Games to be featured on the Epic Games Store. But that’s not all. Tim Sweeney, the CEO, and founder of Epic Games, has expressed his growing interest in the metaverse and how it can improve traditional gaming in the future.
In 2019, Epic Games also announced a partnership with The Abyss, an integrated blockchain gaming portal that features a dedicated NFT marketplace within its ecosystem. The deal allows The Abyss to support new P2E and metaverse games that want to build using Epic Games’ Unreal Engine.
However, perhaps one of the clearest signs that Epic Games was venturing more into metaverse and Play-to-Earn games came in 2020 when the developer led a $100 million funding round for Manticore Games. Epic Games invested $15 million as part of the deal.
Manticore Games sees itself as a creator platform that allows developers to create and deploy innovative games into the metaverse. Also, the Fortnite developer announced in April this year that it was partnering with LEGO Group to build a metaverse for kids. The deal is long-term.
The Epic MegaGrant and Its Significance
As noted above, Torque Drift 2 will be funded through the Epic MegaGrant program. This is a $100 million fund designed to support exciting new games by Unreal Developers.
The grants program was launched in 2019. It was mostly designed to fund traditional Web2 games. However, funding for Torque Drift 2 suggests that Epic Games is ready to also provide assistance for Web3 developers. So far, the program has issued gaming grants in over 89 countries.
How Blockchain Gaming Could Disrupt Traditional Web2 Games
Web3 blockchain gaming is setting the stage for a new wave of gamers where players get full ownership of in-game assets. Unlike traditional games where you just spend money without ever truly benefiting commercially, blockchain NFT games give you a play-to-earn opportunity.
So, is this premise strong enough to shift traditional gamers to web3? Well, not for now. In fact, this survey by YouGov found that only 40% of traditional gamers will be interested in game NFTs.
However, a majority of them are more excited by blockchain games. But not because there is an opportunity to earn. But because they can expand their gaming experiences further.
Despite this, attitudes towards NFT games are changing fast. Although this industry is still new, it has seen exponential growth in 2022.
DappRadar estimates that P2E gamers increased by 2000% during the year’s first quarter. As more innovations around web3 games develop, P2E blockchain games will likely become more attractive for traditional gamers in the future.
Traditional Web2 Games Shifting to Web3
Gaming studios worldwide see the need to develop a robust web3 presence. In fact, we have seen some notable titles shift from web2 to web3. Torque Drift 2 is a prime example of this, but there are others.
Neopets, a beloved online virtual pet game, also announced the integration of NFT and metaverse elements into its ecosystem. The game will now be known as Neopets Meta to reflect its new approach.
Also, many web3 blockchain games are inspired by popular web2 games. Axie infinity, one of the most notable P2E games, is inspired by Pokémon. This convergence shows the kind of synergy that web2 and web3 gaming has.
The challenge now is to build the underlying infrastructure needed to support an explosion of web3 games in the future. This will not happen overnight, but a few projects are already launching ambitious web3 gaming development tools to try and take advantage of this.