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Immutable Games and Bazooka Tango have joined forces to revive a collectible game called Shardbound as a Web3 title.
Originally started in 2015 by Spiritwalk Games, Shardbound built a passionate community of players who advocated deeply for the game’s public alpha on Steam Early Access. The original game was never brought to full completion and now with Bazooka Tango at the helm, Shardbound is getting a new lease on life with a Web3 revival.
Bazooka Tango has teamed up with Immutable Games to build out the deep, strategic gameplay of Shardbound and bring true digital ownership to players. The companies made the announcement at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco.
“We’ve been following this game’s development since 2015,” said Bo Daly, CEO of Bazooka Tango, in an interview with GamesBeat. “We were pretty close friends with some of the previous founding team members. This is really the kind of game that fits perfectly for me and others.”
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Bazooka Tango was started founded by the former cofounders of Super Evil Megacorp and creators behind the award-winning multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) game Vainglory.
Shardbound was a turn-based tactics game that combines board-based strategy with the depth of collectible card games. Starting today, Shardbound pre-registrations are now open to players worldwide.
“This is a deeply strategic game and it’s great for competition and built with streaming in mind,” Daly said. “We were waiting for the opportunity to make this move. It’s a great universe with a lot of different stories to tell. We were trying to find the second life for this for over a year now.”
Known for its emphasis on in-depth strategy with beautiful universes and characters, Shardbound will incorporate player-focused Web3 game elements. Immutable Passport will provide an easy and familiar way for players to enter into gameplay and integrate assets into their wallets, while community-driven incentives and rewards for their participation will unlock new avenues and a reimagination of what true digital ownership can mean to players.
Jennifer Poulson, vice president of game partnerships at Immutable Games, said in an interview with GamesBeat, that she left Riot Games because she believes gaming will always move in the direction that is better for players and one of those things is digital ownership.
“The better player experience is the one that will win out. And these technologies allow for new ways for players to actually own their assets or interact with the content that they love,” Poulson said. “And we haven’t necessarily seen the best examples of it yet. But the technology that will allow for that is there. And so what we want to do is work with game partners like Bazooka Tango that are looking to experiment.”
And after looking at hundreds of games, Immutable Games decided Shardbound was one of those it wanted to partner on. Immutable Games is providing resources for all of the Web3 integration.
The original team split up and went on to do other things. “We’re extremely excited to be able to talk today about this partnership with Immutable, and the white glove support that they’ve given to augment our small development team,” Daly said. “We are passionate about building an exciting new experience for gamers that go beyond what others think is possible.”
As for crypto games, Daly said, “I am 100% convinced that the future will look different than today. And it’ll look different than the first generation wave of Web3 games. What really drives us into this space is that I think there’s a whole blue ocean design space opening up here that’ll create opportunities.”
Shardbound will be one of the first titles committed to building on the newly announced Immutable zkEVM, powered by Polygon, a chain purpose-built for game development that offers low cost, massive scale, enterprise-grade security, and Ethereum smart contract compatibility.
With the goal of setting the benchmark for games that put players first, Shardbound will incorporate Web3 to enhance well-loved game mechanics that offer progression paths for all types of players.
Immutable Games supports Shardbound with full-service Web3 strategy and implementation, including seamless Web3 onboarding via Immutable Passport, enabling players to easily incorporate their Web3 game assets in gameplay via familiar game progression features such as a trophy road and card upgrades, the companies said.
Empowered with the ability to buy, try, and sell, true digital ownership will unlock a new level of strategy that enables players to truly find their personal playstyle without penalty, the companies said.
Shardbound will allow players to unlock digital ownership benefits by converting and leveling up their Web2 digital assets into Web3 NFTs. Shardbound will lean heavily into community-driven initiatives and rewards, creating a player-centric ecosystem.
“Our partnership with Bazooka Tango signifies a new chapter for Immutable Games and an exciting time for the game industry as a whole. Shardbound is the perfect game to bring our vision to life – making games that are fun to play and put players first. This is a fundamental value that sits at the core of Immutable Games and Bazooka Tango,” said Justin Hulog, chief studio officer for Immutable Games, in a statement. “We are proud of our accomplishments and leadership in Web3 gaming and look forward to writing this new chapter of Shardbound with two incredibly talented teams.”
Shardbound is the first title announced by Immutable Games as part of their new hands-on offering that specializes in end-to-end web3 gaming strategy and execution. The revived game boasts a leadership team with deep gaming expertise working at Riot, Blizzard, Activision and more.
“We saw in Shardbound an incredible game that harkened back to some of the tactics games and CCGs we love personally. Upon seeing the passion of the Shardbound community, we knew this was a game that we wanted to help get to the finish line. Community has always been at the heart of what we do and we can’t wait to deliver the Shardbound experience players truly deserve,” said Daly. “We have always been game industry disruptors and fundamentally make our decisions about new technologies based on whether or not they will benefit the player. We truly believe that web3 offers the next leap in an enhanced player experience that hasn’t been fully realized yet, and it’s our mission to get it right.”
To celebrate the opening of pre-registration and thank the game’s dedicated fans, Shardbound will be distributing rewards to existing community members and early pre-registrants. All players that pre-register will receive an exclusive in-game reward and additional incentives will be given out regularly to members who help shape Shardbound’s game and community.
Shardbound is currently slated for public beta later this year.
“We want to bring big box thinking and take that into the experience of ShardBound because ultimately, at the end of the day, it’s about the player,” Daly said. “We want to create an experience for them that is very immersive, very resonant, very social, very connected. And we’re picking the technologies and the partnerships that are going to get us there.”
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