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Shrapnel has raised $7 million in a private token sale for its planned triple-A shooter game that takes advantage of blockchain technology.
The company, also called Shrapnel, has also released its white paper and unveiled its roadmap in the wake of the token sale.
Those who bought the tokens (in a way for the company to raise money among private investors) included Dragonfly, Defiance, Three Arrows Capital, Mechanism, Sfermion, Spartan, and Overwolf. Angel investors include the first pro-gamer Dennis Fong aka Thresh; Stephen Lim, Co-founder of Valorant and Raid Base; Brian Lee, Co-founder of The Honest Company; Keith Nunziata, Portfolio Manager at Citadel Global Equities; and Jason Zhao, partner at Kleiner Perkins.
The news follows a $10.5 million seed funding round led by Griffin Gaming Partners, alongside Polychain Capital and Forte, which took place last October. Since then, the Seattle-based Shrapnel team has grown from seven full-time employees to 30 employees, with hiring efforts ongoing.
Spun-out from HBO Interactive, the Shrapnel team has a lot of experience in transmedia, virtual production, and gaming-as-a-service. Comprised of BAFTA and Emmy award-winning game industry veterans hailing from some of the world’s leading game companies including Xbox, Electronic Arts, and LucasFilm, the Shrapnel team wants to combine compelling competitive gameplay, with a rich set of community creator tools to deliver an ever-evolving game experience.
Mark Long, CEO at Shrapnel, said in a statement, “Player-generated content is the core of the Shrapnel experience and even though we’re just getting started, we already have an awesome community that’s making the game their own. Now, as we reveal details of what players can expect, we look forward to seeing what else our players do. It’s super fun to be part of such a revolutionary design process.”
Long has been thinking about this game since 2000. That’s a long gestation. The idea is that players will be able to mod the game on their own. Players can be rewarded for their gameplay time with the SHARP token, which is based on blockchain technology.
Shrapnel showed off some of its gameplay plans in the white paper. It describes a tense, competitive environment that creates new immersive player experiences.
In the world of Shrapnel, a massive asteroid called 38 Sigma has collided with the moon, causing lunar meteorites to bombard a 500-kilometer-wide band around the Earth. That leaves an area known as the Sacrifice Zone uninhabitable and walled off from the rest of the world.
Many speculate about what is being uncovered by the teams of paramilitary contractors guarding the Sacrifice Zone, with rumors swirling about a mysterious material called Sigma. Nations and corporations begin assembling their own military and extraction forces and a bloody war rages to control the Sacrifice Zone and its many secrets. Nations and corporate interests try to seize the resources, and players dubbed MEF Operators fight for control of the Zone and its secrets. Players have to find resources and extract them.
Players can choose one of three Operator classes: Assault, Survivalist, or Infosec — each with its own skill-based progression tree. As players develop their Operators, they unlock a range of abilities and specialized equipment to improve their play. Weaknesses in one class can be complemented by strengths in other classes, encouraging dynamic
strategies and alliances.
“Players will be tasked with finding strategically important resources in the game, fuelling exhilarating extraction sequences but the buck doesn’t stop with them,” said Don Norbury, head of studio at Shrapnel in a statement. “Community involvement will drive gameplay and development at every stage in Shrapnel including design, roadmap and aesthetics. Creators will be able to design maps, weapons and other vanity items and exchange these in our marketplace. In line with our belief in the ethos of decentralized design, players who participate in all aspects of the game will receive reputational scores and get to provide input into game decisions. Ultimately, in the future, Shrapnel will be handed over to players, so putting the right controls in place to empower and moderate them is key.”
Shrapnel’s strategic gameplay centers on how players create their loadout from both the gear they’ve extracted in previous sessions and the equipment they craft themselves. Equipment ranges from the low-tech, dependable weaponry of Contract Operators to the devastating but failure-prone advanced technology of a Corporate MEF. As players get to know the strengths and weaknesses of each type of equipment, they can remix gear to customize their loadout.
Players can participate in missions or create their own. They can also create their own tournaments. They can create their own vanity items and the scarcity level of them and then sell them in a marketplace. Using Shrapnel’s creator tools, the community is empowered to build a library of NFTs to use in-game, share with the community, and trade with other players. The process of promoting and discovering the best items and maps in this constantly expanding collection is critical to the creator ecosystem.
Curators who successfully discover great content for the community to enjoy will also share in the spoils. Players can also buy land. And land owners who make an upfront commitment to the ecosystem will receive a fair proportion of the value creation.
In March, Shrapnel also unveiled plans to build on the Avalanche blockchain, which offers customization and flexibility for ever-evolving projects. Avalanche promises to enable the quick loading speeds and smooth player experience that Shrapnel players will expect. Over time, players will be invited to make decisions about the game.
Shrapnel will also have a reputation system to monitor behavior and toxicity. Those who violate rules will get time outs our mute times, or eventually be booted.
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