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Bright Star Studios has announced its alpha land sale for its Web3 massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) Ember Sword.
The Copenhagen, Denmark-based company previously raised more than $701,000 from 4,000 buyers of community land in May 2021, selling out in less than six hours. They also got a lot of people who pledged to make future land purchases at the time.
This sale will take place in two waves, with the initial phase from July 10 to July 30 by application only, followed by an open sale from July 31. The sale of the limited plots offers players the opportunity to own their own piece of land within the game world of Thanabus, with proceeds of the sale contributing to the development of Ember Sword, said Mark Laursen, the founder and CEO of Bright Star Studios, in an interview with GamesBeat.
The landowners will have the freedom to customize their plots with buildings, resources, non-player characters (NPCs), and quests. The landowners can earn rewards from other players who visit, trade and use the land in their local area. (The company’s white paper is here).
Investor funding to date has been about $7.1 million, while land sales have topped $11 million (not counting the alpha land sale).
The previous demand for land in Ember Sword reflected the growing demand from players who want more control over their in-game items in the games they play. But that was also during the speculation boom around NFTs during 2021.
This alpha land sale is a unique opportunity for players to become part of the game’s history and future by owning a piece of the game world, which offers different gameplay opportunities and challenges, the company said. Laursen said the company will review applications for fans who plan to take a long-term approach to the Land NFTs, rather than those who will flip it for a profit.
“We are thrilled to announce our second land sale for Ember Sword, which will bring us one step closer to launching the game to our community,” Laursen said. “We have been working hard to create a game that offers a fun and immersive experience for players while also giving them the freedom and ownership that our technology enables. We are grateful for the support and enthusiasm of the community, and we can’t wait to see what they will create with the ever-changing landscape in Ember Sword.”
The developers of Ember Sword champion the sentiment that players want more control over their in-game items, and they said the game offers a frictionless and accessible gaming experience into a captivating and player-centric universe.
Bright Star Studios is an independent game development studio founded in 2018. This is the company’s first title. The team has about 80 people.
The company wants the land to go to landowners who commit to cultivating the land within the community. Each region has its own climate, culture, and resources that offer different gameplay opportunities and challenges.
In September, Laursen aims to launch a player dungeon with different bosses and show off the gameplay. He wants to do a closed beta by the end of the year and hopefully launch it as soon as possible after that.
Laursen said he used to enjoy playing games like World of Warcraft and playing with guild mates. The team’s goal is to combine everything they love about massively multiplayer online games and combine them into a single game.
“We’re trying to push it to kind of like heighten the social aspect of the game,” he said. “And make it way more that makes you want to find somebody to chat with. You want to go want to make groups, you want to go out and have fun, and make these aspects way easier. It’s a social game. It’s about having fun.”
The game has been in the works since 2018.
Back then, the company was working with another company with a well-known game engine. But it turned out that the engine company couldn’t make it happen, and the company had to pivot to making its own game engine. The engine is capable of getting the game to run on any platform, including mobile games. On smartphones, the title can load within 10 seconds, Laursen said. The company hopes to penetrate new markets with its game.
“It’s been quite rewarding,” he said. “We have a lot of interest in the technology, and we’re using the game to show what we can offer.”
Dealing with the post-hype Web3 market
Laursen acknowledged the crypto and NFT markets are weak, and many scam companies raised money through land sales in the past.
“We haven’t sold everything yet,” he said.
Others who did that raked in as much money as possible and sold a ton of land without delivering much on the game side. Laursen he would like to see the bad actors eliminated.
“We want to manage expectations that we are taking it slow,” he said. “I understand why people are negative on a lot of these things. Definitely 100%. I personally don’t own much of any of these things. Mainly because I don’t think they have the right idea.”
With this game, players won’t be required to buy things upfront. Landowners will get privileges, but people will be able to play the game and see if they like it without having to create a crytpo wallet. The company is creating cosmetics and it will sell them to players over time.
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