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Laguna Games is launching Unicorn Party, a series of casual mobile games based on the Crypto Unicorn Web3 gaming brand.
The San Francisco-based Web3 game development and research and development studio will launch Unicorn Party as multiple skill-based, multiplayer casual games as a way to leverage its Crypto Unicorn non-fungible tokens (NFTs). It will be available on Android devices or the web.
“We’re expanding into different genres for this IP so that we can put a variety of games in front of the players,” said Lois Wang, executive producer of Unicorn Party, in an interview with GamesBeat. “Unicorn Party will be a multiplayer PvP game series where we can experiment with the different genres and diversify our audience.”
It’s the latest effort to jumpstart the crypto gaming market, which has been weak thanks to a series of price drops and scandals in the Web3 markets. In April, Laguna Games also announced a plan to give more governance control in its Web3 gaming ecosystem to the games most active players.
Created by Laguna Games, Crypto Unicorns is a community-owned franchise which has been a popular NFT gaming brand for collecting pets, farming and multiplayer battles. And it deployed version two of a staking contract, where players get rewards for holding on to NFTs, to begin distributing governance power for active players who hold on to its token for the long term.
“We’re looking how our developers and community can be much more integrated and even collaborate,” Wang said. “This is really one of our core long-term missions. While the market may have its ups and downs, we’re building something we consider to be generational.”
More than 140,000 unicorns have been bred to date. Laguna Games and the community want to build toward a world where there’s an ecosystem of game studios utilizing Crypto Unicorns IP to develop and experiment with new games and other ways to franchise the brand.
Despite the bear market, Laguna Games has seen sustained activity by players who are now averaging an hour a day playing the Crypto Unicorn core Land game, said Wang.
A series of games
Unicorn Party games are the first offering of mobile game experiences under the Crypto Unicorns brand featuring skill-based, real-time multiplayer competition, in which Unicorns challenge each other in a variety of game genres and environments.
The first game, Bumpercorns, is now available for Android devices and desktop browsers, with the second game, Mob Run, launching in July.
The Unicorn Party games have familiar mechanics and quick matches, making them ideal for short or long play sessions. Bumpercorns is a battle royale-style game where the goal is to bump all opponents out of the arena.
With each opponent eliminated, the “Bumpercorn” grows in size, speed, and strength. Mob Run is a .io-style game that challenges players to gather the largest crowd of gummy friends to follow them, either through scavenging or stealing them from smaller crowds.
In both games, the top players from each arena collect prizes from the $RBW token entry pool. The games’ liquidity pools are shared cross-platform to ensure quick multiplayer competition matching in arenas ranging from two to 10 players.
Similar to Crypto Unicorns’ recently launched game, Jousting, holding Land NFTs and participating in the Farming game loop are not required to play Unicorn Party games. The games offer separate, yet complementary experiences to the multiverse, as Unicorn NFTs can be used in either new game, as well as in the Crypto Unicorns Land Game and Jousting. This approach provides a variety of options for players with diverse interests and increases the utility of Unicorn NFTs.
“You can enter to the game without prior knowledge of the IP,” Wang said. “We want this to be much more accessible for a person who is not as technical. So this opportunity is quite exciting. We are trying to share the knowledge and good experiences. Our priority is fun.”
Unicorn Party games aim to address the main challenges hindering the mass adoption of blockchain games, such as dull gameplay and complex onboarding, as highlighted in a 2022 report released by the Blockchain Game Alliance (BGA). Freeplay arenas featuring “Ponies” allow players to easily try the games and practice their skills before connecting a wallet or investing in NFT assets.
“By expanding the Crypto Unicorns Ecosystem with innovative casual genre games, Laguna Games is playing a key role in bridging the gap between web2 and web3 gaming audiences,” said Aron Beierschmitt, CEO of Laguna Games, in a statement. “Unicorn Party creates accessibility for a wide range of players while embracing the exciting opportunities that decentralized technologies offer. We’re thrilled to continue building upon this vision and bringing even more fun and engaging experiences to the crypto gaming world.”
Since launching a year ago, players have traded over 19.2k ETH (valued at $45 million) worth of Crypto Unicorn Land and NFT pet collectibles. With the average user spending over an hour daily in the game, players have bred over 140,000 Unicorns and traded over $9 million within the Rainbow Marketplace. The game is ranked in the top five games on Polygon, according to OpenSea.
Laguna Games looks to expand upon the Unicorn Party portfolio in the future with additional casual genre games as a way to bridge the Web2 and Web3 gaming audiences. Laguna Games has more than 100 people, including contractors.
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