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Offchain Labs is building Xai as a new technology to scale blockchain transactions, and later this year it plans to launch a gaming-focused Layer 3 solution for game companies.
Under the direction of the Xai Foundation, Xai will be developed with support and servicing from Offchain Labs to directly address the needs of web3 games.
It uses the permission Orbit chain dubbed Arbitrum Nitro. While deploying Arbitrum Orbit chains is permissionless, Xai is unique as the first Orbit chain to be collaborating directly with Offchain Labs, on infrastructure, marketing and product support.
Over time, Xai will include features such as increased contract sizes, support, account abstraction, and other features that are attractive for gaming developers. Xai aims to become a “decentralized gaming console” and publishing partner for game developers interested in web3 gaming.
How it works
The Xai blockchain is powered by the Arbitrum Nitro technology stack, a state-of-the-art blockchain scaling solution. More specifically, the Xai blockchain uses AnyTrust technology, which supports high transaction volumes at ultra-low costs, and provides strong security guarantees.
These properties are important for games where in-game assets can be traded at high volumes, and where users want to store those assets securely. Additionally, since Xai is built on Arbitrum, users will be able to easily use their in-game assets across applications in the Arbitrum and Ethereum ecosystem, giving them freedom to experiment in a way that’s only possible on the blockchain.
“We are excited to announce that Offchain Labs will be working with the Xai Foundation and Ex Populus as they transition their backend technology into the Arbitrum ecosystem,” said A.J. Warner, chief strategy officer at Offchain Labs, in a statement. “We have been working closely with the Ex Populus team for nearly a year and eagerly await the migration to the Arbitrum ecosystem. The launch of Xai will enable its gaming ecosystem to live on an optimized, dedicated chain while benefiting from links to the vibrant Arbitrum ecosystem. I’m excited for the upcoming launch of the gaming franchises and gaming-focused Orbit chain.”
Web3 games developer, Ex Populus, will be the first contributor to Xai. And Ex Populus plans to migrate its gaming franchises into the Layer 3 once live. Ex Populus was previously developing its games on Solana, but will soon take its first step into the Arbitrum ecosystem by migrating to Arbitrum One. The team will ultimately deploy to Xai once it is fully launched and available.
The Ex Populus leadership team comes from the gaming industry with backgrounds at Pixar, Ubisoft, Blizzard, ActiVision, Wargaming, IGN, and more. Tobias Batton, Ex Populus CEO, is most recently known for his Signal Zero publishing platform which drove nearly a billion installs for mobile games from companies like MZ, Supercell, and many others.
Batton also created Clan Wars, the widely played social game which grew to over 10 million monthly active users. Mark Harris, cofounder, is an Oscar-nominated Pixar animation director. The team is committed to developing and publishing the highest quality games in terms of both content and technology.
Final Form, a high-frequency trading card and battle-oriented experience, and LAMOverse, an online multiplayer PvP game with modes including Battle Royale, Capture the Flag, and Nexus, are two Ex Populus titles currently in development and slated to launch on Xai later this year.
Final Form plans to bridge existing collections Mike Tyson’s Iron Pigeons and Decentralized Autonomous GigaUnits to the Arbitrum ecosystem later this year, both of which will be available to play in Final Form when it launches a few months from now.
Soby, an Ex Populus cofounder, said in a statement, “Our decision to partner with the Xai Foundation was simple. The Foundation’s decision to leverage Arbitrum Orbit was a clear indication that the ecosystem understood scaling as a requirement for gaming in web3. Having curated technology built to the needs of our games was critical, and with the direct support of the Offchain Labs team, we are confident that our games will run seamlessly on Arbitrum Orbit and provide our players with the type of gaming experience they’ve come to love and expect.”
The Xai Foundation has three cofounders. It works closely with Ex Populus which has approximately 40 full-time people working on games for the Xai Blockchain. Offchain Labs is the technology partner developing and servicing the chain. So far, the Xai Foundation has raised $13 million.
The Xai founders said in a statement they have been inspired by Xbox Game Pass, SteamOS and other new gaming platforms that have become prevalent over the last several years.
“We know why these new gaming platforms have succeeded, which by greatly reducing friction for players to enjoy their favorite games. In this spirit, what would a decentralized game console look like? Answering this question was the initial inspiration for Xai,” the founders said.
“New platforms like Xbox Game Pass and SteamOS were born out of the need to reduce friction for users to enjoy the games they love most. XAI was built in the same spirit, to reduce friction for players by abstracting away all the unfriendly scary blockchain stuff,” they said. “We believe by making user experience the first priority, a future where massive collections of games exist with a shared backend that brings interoperability to each game in the collection is much more realistic.”
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