Devs quit after Torque Drift 2 adds crypto, big problem with MetaFighter – Cointelegraph Magazine

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‘Web3 gaming’ causes staff exodus: Grease Monkey Games founder

Changing direction can be nerve-wracking for any company. But when Grease Monkey Games founder Arran Potter told the team they were moving into “Web3 gaming,” he had no idea it would result in 10 employees quitting the compnay.

“We told the studio this is what’s happening. We’re going into this space, then we lost a bunch of staff. They just didn’t want to make a Web3 game,” Potter tells Web3 Gamer.

“We lost maybe 10 people over a period of a month or so,” he adds.

The Australia-based company is under the Animoca Brands umbrella and is best known for its hit immersive motorsport game Torque Drift, which is a classic Web2 title.

The upcoming sequel, Torque Drift 2, currently in beta, is making a shift to blockchain technology with nonfungible tokens (NFTs). Potter has his fingers and toes crossed that the complete game will be ready by the end of the year.

Potter admits it was challenging to fill the gap left by the Web3 naysayers and says that larger studios tend to attract the top talent in the industry, leaving fewer options for smaller companies.

Torque Drift allows you to fully immerse yourself in the experience of being a drift car racer. (YouTube/Torque Drift)

“It is quite a challenge. There were some large studios that would just acquire people for huge wages, and it made it very difficult to find people,” he says.

Potter did manage to persuade major partners of Torque Drift, including giants like car manufacturer Nissan, to stick around for the Web3 adventure.

He explains Web3 to newcomers in simple terms, as many have reservations due to negative connotations, which are often misconceptions.

“Digital ownership is something that they hear and think it’s where they are transferring their IP and their trademark over to the owner of the NFT and it’s not like that at all,” he explains.

“I don’t even like saying NFTs,” he laughs.

“It just triggers some people, they see $100,000 Bored Apes and they don’t understand it, don’t want to understand it, or don’t care about it,” he argues. But he says framing it as a win/win works.

Every now and then, you have to play a little bit of “bumper cars” on the tracks. (YouTube/Torque Drift)

“If the tech offers some benefits, then people will embrace it, and people need to understand the benefits,” Potter declares.

Don’t worry about gaming assets and SEC: Saga founder

Despite the United States regulator being trigger-happy in calling everything in crypto a “security,” the case for digital assets in gaming being securities is a “harder argument to make,” according to Rebecca Liao, the CEO and founder of layer-1 blockchain protocol Saga.

The Ether ETF approval under commodities rules appears to have settled the debate for now over whether Ethereum is a security, but Securities and Exchange Commission boss Gary Gensler certainly has his eyes on the rest of the market.

Liao doesn’t believe true in-game digital assets will be in the firing line but says it is an “interesting one.”

Liao explains that there are concerns that something like an NFT baseball trading card of a great player going from $5 to $5,000 could be classed as a security.

But she argues that it “makes less sense” trying to apply securities laws to assets in “truly gaming and entertainment” environments such as swords in a video game.

With past gigs as a corporate lawyer and foreign policy adviser for both Bill Clinton and Joe Biden, plus a law degree from Harvard University, it’s probably safe to assume she knows her stuff.

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She also believes it’s time for people to stop obsessing over getting Web2 people to transition over to Web3.

“I hate people saying we’re trying to get Web2 into Web3,” Liao tells Web3 Gamer.

“In the end, a gamer appreciates a great game, it is that simple,” she adds.

She adds that she believes some Web2 studios are definitely looking at Web3 tech — they’re just keeping it quiet for political reasons. 

(Jonah/X)

“The major studios, if they are looking into Web3 gaming, it is very hush-hush. So it’s kind of an internal experiment,” she explains.

“They don’t want to let their player base know that they’re working on this,” she claims, pointing out that some gaming devs still hate mobile games despite being the “biggest form” of gaming there is, as well as the “biggest moneymaker.”

“Maybe two years from now, there will be a critical mass of people changing their minds about whether Web3 gaming is all a scam and full of terrible games.”

Hot Take: MetaFighter

Play-to-earn fighting game MetaFighter brings back the nostalgia of classic arcade fighting games like Tekken and Street Fighter and is actually pretty good — but falls short in one key area for gamers.

Built using BNB Smart Chain, MetaFighter has impressive crystal-clear graphics and a very realistic, detailed fighting environment.

The unique visual graphic for every move makes the game way more engaging than your average fighter game, and the sounds for each punch, smack, and whack ham it up even more.

"Web3 gaming" a touchy term in the Grease Monkey Games headquarters, in-game assets out of SEC securities debate, Torque Drift 2: Web3 Gamer
The aim of the game is to knock out your opponent. (MetaFighter)

Controls are right where you need them on the screen too, and large enough, so you can focus on kicking butt in the ring without constantly checking where every button is.

So what’s the downside? Well, you’re going to need a lot of patience to endure the long wait times for matchmaking.

The matchmaking speed for player-versus-player mode is pretty rough. Waiting five minutes for a match is common, which is frustrating even compared to other iOS blockchain games.

Luckily, there’s a player-versus-environment option under the free-to-play gameplay mode where you can fight the computer, so you don’t have to sit around waiting in between matches.

This game mode is also a great option if you want to try out a bunch of different fighters without having to spend hours grinding online to unlock them.

The arenas for the fights are slightly unusual. (MetaFighter)

The other two gameplay modes, Fight-to-Gain and Fight-to-Earn — when you can actually find someone else to fight — are where you can earn MetaFighter’s native MF tokens.

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MF can then be used to further invest in your fighter, buy NFTs on the MetaFighter marketplace, or just cash out your earnings. However, you’ll need to make sure you connect your MetaMask or Trust Wallet when you first jump into the game to make sure you can start earning straight away.

Overall, MetaFighter is an entertaining game, but the slow matchmaking needs to get better to match its awesome graphics and gameplay.

Other News

— Immutable has announced that its noncustodial wallet, the Immutable Passport, has now reached over 1 million downloads following the launch of Guild of Guardians (GoG).

— The hype for MetalCore continues, as the team behind it, Studio369, revealed that there have been over 100,000 pre-registrations for the Open Beta version, which is expected to launch before the end of 2024.

— Gala Games has announced that all of the remaining 4.4 billion GALA tokens from the wallet of the exploiter who managed to mint 5 billion GALA tokens have been burned.

— It turns out almost half (47%) of Gen Z gamers would be open to seeing advertisements in games if they were compensated with Bitcoin for their time, according to the ZBD Gen Z gamer study.

Ciaran Lyons

Ciaran Lyons is an Australian crypto journalist. He’s also a standup comedian and has been a radio and TV presenter on Triple J, SBS and The Project.



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