During the recent Malta AI & Blockchain Summit, Coin Rivet had the pleasure of interviewing Stephen Arnold, CEO of Fracture Labs, to discuss the upcoming blockchain game title ‘Decimated’, which is set for release in 2020.
I’ve known Stephen for some time now, but this was the first time we had met in person, making this interview one of my personal highlights from the event.
I spotted Stephen while I was wondering around the conference, and since Decimated is one of the upcoming blockchain titles I’m looking forward to the most, we quickly arranged our interview on the sunny rooftop terrace of the Hilton to discuss the game.
What is Decimated?
To borrow Stephen’s own words, Decimated is “an open-world survival game built in Unreal Engine 4”.
Stephen has more than 11 years’ experience in the games industry and has surrounded himself with like-minded industry veterans coming from various other game studios including CryTek, BioWare, Zynga, and Electronic Arts.
Decimated will feature a huge map for players to roam around as either a human citizen or a cyborg cop as they vie for survival in a post-apocalyptic setting.
“We have a token called DIO which is available on several exchanges right now,” adds Stephen.
The DIO token is the “cryptocurrency for the game which people will be able to earn through doing missions – they’ll also be able to earn and rob other players in certain danger zones of the map.”
“They can also customise their vehicles and they can sell them on the blockchain as well,” he continues.
At the moment, the DIO token is listed on ABCC.com, ExMarkets.com, Latoken.com, and ZBX.com, though Stephen teased:
“We’re planning to list on other exchanges over the next few weeks, and we just want to try and get as much exposure out there as possible – particularly in Asia, because obviously there’s big gaming communities in the likes of China, South Korea, and Japan.”
— DECIMATED – Official (@decimated_game) May 21, 2019
The importance of digital scarcity
Arguably the most promising aspect of blockchain gaming is the concept of digital scarcity. This concept adds a new dimension to gaming because the player can own items forever.
Speaking on the importance of digital scarcity and proven ownership gathered from his many years of experience in the industry, Stephen comments:
“Well I think that traditionally, you know, video games have a kind of one-way system where the players are spending a lot of money for their virtual items to customise their character, but they don’t really ever get anything back from that, right?
“So with blockchain, and because we use cryptocurrency, players can essentially earn something they can cash out for real items, virtual items, or cash into Bitcoin, Ethereum, USD, and euros.
“We give players the ability to do that. With regards to digital scarcity, it’s like virtual items that players own, and because there’s only 1,000 of them in existence, for example, based on the limited supply and amount of demand there is for those items, players can customise their vehicle and then say ‘okay, I’m putting this on the marketplace starting at a certain price’ – you could have an eBay-style auction and then sell the item for profit, if you’re lucky.”
— DECIMATED – Official (@decimated_game) May 15, 2019
Decimated could possibly be ported to Xbox, PlayStation, and mobile
Initially, Fracture Labs is aiming to target the PC platform, though Stephen did tease that the game studio is “speaking with several publishers about the project as well who could help us port the game onto PlayStation and Xbox – and if it’s a huge success, then we could also have a mobile version.”
He alludes to popular battle royale game such as PlayerUnknowns Battleground and Fortnite – which have both had startling success – and how these titles first appeared on PC. Both titles were ported onto console platforms later and eventually mobile as well.
“Obviously, the demographic for people playing mobile games is huge, and again in Asia as well, so we want to get those audiences as well at a later stage. But PC primarily, so we start with PC, then console, then mobile.
“I think that there’s obviously huge challenges working with the likes of Microsoft and PlayStation if we’re using cryptocurrency, because it’s still quite early. The regulations are not set in stone, so potentially these console manufacturers might not be so sure about how to use cryptocurrency and blockchain in a game.
“So that’s why we do it ourselves – do a soft-launch and test the market and then work with publishers to work with other platforms.”
— DECIMATED – Official (@decimated_game) June 4, 2019
Decimated will be released in 2020
The roadmap for Fracture Labs is currently to release a “smartphone version of the item storage facility and wallet system,” reveals Stephen.
“We’re still working on the game – we do have a prototype that’s playable and we want to release an early version of that this year so players can see their virtual items inside of the game. We want to do this so they can see that we’re making progress, and any items that they’ve bought already through us or through our partners, they’ll be able to see them actually in the game world.
“The full game will be released in 2020, and then we’ll be developing it over the next few years and iterating on the mechanics and making the graphics look better, so at the moment, our roadmap is really to release the smartphone app first and brand awareness and selling tokens on exchanges.”