Game studio Block Tackle’s inaugural game SkateX recently announced a Coast2Coast collection. The collection is set to release next week with 1,500 longboards and 1,500 standard boards as a collaboration between an as-yet-unknown artist.
SkateX is Block Tackle’s first upcoming massively multiplayer online (MMO) game, promising players an “immersive, extreme” experience. Expected to release later this year, SkateX’s NFT (non-fungible token) skateboards will have utility in the game and beyond.
San-Francisco-based gaming company Block Tackle recently launched in March. It set out with $5 million in funding from Solana Ventures, Coinbase Ventures, Animoca Brands, and more.
It’s dedicated to creating “fun-first” blockchain games that highly value providing an entertaining user experience. This approach is a timely response to the market’s concerns about NFT games delivering sub-par game experiences, focusing instead on profits.
A Project with Momentum
SkateX also gained pro skater Stevie William as an Advisor in April. Williams will contribute his input on skateboard design as well as streetwear. As an advisor, he’ll draw on his experience as founder of the skatewear clothing website DGK and a longtime lover of skater culture.
He will also design an exclusive line of NFT boards for the community. As a professional skater, his involvement is key to incorporating authentic board culture into the project’s DNA.
In a statement, Stevie Wiliams shared that he often passes on skating collaboration opportunities but was drawn to the project’s approach and foundation. His endorsement has brought the project more mainstream attention, which could help sustain its long-term success.
“I pass on almost everything, though, because projects need to be authentic and involve culture; they need to have roots based on legit skate history. I found out about SkateX not too long ago, and it’s clear that SkateX is for the culture, and that’s what I’m about. Get your boards ready.”
Block Tackle’s superstar AAA game development team includes “game industry veterans” from EA, Lucasfilm, Apple, Roblox, Kabam, Deone Racing League, and more.
SkateX’s Quality-First Approach
The SkateX project’s roadmap has four components: NFT development, NFT mint, SkateX game demo, and game launch. The project ultimately plans to develop and mint 10,000 “badass” skateboards that are “in full 3D and game-ready.”
BlockTackle’s goal is to bring more people into the Web3 fold by offering their game in a quality-first rather than crypto-first approach.
“Our goal is to make blockchain games accessible and irresistible to all, and there is no better way to start than with SkateX,” said co-founder of Block Tackle Rob Oshima.
Tapping into demand from NFT, gamer, and skater communities, SkateX has been met with a strong reception prior to its big launch. The project’s Twitter account has almost 40K followers, and the Discord has lots of buzzing engagement.
The SkateX Founders Edition is an NFT collection of 1,080 boards that give holders benefits in the game. It sold out in just minutes. The game was also the #1 trending game on major NFT gaming marketplace Fractal in the first week of April after its SkateList mint went live on Magic Eden on April 5th.
Yet not everyone is enthused about the integration of NFTs into the gaming industry. Some die-hard gamers are wary of NFT monetization in the gaming space and worry about depreciation in gaming quality as a result. Some people critique the NFT game industry and its “disheartening” growth, like
Joe Harby, Chief Editor at Downtime Bros, a video game review site, is one critic of NFT gaming. Harby told Wealth of Geeks that gamers are already overwhelmed by micro-transactions, which pollute the gaming experience, and NFTs exacerbate this “disheartening” problem.
“NFTs are just the latest method of extracting more cash from players and putting it into the hands of greedy publishers,” said Harby.
These concerns underscore the demand for quality, playable games over other factors, which SkateX purports to offer.
Nina Kemper, PR Manager at Coinbound, a leading Web3 marketing agency, finds SkateX’s approach “worthwhile” based on the trends in leading Web3 projects. Kemper told Wealth of Geeks that marketing with mainstream demand in mind is key.
“A big issue my clients have with marketing their Web3 projects is the lack of mainstream applicability. I have found that if the product is of high quality and digestible by the general population, they tend to be more successful than projects that are of similar quality with no mainstream appeal,” said Kemper.
Look for SkateX’s Coast2Coast collection, May 12th.
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