The team behind the NFT-driven game franchise Aurory announced today that it is expanding beyond the Solana blockchain, adding cross-chain support for Aurory NFTs and its AURY token with the Ethereum scaling network, Arbitrum.
While Aurory is not the first Solana-native NFT or game project to embrace other chains, this particular move is being branded as an expansion rather than a migration.
“We’re not leaving Solana necessarily,” Aurory Executive Producer Jonathan Campeau told Decrypt ahead of the official Arbitrum announcement. “For us, really, we need to branch out a little bit in terms of from a pure business point of view.”
Aurory’s SyncSpace tech will allow users to move their assets between Solana and Arbitrum and into the games.
Because Solana is not an Ethereum Virtual Machine-native or Ethereum-compatible chain, it typically means users have to create a new wallet via options like Phantom or Solflare, which can add friction to the user experience for those only familiar with the Ethereum ecosystem and wallets like MetaMask. Aurory also offers users the option to sign into their game accounts with just an email address, and connect a crypto wallet at a later time.
“We just want to open more doors for players, because we understand that Solana has a specific audience,” Campeau said. “Arbitrum developed their own culture, their own audience as well.”
Although SyncSpace effectively works like a bridge between blockchains and into the company's games, Aurory Head of Marketing and Business Development Michael Natoli told Decrypt that the goal isn't primarily to let NFT and token holders move from one chain to another—it's to create new kinds of on-ramps into the game, to tap into other crypto communities and their own liquidity.
Natoli added that if a Solana NFT is moved over to Arbitrum, the original NFT will be held within SyncSpace and can eventually be moved back from Arbitrum to Solana at some point. The on-ramps will let players bring Aurory NFTs and USDC stablecoins into the game via either chain, and then USDC can be swapped for the game's AURY token for use in Aurory.
Ultimately, Aurory NFT items on Solana or Arbitrum will act the same inside the games.
"There is no 'upside' of moving them from one chain to the other, aside from people now having the option to withdraw their Aurory assets on the chain that they prefer between the two," said Natoli. "We ultimately want to expand our community and bring the Aurory experience to another growing and committed Web3 ecosystem in Arbitrum."
There could be functional in-game benefits to exploring the chains, however. Adding support for more blockchains could open up avenues for new experiences with non-playable characters (NPCs), Campeau suggested, which could be tied to specific chains to encourage cross-chain exploration.
“You could definitely see an NPC, particularly in the game, really heavily in crypto or really heavily on Solana, and be able to trade with them or to do quest items,” Campeau shared. “He’s only going to be asking for items that will be on the Solana blockchain for you to move forward, for example.”
Aurory has two games currently in development. One is Aurory Adventures, the player-versus-environment (PvE) role-playing game (RPG). The other is Aurory Tactics, a player-versus-player (PvP) battle arena game.
Aurory offers playable character NFTs called Aurorians, as well as Pokemon-like animal NFTs called Nefties. The game also has character skins and Neftie eggs on-chain as NFTs, and has one on-chain token, AURY. In 2021, Aurory collaborated with esports organization TSM and the now-shuttered crypto exchange FTX on limited edition NFTs.
Arbitrum marks the first step out of the Solana ecosystem for Aurory, but it may not be the last.
“In the future, it’s not unrealistic for us to start looking at Polygon, to start looking at Avalanche,” Campeau said. “BNB is another one that we’ve been looking into.”