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Game developer nWay announced today that it is developing Wreck League—a 3D mech-fighting game that will incorporate the Bored Ape Yacht Club and other Yuga Labs-created Ethereum NFT collections in its first season.
nWay—which previously developed licensed “Power Rangers” games, and is a subsidiary of publisher and metaverse investor Animoca Brands—has licensed Yuga’s Bored Ape Yacht Club characters for Wreck League, along with the Mutant Ape Yacht Club, Koda creatures from Yuga’s Otherdeed NFTs, and the Bored Ape Kennel Club.
In a press release, Yuga Labs Chief Gaming Officer Spencer Tucker said the game exists within a “noncanonical Extended Yugaverse.”
Welcome to Wreck League, an entirely new project that marks the next chapter in the evolution of fighting games, competitive gaming, and esports.
We're building a AAA-quality game we want to showcase the first look on announcement day. pic.twitter.com/j6UOCZng0v
— Wreck League (@WreckLeagueHQ) August 3, 2023
Launching in September, Wreck League will be offered in both an NFT-driven version and a free-to-play, non-crypto experience. nWay also plans to work with other brands and projects in the future, following the Yuga-centric first season.
Similar to how Nintendo’s Super Smash Bros. fighting game series pulls characters from numerous game franchises, Wreck League will feature different projects and brands that they’ll recognize from the world of NFTs and beyond in later game seasons.
And the game will apparently expand its feature set too, over time. nWay CEO Taehoon Kim told Decrypt that while the initial version of the game will focus solely on 1v1 battles, the studio plans to add 2v2 and 3v3 battles in the future.
Kim stressed that while Wreck League will offer larger teamfights later on, it will not become a MOBA—or multiplayer online battle arena game—at any point.
This means that in-game combat will remain focused on player-vs-player (PvP) combat, and the game will not feature large maps or non-playable characters as seen in popular MOBA titles such as League of Legends or Pokémon Unite.
Wreck League will offer its in-game mechs and parts as Ethereum NFTs. Each overall mech NFT will be composed of 10 mech part NFTs, and players will be able to “assemble” their playable mechs via Wreck League’s website.
NFT parts used to create a playable mech NFT will not be tradeable until the mech is “disassembled” by its owner, and disassembly will cause the former mech NFT to be “burned,” or effectively destroyed by being sent to an inaccessible blockchain address.
When asked if Wreck League’s emphasis on mech crafting and trading could lead to an experience in which players can effectively spend more cash to gain an advantage, Kim said that the game “avoids a strict pay-to-win model.”
“The gameplay in Wreck League strikes a balance between skill, luck, and the quality of your mech,” Kim told Decrypt.
“While having a better mech can provide an advantage, it doesn’t guarantee victory,” he added. “Much like real-world sports, such as F1 racing where better equipment and car and car parts may give an edge, victory is not guaranteed. Ultimately the game is designed with competitive esports in mind.”
NFTs go off-chain
While Wreck League will offer NFTs and asset trading for players that desire it, nWay will also let mech NFT creators turn their creations into user-generated content and sell them as playable characters to traditional, non-crypto Wreck League players in the game’s “Web2” game store.
NFT mechs can be “copied” to Wreck League’s store as playable, off-chain game assets, with “a portion of the revenue” from such sales going to the original NFT owners, nWay explained in a statement. Like assets in games like Fortnite and Roblox, these in-game items would be locked within the non-blockchain version Wreck League.
In a statement, Animoca Brands co-founder and Chairman Yat Siu said that Wreck League and its approach to blockchain gaming is a part of the studio’s broader mission “to deliver digital property rights to the world’s gamers and internet users.”
nWay plans to release Wreck League’s blockchain version for PC and Mac, as well as Android, with cross-play functionality enabled. The free-to-play, non-crypto version will also offer crossplay and be available on iOS, Android, Mac, and PC, with a possible console version in the future, Kim told Decrypt.