Imagine a modern version of Magic: The Gathering, but on the Ethereum blockchain, and that’s what you get with Gods Unchained.
The competitive, crypto collectible card game has been in closed beta since November and is widely considered one of the most highly anticipated blockchain games of the year.
Now, it seems eager blockchain gamers will finally have some of that anticipation satisfied, as the makers of Gods Unchained, Fuel Games, today announced the launch of the game’s first public beta.
“[W]ith the beta launch, Gods Unchained will open doors for new players to join the fray, collect cards, mint cards to the blockchain, and battle with others around the world,” the company said in a statement.
The game, which combines elements of blockchain-based collectibles like CryptoKitties with the digital-card, multiplayer action of Activision Blizzard’s Hearthstone, has already generated considerable buzz, well before even going public.
During its presale last year, Gods Unchained sold more than 4 million cards and raked in roughly $4 million in total revenue, according to Fuel Games, which last May raised $2.4 million in a funding round led by Coinbase. Its presale numbers were enough to make it the highest grossing blockchain game of the year, according to the company’s statement.
The game itself is free to play, with a core set of hundreds of digital cards that are “untradable” and available to all players. But it’s the “booster packs” and limited edition “Genesis Sets” available for sale within Gods Unchained that pack a more serious punch, which is how the game makes its money.
And like other digital card games in which each collectible carries its own set of statistics and characteristics that determines how the card can be played and what effect it has in the game, these statistics must be balanced out fairly so the game remains competitive. And that’s where the public beta comes in.
The “balancing beta,” which will last until the end of the month, will allow the game’s developers to audit different deck combinations for fairness and tweak the gameplay if necessary. While players will be able to purchase cards and collect packs during the public beta, they still won’t be able to start trading them. At the end of the balancing beta, card stats will be then be immutably etched in blockchain stone, and the game will go live with peer-to-peer trading capabilities in earnest.
That is, after all, the game’s real appeal—true ownership of digital assets that players either purchase or earn, which they can then do with as they please.
Gods Unchained is banking on gamers finding real value in a game that offers real ownership. And if early numbers are any indication, the crypto collectible craze may be far from a dead cat fad after all.