Mighty Action Heroes bring battle royale collectibles to Web3 gaming

Colin Campbell, Monday, August 7th, 2023 10:51 am

Mighty Action Heroes is a new battle royale game for mobile, offering Web3 capabilities via blockchain-tradable, collectible NFTs. Players can earn, create, own and trade characters from the game, which is inspired by “the best of Hollywood, Bollywood, Hong Kong cinema, and beyond”.

GameDaily spoke to Simon Davis, co-founder and CEO at Singapore-based developer Mighty Bear Games.

GameDaily: Tell us why you decided to make a Web3 battle royale game?

Simon Davis: We made a game for Apple in 2019 called Butter Royale. It was a shooter – food themed and very cute. And it turned out that we’re pretty good at making these arena games.

In 2021 we took the decision to go all in on Web3. We knew we wanted to go into a genre and an area where we already knew how to execute. So we decided on an action-movie inspired battle royale.

It’s designed to be very accessible, with matches around five minutes long, and 20 players. It’s very immediate and fun to play if you’re queuing for a coffee or something. We took a lot of design inspiration from Mario Kart, so the game is very easy to pick up, but there’s a lot of depth and mastery to it as well. The initial launch phase is going very well.

GameDaily: Why did you decide you wanted to be in the Web3 gaming space?

Simon Davis: I first got interested because I’m naturally a very curious person. I bought some Bitcoin back in 2015, just as an experiment – it was never anything really ideological.

If you’ve been playing games for a long time, you’re accustomed to in-game tokens and currencies. It’s very normal to own gold and gems in games like Clash of Clans or World of Warcraft – they’re just off-chain.

As a developer, don’t you want to let users decide how they use these currencies? Or do you want to fully centralized and control every aspect of how they interact with the game? I think it’s an interesting experiment, to give players a genuine stake in the economy.

Let them have the freedom to do what they want with those tokens, which are either earned or bought with real money, but have no external value. Let’s hand it to them.

I’ve been making massively multiplayer games since 2010, and it always made a lot of sense to me that players would want to own, and have full custody of their assets eventually. I always liked the idea that as a player, you could hold something, and you could flex it, and everyone in the world would be able to see that you hold this specific item.

You could trade it freely with other players as well. Developers could get a percentage of the royalties from assets created, in perpetuity. I thought these were all really interesting concepts. In 2021, I started to see what was happening with NFTs and digital goods and so that’s the position I decided to take.

There were also changes in more traditional models in mobile gaming. We saw the cost of our user acquisition for free-to-play games rise enormously, A lot of developers doubled down and tried to find ways around it and optimize for the new paradigm. But I decided that was an unwinnable war and that it would be unsustainable for all but the absolute largest players, and that’s how things are playing out.

GameDaily: Tell us about how Web3 works in Mighty Action Heroes?

Simon Davis: We took a hybrid approach. You can play the game normally as a player and you never have to engage with any of the on blockchain stuff. The level that we’ve added is an NFT meta game. You can combine different components as NFTs and then there’s a probabilistic outcome that you can generate newer, rare outcomes.

We basically gamified collectibles as part of the game economy. Players who choose to, can hold those assets in a wallet. They can trade them and export them. It’s there as an option for people who are really into that stuff and we expect that the most hardcore players will really gravitate towards that stuff and that’s been the evidence we’ve seen so far.

We are very early in our life and we’re naturally attracting players who already have an interest in [NFTs] or who are open to it. If we onboard people [to blockchain], then that’s great. But it’s not necessarily the objective. I’m not here to evangelize. I just want to provide another layer of engagement for people who want it.

GameDaily: This all makes sense, but Web3 gaming has had its share of problems in these early years.

Simon Davis: The first batch of Web3 games have not been fantastic and that definitely hasn’t helped. Any industry where there are large amounts of money to be made, with little oversight, is going to attract opportunists.

It’s an unfortunate side effect of success, but I suppose one of the positives of a bear market is that these people will leave. We’re already seeing them shift to the next thing, talking about AI.

As with any new technology, the ratio of speculators to genuine builders and users evolves. We’ve seen it again and again in technology.

GameDaily: What’s the plan going forward for Mighty Bear Games?

Simon Davis: Mighty Action Heroes is the first installment in something that we’re calling The Mighty Net, which is an ecosystem of games. You should expect to see at least another one or two games in the next three years.

Historically, we’ve shipped at least one new game every year, which is very prolific for a game studio. I don’t see any reason why we should slow down, so we’re already working on the next game, even as we launch Mighty Action Heroes. Hopefully, we’ll have some announcements on that before the end of the year.

Colin Campbell

Colin Campbell has been reporting on the gaming industry for more than three decades, including for Polygon, IGN, The Guardian, Next Generation, and The Economist.

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