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动视暴雪资深员工创立Mythical Games,其关注点在玩家所有的经济模式/Activision Blizzard Vets Launch Mythical Games With Focus On Player-Owned Economies

译文/Translated:

Mythical刚刚获得一家区块链公司1600万美元的投资,但是CEO John Linden在GameDaily的访谈中表示“我们还是游戏为主,区块链为辐。”[更新:发布第一款游戏]

镇上有一家新工作室,这就是Mythical。这家刚刚获得投资的Mythical Games总部设在洛杉矶,它的目标是借助区块链技术变革游戏内经济,这个公司刚刚获得Galaxy Digital的EOS VC投资引领的1600万投资,投资方还包括Javelin Venture Partners,DDC, Fenbushi, Noris, 和OkCoin。

Mythical的创始团队经验丰富,在《使命召唤》、《魔兽世界》、《吉他英雄》、《神威英雄战队》、《小龙斯派罗》等著名游戏中都有他们的影子。CEO John Linden此前是Seismic Labs(后被Niantic收购)的总裁,再此前他是动视公司的工作室主管。他手底下还有Jamie Jackson(之前同样担任过动视的工作室主管)、区块链主管Rudy Koch(前暴雪资深制作人)、CPO Stephan Cunningham(雅虎前全球产品管理总监)。

Mythical的目标是要建立一个繁荣的数据生态系统,这个系统中,创造了内容的人就创造了经济。正如记者招待会上这个公司说的,“Mythical相信未来游戏的玩家、内容创造者、品牌和开发者之间存在的联系会越来越紧密,而这也是游戏的依靠。团队希望通过提供自己所有的Mythical平台给顶级的开发者,从而建立基于区块链的玩家所有的经济,这也是受众很广的EOSIO区块链先提出的。他们还关注怎么样给现有的内容创造者提供新的工具,怎么教品牌定制游戏资产并被提供所有权。

Mythical Games CEO John Linden

在GameDaily的访谈中,Linden说Mythical一方面是游戏工作室,另一方面也是一个发布者,它联合了许许多多的开发者,这能够利用Mythical平台扩大游戏内部经济。

 “我们会作为主要发行方把游戏投入市场,但是接下来会和主要的游戏和美术工作室合作制作游戏。”Linden说

“玩家所有的经济模式对于不同的游戏开发者有不同的意义。”他继续说,“Mythical的核心中,我们的目标是给游戏开发者提供已经直接实现Unity和Unreal的经济引擎,这样他们就能自定义玩家所有的经济模式在他们的游戏中意味着什么。这种经济模式甚至可以简单到只是把游戏物品代币化(稀有的车、剑、或其某些人物),让玩家可以拥有这些游戏资产,并把这些资产卖给其他线上或线下玩家。

 “同样,经济模式也可以很复杂,比如说,他可以让游戏开发者批量出售游戏资产(比如说,稀有的车)给玩家或内容开发者,让他们根据客户情况做调整(比如,在stempunk中去掉spoiler这张牌)然后再把这些新的独特的资产通过一个市场出售给游戏。

Galaxy Digital的CEO和创办人Michael Novogratz补充说,“我们相信玩游戏—尤其是玩家和游戏内的经济和虚拟货物之间的互动—会在大众发现区块链的真正潜力中扮演主要角色。Mythical在制作内容丰富、吸引力强的游戏世界方面的经验对于项任务价值无限。”

读到这里,如果你已经瞋目结舌,那也是可以理解的。过去一年区块链技术有太多夸大其词的地方,尤其是和比特币等加密货币大涨大跌有关。Linden能够理解人们的担忧,但是,Mythical的首要目标是做出好游戏。

 “我完全理解(大家会瞋目结舌),”他说,“现在有好多个区块链游戏项目,但是这些项目在我看来都是纸上谈兵,对于一般的玩家没什么用处,就算他们真的能够找到偶尔玩游戏的玩家,那人数也会非常小。对我来说,全世界的游戏代币、100%由社区驱动的完全去中心化的游戏、商品能够从一个游戏神奇地无缝从一个游戏转移到另一个游戏这样的商品互操作,这些项目都是空话。”

 “但是,我们相信,区块链作为一种技术是很吸引人的。它能够给游戏业带来变革,让行业进入这个崭新的所有制模式。这也是Mythical会进入这个行业一个主要原因。但是我们的工作室还是以游戏为主导,区块链为辅。”

为了达到这个目的,Mythical不会在它的第一个游戏中(暂时还没有发布)强迫玩家购买任何加密货币。

 “我们希望游戏开发者能够自己决定游戏的发行、决定他们想要的世界,但是我们在开发的第一个游戏中,我们还是希望能把货币限定在美元、欧元等上,但是,我们也会关注如何把游戏资产放到公链上,给玩家所有权,也会在游戏中鼓励这个做法,”Linden这么解释,“玩家能够在线上线下将游戏资产出售给其它玩家。我们还引入了一个新的理念:当内容创造者产出的物品从一个玩家卖给另一个玩家产生新的商业模式的时候,我们会因为其中产生的痕迹支付这些创造者。”
很遗憾,线上社区,甚至包括玩家/开发者关系,近几年来都关注“毒性”[1],比如有名的ArenaNet事件。Linden相信,通过给玩家和内容创造者提供一个和开发者更紧密的练习,有些“毒性”就有可能能够避免。

 “这是任何多人游戏或者任何一个社区都存在的问题。我们相信长远来看我们有能力让玩家作为创造者和/或游戏品牌的管理者发声,这样就能保证进入游戏的内容有利于社区(甚至他们可以因此获得报酬)。区块链技术在共识这个概念上有深入的应用,而且已经在从根本上解决”毒性“问题上有了多次应用,”他继续说。

Mythical Games还没有宣布它的游戏端口。工作室希望能够实现PC/游戏机端和手机端共同发展,但是似乎手机端不是首要选择,毕竟在过分饱和的手游世界成功需要别的手段。

“我觉得Mythical的端口明年主要会关注PC/Mac/游戏机,然后我们才会考虑手机,”Linden解释道,“我们的第一个游戏会在PC/Mac上,但是我们已经在构想怎么在2019年底让它手游化。我觉得在我们创造出媲美小龙斯派罗(游戏的主要收入来自从零售商店购买的实体卡片套)的手游之前,相比以前的游戏,我们首要的挑战在于,我们应该和苹果和Google合作处理这些新的经济模式,而不是没有他们的支持或者没被他们注意到就自己瞎搞。所以我们的合作关系以及规模化拥有更多的用户会是主要的方式。”

被问到预算的时候,Linden表示反对3A[2]或者2A[3]游戏模式。“最近3A还是2A的前景都不是很清晰,但我可以说的就是,在发达国家,我们会关注完全3D的游戏(和我们先前的做法一致)但是在发展中国家,我们希望能够让玩家更有分量,这样才能依靠这些新的经济模式获得更新更好地游戏机制。”她说。“总体来说,我们希望游戏能够以主流形式吸引更多的玩家,这也是我们把高质量的游戏和区块链技术结合起来的主要目标。”

诚然,预算越高,风险越大,尤其在创造新IP上。让玩家喜欢上一个新的IP不是一件容易的事情,所以工作室应该能够减少风险。

 “我觉得任何一个游戏(尤其是原创IP的游戏)来说,要平衡风险,最好的方法是要做好市场,帮它披荆斩棘,”Linden说。“很明显,大IP可以做到做件事。我们的第一个游戏是一个原创IP,这样我们才能完全自由地尝试新的概念,但是,我们把范围和成本都压得很低(6个月内进行内测),这样才能马上进行调整,通过这样的方式,我们减少了风险。此外,我们的模式还让影响者和其它营销品牌在经济上更有话语权,这就可以让我们深入用户,而不是传统的获得用户。”

既然Mythical有这么多动视暴雪的背景,你可能会觉得这个工作室的领导人想的是怎么实现游戏串流和电子竞技,哪怕这不是他们现在的目标。此外,你不能“做出电子竞技”,你能做的是做出一个很好的竞技游戏,是玩家最终把它拔高到经济的层面。因为区块链的影响,Mythical到达电子竞技的方式可能是非常与众不同的。

“我不能把我们的计划都说出来,但是每个开发者心中都或多或少会有电子竞技的想法的!”Linden说。“我觉得从根本上来说,电子团队所有权和游戏商品的所有权并没太大的差异。”

“所以我觉得玩家所有的团队有很好的机会利用区块链代币化,这些团队最终还能借助我们完善游戏目标的技术被开发者知道。”

在现在这个阶段,Mythical可能只是在吹牛。在公司揭露产品端口、展示玩家所有的经济模式的重要细节之前,很难说这个方法成功性如何。Linden说,关键在于,这个模式是要加强现在游戏业现有成功模式。

“我们不觉得区块链和游戏是别人所说的什么革命,”他说,“游戏业可没有破产,它还欣欣向荣。我们把区块链和游戏业的结合视为革命。我们希望能够在这些非常棒的工具套、原则和分析中起到作用,我们希望能够让游戏开发者探索新理念,希望给玩家和现在的创造者力量。”

“我们之前也见证过游戏业的大变革,最近的例子就是手机端带来的数十亿的行业扩张。区块链最好的地方是它不是另一个平台的变化。它是横跨手机、PC/Mac、游戏机的范例转换。”

更新:Mythical已经揭露了它的第一个游戏,Blankos,这是一个休闲的多人世界,其风格像是一个巨大的街区舞会。这个公司是这么描述的,“(这是)一个热闹的中心,朋友们可以聚会、一起打猎、做日常任务、最终参加全球的线上小游戏和探索其他人的街区舞会。设计和定制自己的Blankos和获取积分的舞会世界有各种方法,玩家可以购买、交易或出售他们的设计,增加自己的收藏。“详情参考以下预告片。

[1]指自己打不好,还怪别人的玩家,甚至辱骂其他玩家的行为

[2]高预算、高宣传的游戏

[3]3A玩法,但是技术和美术稍弱的游戏

原文/Original:

Mythical has landed $16M in funding from a blockchain firm, but CEO John Linden explained to GameDaily that this is “very much a gaming first and blockchain second proposition.” [UPDATE: First game revealed]

There’s a new studio in town, and it’s Mythical. The freshly minted Mythical Games, based in Los Angeles, is aiming to revolutionize in-game economies with the help of blockchain technology, and the company just landed $16 million in Series A funding led by Galaxy Digital’s EOS VC Fund, along with significant participation from Javelin Venture Partners as well as DDC, Fenbushi, Noris, and OkCoin.

The founding team at Mythical has plenty of experience working on major franchises, such as Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, Guitar Hero Live, Marvel Strike Force, Skylanders, and others. CEO John Linden was most recently the President at Seismic Labs (acquired by Niantic) and he’s served as Studio Head at Activision. He’s joined by CCO Jamie Jackson (also a former Studio Head at Activision), Head of Blockchain Rudy Koch (former Senior Producer at Blizzard), and CPO Stephan Cunningham (formerly Director, Global Product Management at Yahoo!).

Mythical’s goal is to build a thriving digital ecosystem in which content creators shape the economy. As the studio said in its press release, “Mythical Games believes future game entertainment will depend on closer ties between players, content creators, brands and developers. The team looks to innovate through providing their proprietary Mythical platform to top developers to help build player-owned economies on popular blockchains initially focused on the EOSIO blockchain. They will also focus on producing new tools for content creators and brands to customize and provide ownership of game assets.”

In an interview with GameDaily, Linden explained that Mythical will work partly as a game studio and partly as publisher, teaming with a variety of developers who can scale up their in-game economies using Mythical’s platform.

“We will bring games to market as a primary party but we will partner with experienced game and art studios to actually build these games with us,” Linden said.

“Player-owned economies can mean different things to different game developers,” he continued. “At Mythical’s core, our goal is to provide the economic engine built directly into Unity and Unreal for game developers to define what player-owned economies mean in their games.  Player-owned economies can be as simple as using blockchain technology to tokenize game objects (race cars, swords, or characters), allowing players to own those game assets and sell them on to other players in or out of the game.

“Economies can also be more complex such as letting game developers sell game assets (e.g. race cars) to players or content creators at wholesale and letting them make custom modifications (e.g. tricked out steampunk spoiler) and then sell those new and unique assets back into the game through a marketplace.”

Michael Novogratz, CEO and Founder of Galaxy Digital, added, “We believe that gaming – and specifically players’ interaction with in-game economies and virtual goods – will play a key role in how the masses first discover the true potential of the blockchain. Mythical’s experience building rich and immersive game worlds will be invaluable to this mission.”

If you’ve read this far and rolled your eyes a few times, that’s understandable. There’s been an abundance of hype around blockchain technology over the last year, partially tied to the meteoric rise and fall of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. Linden gets the skepticism, however. Mythical’s first priority is making great games.

“I completely understand [the collective eye-roll],” he said. “There are some blockchain-based gaming ideas floating around [that] in my opinion sound interesting on paper but really won’t make a difference to the average player or if they do find a player audience… it will be a very small and niche audience. Universal game tokens, fully decentralized gaming driven 100% by the community, and item interoperability where an item can magically and seamlessly move from one game to another falls into this category for me.    

“However, we do believe that blockchain as a technology is very fascinating, and it will allow an evolution of the games industry into this new world of ownership. This is the core reason that Mythical has jumped on board. But our studio is very much a gaming first and blockchain second proposition.”

To that end, Mythical is not looking to force any kind of cryptocurrency on players in its debut title (which has yet to be revealed).

“We want game developers to decide for their own game releases and worlds how this will play out for themselves, but with the first game we are doing, we will be keeping the game currency in USD, EUR, etc. but it will be focused on putting game assets onto public blockchains to give players ownership and honoring that in the game,” Linden explained. “Players would be able to sell their own game assets to other players in or out of the game. We are also introducing concepts of paying content creators a residual whenever their creations sell from player to player creating new business models for asset creation.”

Online communities and even player/developer relationships unfortunately have been tinged with toxicity in recent years, as we’ve seen with the ArenaNet fallout. Linden believes that by giving players and content creators a closer connection with developers, some of this toxicity could potentially be avoided.

“This is an ongoing issue with any multiplayer game or any community overall.  We believe we have the ability long-term to give players a voice in the game as a creator and / or separately as stewards of the game brand, to help make sure the content coming into the games is right for the community (and possibly get paid for doing so as well).  Blockchain technologies are deep in the concept of consensus and lend itself to helping manage toxicity at its core,” he noted.

Mythical Games isn’t ready to reveal its slate of games just yet. The studio is looking to tackle both PC/console level games as well as mobile, but it would appear that mobile will be secondary. Succeeding in the overcrowded mobile world requires a different kind of approach.

“I think Mythical’s slate will have a heavier focus on PC/Mac/Console over the next year, and then we bring mobile more into the picture,” Linden explained. “Our first game will start on PC/Mac but we already have some ideas on how to bring it to mobile in late 2019.  I think the biggest challenge with mobile which we have previously dealt with before working on innovative mobile games like Skylanders Battlecast (that had a majority of its revenue come through physical card packs at retail stores), is that it is best to do these new economics models closely with Apple and Google versus trying to do it without their support or under the radar.  So our partnerships and working to scale the experience to more audiences will be key.”

Linden also pushed back on the idea of triple-A versus double-A game projects, when we asked about project budgets.

“I think the AAA or AA categories are very muddied these days but what I can say is that we are focused completely on full 3D games with rich worlds (similar to what we have made previously) but with new economies to let players have a bigger stake in the game and to allow for new, exciting game mechanics based around these new economics,” he said. “Overall, we anticipate the games will appeal to wider audiences at a mainstream level, which is one of our core goals in bringing high-quality franchises and blockchain technology together.”

Needless to say, the bigger the budget, the bigger the risk, especially when it comes to new IP creation. Getting an audience to fall in love with a brand-new IP is a major challenge, so studios have to be able to mitigate risk.

“I think the best way for any game (especially original IP) to balance risk is to make sure there is some innovative way to market the game to help break it through the clutter,” Linden said. “Branded IP can obviously help do this. Our first game will be an original IP so that we have complete freedom to experiment with these new concepts but we will mitigate risk by keeping scope and cost tight (hitting beta in 6 months) to be able to iterate quickly after that. Also, our approach lends itself well to let influencers and other marketing brands have a stake in the economics which can help us achieve reach vs. traditional user acquisition.”

With Mythical’s Activision Blizzard pedigree, you can bet that the studio leadership is thinking about how to leverage streaming and esports, even if it’s not an immediate goal. And besides, you can’t “make an esport,” you have to make a great, competitive game that the audience elevates to the level of esport organically. Mythical’s approach to esports may prove to be very different given the blockchain influence.

“We can’t give away all our plans yet but esports in some capacity has to be on nearly every developers’ mind in some way!” Linden affirmed. “I think fundamentally the idea of a digital team ownership isn’t that different than game object ownership.  

“So I think there are some fascinating opportunities for teams owned by players tokenized on the blockchain that can be exposed by game developers with the same technology we are building for game objects.”

For now, Mythical is just ramping up. Until the company starts to reveal its product slate and demonstrates the nitty-gritty details of its player-owned economies, it’s difficult to say how successful this approach will be. The key, Linden said, is that this model is about augmenting what already works in the games business.

“We don’t view blockchain and gaming as a revolution like others have declared,” he said. “Gaming isn’t broken; it is flourishing. We approach blockchain and gaming together as an evolution. We hope to play a role in contributing to these amazing set of tools, principles, and analytics, to allow game developers to explore new creative concepts as well as give power to players and content creators.  

“We have seen big shifts in gaming before, with mobile being the most recent example of creating a multi-billion dollar industry expansion. The exciting part of blockchain is that it isn’t another platform shift. It is a paradigm shift that crosses mobile, PC/Mac, and console.”  

Update: Mythical has now revealed its first title, Blankos, a casual multiplayer world styled like a giant block party. The company describes it as a “vibrant hub where friends can meet, go on scavenging hunts with pals, take on daily challenges, and eventually take part in global online mini-games and explore into other players’ block parties as well. There are numerous ways to design and customize your Blankos and party world to score points, and players will be able to buy, trade or sell their designs with other players to grow their collection.” You can watch the teaser trailer below. 

原文链接/Original URL:

https://gamedaily.biz/article/388/activision-blizzard-vets-launch-mythical-games-with-focus-on-player-owned-economies

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