Interested in learning what’s next for the gaming industry? Join gaming executives to discuss emerging parts of the industry this October at GamesBeat Summit Next. Learn more.
Earth From Another Sun (EFAS) has raised $4.5 million in funding to create its sandbox space conquest game. It’s one of many blockchain games in the works in the game industry, but it has been in development for a while and has paying players.
The funding came from Solana Ventures, Alameda Research, and Lightspeed.
EFAS has a team of game veterans from Riot Games, Gameloft, Disney Interactive, Kylotonn, IGG,
and Perfect World.
The space conquest sandbox Earth From Another Sun already boasts over 10,000 paying closed-alpha players after three and a half years of development, all of whom are traditional PC gamers who paid between $30 and $250 for early access to the game.
Building on crypto-powered Web3 infrastructure lets gamers enjoy a new level of ownership and freedom that until that last couple of years has been a rarity in the gaming industry.
“We have always been a studio that has a relentless focus on creating great gameplay, on creating ‘fun.’ What Web3 allows us to do is to share the revenue generated by the game with the players that made it popular,” said studio founder Freeman Fan, in a statement.
EFAS promises players an action-packed first-person shooter experience in a multiplayer “living, breathing galaxy,” brimming with colossal 1,000-troop armies clashing on the battlefield. Players will travel to the stars, trade and mine resources, craft ships and modules, and work together to build an ever-expanding universe.
Every non-player character (NPC) in EFAS has its own AI-powered aspirations, interacting with the player in unpredictable and emergent ways, the company said.
Fan added, ““Growing up I loved watching the battle segments of the best sci-fi movies. We thought to
ourselves, how cool would it be if we could play as the soldiers charging into the foray in the Battle of Naboo, in an immersive first-person view. We wanted players to feel like they were fighting in the battles of the future.”
The game’s open world is a testbed for Solana’s low transaction fees and energy efficiency, the company said. A fully user-generated economy drives the action forward, with meaningful quests, looter-shooter mechanics, and a suite of user-friendly design tools, the company said.
EFAS players can collaborate to iterate upon their in-game experience — or design their own art assets
EFAS uses a “live service” model, which means that the game is constantly evolving. New updates will
introduce equipment, loot, enemies, quests, and NPCs to bring an ever-fuller experience. A modular character progression system allows players to shape their characters and destinies. Will they become a legendary military commander, build their own colonial empire, or become a criminal overlord of the star system? EFAS said it’s all possible.
“We won’t stop until EFAS is as popular as the greatest games out there, like GTA, World of Warcraft, or The Elder Scrolls. But when we get there, we won’t stop either,” Fan said.
And the company has other games in the works.
“Earth From Another Sun will be a franchise with many exciting titles to come, possibly with different main characters and gameplay genres,” said Fan. “Perhaps the next installment will be a survival game or maybe a first-person RTS game. We are not sure yet, but we are doing some tests with prototypes.”
Blockchain technology creates a new way to play for the gaming community. Players can mint and trade their own unique NFTs to generate real-world revenue while they play. The players themselves will reap the benefits of revenue sharing as EFAS grows in popularity.
“Most blockchain games have a hard time attracting mainstream gamers because of their limited playability and production quality. EFAS addresses this with superior playability and UGC tools that enable players to create content and immersive experiences. At Lightspeed, we believe Freeman and his team have the right experience to deliver on this promise and that EFAS could become one of the largest scale blockchain games.” said Ravi Mhatre, a partner at Lightspeed, in a statement.
This is the studio’s third title. The company said the money will speed the development and adoption of EFAS’s closed alpha as it moves toward its release. EFAS said to be on the lookout for EFAS’s first NFT
drop, which is expected to launch soon.
The team has 20 players. It plans on launching the first version of the “play & earn” mode around the end of this year; the rest of the game (which is still in development) has been available for some time already under the form of a paid closed alpha.
Given the resistance some gamers and game developers have had to blockchain games, Fan said in an email to GamesBeat that the company had a discussion with its community about crypto because it didn’t want them to learn the new aspects of the game through a media article talking about funding.
“So, we wrote a detailed explanation about what it means for them that EFAS will have Play & Earn and NFTs,” Fan said. “We answered all their doubts and questions before they even had the chance to worry, and the result was excellent. The community was very understanding and supportive, and just a dozen players decided to leave our Discord.”
The inspiration comes from games such as Mount & Blade, Borderlands and Sea of Thieves, Fan said.
“The game is about life in a galaxy at war and the opportunities that arise. Will you be a merchant, a pirate, a warrior, a leader, a diplomat…?,” Fan said. “It’s about living the fantasy depicted in shows like Star Trek, Stargate, Battlestar Galactica, and Firefly. Going on exploring and looting with friends, leading rebellious factions, or ruling a planet, maybe even the whole galaxy.”
Once you have had the chance to look at that information, please tell me how long you need to prepare for the release or if you need anything else.
GamesBeat’s creed when covering the game industry is “where passion meets business.” What does this mean? We want to tell you how the news matters to you — not just as a decision-maker at a game studio, but also as a fan of games. Whether you read our articles, listen to our podcasts, or watch our videos, GamesBeat will help you learn about the industry and enjoy engaging with it. Learn more about membership.