Will Wright, famed developer of The Sims and SimCity, is currently on the promotional tour for his upcoming games – VoxVerse and Proxi, both of which utilise the blockchain to secure transactions between players. In a recent interview with Axios, Wright spoke more about development on VoxVerse, and why NFT ‘whales’ willing to fork out US $1,300 for characters in the game might be necessary to keep it afloat.
‘I’m much more interested in attracting a million free-to-play players than, you know, 10,000 rich whales, although we could use those rich whales,’ Wright recently admitted.
‘Whales’ in this sense refers to those willing and able to spend a large amount of money on NFTs, regardless of their practicality or use. In VoxVerse, these NFTs are of popular characters, including from Dreamworks’ Trolls and AMC’s The Walking Dead.
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Purchasing an NFT, which can cost up to US $1,300, will guarantee players land in a vast virtual realm. Like other blockchain-based games, VoxVerse is hinged on a dollhouse-like world where players can create their own attractions and virtual businesses.
But despite the game being heavily integrated with NFTs, and seemingly being marketed towards keen ‘whale’ buyers, Wright appears reluctant to take pride in the game’s business model.
‘I don’t really want to be in the business of selling NFTs,’ Wright told Axios. ‘I don’t care how you do it. I want to have secure transactions for content creators … These people exist, whether we like it or not.’
It appears that while Wright is utilising the blockchain and its many enthusiasts in the creation of VoxVerse, his focus is largely on mainstream audiences and creating a fun game.
As Axios notes, many blockchain-based games like Axie Infinity are currently collapsing, or on the verge of collapse. Recently, it was revealed that Decentraland, one of the largest and most prominent blockchain-based games, only had around 30 daily active users.
Wright and the development team at Gala Games believe they can avoid this by creating a game that creates ‘create experiences for the millions of players’, driven by a content creator ecosystem that distributes value downwards. Whether this approach can drum up interest for VoxVerse amidst a sea of blockchain-based disappointments remains to be seen.