Japanese video games publishing giant Sega has announced a partnership that will see the development of its first blockchain game. Meanwhile Shrapnel, one of the best-looking NFT games with AAA ambitions, has released a great-looking trailer.


Sega and Double Jump Tokyo

At Messari’s recent Mainnet conference, Michael Anderson from VC firm Framework Ventures recently told Decrypt the following:

“Gaming, in our minds, is the category that is going to bring a hundred million people into Web3. They are going to have wallets, they are going to have Web3 addresses, and that’s the consumer adoption that we have been waiting for.”

A lot of big funds and entities in crypto are bullish on the blockchain gaming narrative as a source of crypto and NFT adoption. And part of that stems from the belief that much of mainstream gaming is in the process of slowly embracing blockchain technology.

That’s despite some pushback from gamers touting the idea of NFTs being nothing more than a cash grab – although NFT true believers hold the view that digital asset ownership is the future of gaming.

But onto Sega, because insofar as mainstream adoption is concerned, it’s potentially significant.

The gaming firm’s first blockchain-based title will actually be built by another Japanese gaming company, Double Jump Tokyo, and will be be based on Sega’s Sangokushi Taisen franchise, which is a popular arcade game in Japan.

Although the announcement (as reported by Japanese gaming site 4Gamer) is light on details about how blockchain (and possibly NFTs) will be implemented, tokenisation of assets would appear to be a no-brainer.

And that’s because games like Sangokushi Taisen have a lot of potential assets to tokenise. It’s a real-time strategy game in which players make use of physical cards, which they place on the playing area to make them appear in the game virtually.

Other big legacy gaming brands to have dipped toes in the crypto/blockchain water include, to varying degrees, Atari, Konami and Ubisoft.

Although in January this year Sega CEO Haruki Satomi indicated hesitancy and caution around the adoption of NFTs in gaming due to negative sentiment at the time, only a week later the company registered a trademark for ‘Sega NFT’.


Shrapnel releases its first trailer

Shrapnel, a sci-fi-themed first-person shooter “extraction” game is one of a slew of superb-looking blockchain/NFT games with AAA ambitions, including the likes of Illuvium, Guild of Guardians, Civitas, Torque Drift 2 and others.

And it’s just released its highly anticipated trailer, created with input from a range of notable gaming-industry figures using Epic Games’ Unreal Engine 5.

It looks suitably cinematic and action-packed and we’re led to believe it reflects the graphic quality players can expect from the game when it’s eventually released.

Take a look…

In April this year Stockhead spoke with the developing game’s Head of Studio, Don Norbury, who gave us a comprehensive lowdown on the project, revealing it’s set to be the first “moddable” FPS in the rapidly expanding blockchain gaming industry.

Norbury is also the CTO of the game’s developer, Neon Media – a Seattle-based gaming studio and virtual production company spun out of HBO’s Interactive and Immersive Group. This is a production team with some serious mainstream gaming chops, having worked on some of the best-known games in the industry at Xbox, Electronic Arts, LucasFilm and more.

According to details shared with Stockhead, the trailer was produced in partnership with Sydney-based animation studio Plastic Wax, which has worked on such titles as Fortnite, Tomb Radar, Hitman, and more. It was directed by “gaming legend Jerry O’Flaherty” and written by Shrapnel CEO Mark Long. Music was produced by BAFTA award-winning composer Jesper Kyd, with sound supervision by Oscar-nominated sound producer Alan Rankin.

A bit more has gone into this than your average crypto game trailer, then. Although to be fair, we’ve seen a few other impressive ones as well in recent months.

“Producing this trailer was one of the most awesome creative collaborations I’ve ever had,” said Long. “This was my third time working with Jerry O’Flaherty. Like everyone on the team, Jerry is an expert in the cinematic application of Unreal Engine, and [he] knew how to get the kind of ‘you are there’ immediacy of a handheld virtual camera that the script demanded.

“The team at Plastic Wax directed a brilliant pair of stunt actors for MOCAP and the creative director there, Nathan Maddams, brought the script to life in a way I never imagined possible.

“Alan Rankin has a passion for foley that produced an authentic sound design that really sells the action. And Jesper Kyd knocked the score out of the park on the first try.”

Long also revealed that there’s an easter egg with artwork by a Shrapnel community member on a billboard “that was fun to slip in”. And, he notes, the trailer switches to first-person at the end – “inviting players to jump in, symbolically”.

It looks like crypt gaming YouTubers are starting to get excited about Shrapnel. Here’s “Crypto Stache” tweeting about another prominent content creator “Brycent”, who rates Shrapnel in the same high tier for quality with Illuvium, Guild of Guardians and a handful others.