Australian indie gaming studio Grease Monkey Games just levelled up big time with financial backing from Fortnite developer Epic Games for its racing title Torque Drift 2.

So, only one of the very biggest names in the mainstream games industry, then. It’s a nice little news bomb to round out the week, and one that ought to make the crypto-gaming faithful’s thumbs twitch with excitement.

As this is a game built on blockchain tech with play-and-earn/NFT economics, perhaps it’ll seriously annoy at least half the trad gaming sector at the same time, though. It’s been well established that many within the legacy industry seem to think NFTs and crypto gaming in general are a waste of space and effort.

That said, we know for a fact that there are several established, AAA gaming developers with serious chops making the switch. Case in point, the founders of two big games in development, Civitas and Shrapnel.

The Melbourne-based Grease Monkey Games also has extensive AAA-game development experience and is now a subsidiary of the formerly ASX-listed Animoca Brands. The latter is one of crypto’s powerhouse gaming and NFT producers and venture capital funders.

Take a look at the upcoming game’s trailer… We can already see why it’s caught some Epic attention…


Epic Games’ funding will help develop drift physics

According to an announcement from Animoca Brands, Grease Monkey Games now joins a line-up of “Epic MegaGrant” recipients, which have been awarded to noteworthy, Unreal Engine-utilising gaming enterprises across 89 countries. These grants can range from about US$5,000 to as much as US$500,000.

Unreal Engine is a 3D graphics game engine first developed by Epic Games in 1998, which has risen to gaming-industry ubiquity since the wild success of battle royale smash hit Fortnite.

The Grease Monkey Games grant will be used to help fund the development of new drift physics in Torque Drift 2, which the company says will enable it to produce its “most immersive and true-to-life motorsport game yet”.

Torque Drift 2 is the latest addition to Grease Monkey Games’ motorsport game portfolio and Animoca’s REVV Motorsport ecosystem.

As the announcement explains, “the game represents the next generation of motorsports products leveraging blockchain technology, where fully functional and playable NFTs are a core feature used to deliver true digital ownership of game assets to players.”


NFT cars, decals, paint jobs and more

The game, as the title suggests, will be a drifting motorsports title, which will include an initial tuning garage teaser function available in Q3 of this year before the full release set for some time in 2024.

The player-ownable NFT componentry will include cars, parts, decals, paint jobs, tuning and various items for improving vehicles and profile standing, as reported by Cointelegraph. All of these NFTs, that article further explains, will be able to be bought and sold within the game’s dedicated NFT marketplace.

It’s is a big leap into the crypto/NFT world for not only Epic Games to back this, but also for Grease Monkey Games, which only joined Animoca in February this year, having already long established itself as a mainstream gaming success with previous titles Torque Burnout and Torque Drift, which have more than 45 million global downloads between them.

As for Animoca Brands, we know it’s for quite some now been one of the biggest proponents of the digital property rights that NFTs represent and the power that potentially holds for gamers and the gaming industry.

It’s chairman and founder Yat Siu preaches the subject very nicely here, in fact…