No tokens for team or investors: building community the Big Time way
While many blockchain game projects are building momentum with talk of token launches amid growing crypto speculation, at least one project is taking a different approach.
In development since 2020, Big Time is a F2P PC-based MMORPG, which has been solidly building out both its game and community at a steady cadence, thanks to its prolonged closed beta test, which is also incentivized by giving players the opportunity to collect its $BIGTIME currency through play. It calls this approach “fair token release”.
The game’s executive producer Hunter Hudspeth explains more.
BlockchainGamer.biz: Why is the concept of fair token release so important for Big Time?
Hunter Hudspeth: The idea of Big Time’s fair token launch was derived from the player-centric game economy. To give the $BIGTIME token the liberty to function as the main part of the Big Time game economy that enhances the enjoyment of the game, and be driven by the players’ game actions and stay free from the non-game related outside noises.
No $BIGTIME tokens were sold or granted to any investors or the team members.
While this seems like a more holistic approach, how much of an issue is it that you don’t take so much advantage of crypto’s inherent virality?
Our approach prioritizes a sustainable, player-centric economy over exploiting crypto’s inherent virality for quick gains. While leveraging crypto can drive rapid attention, it often leads to market volatility and detracts from genuine gameplay.
We aim for long-term growth through high-quality, engaging experiences, believing this will build a stronger, more dedicated community. This strategy ensures the game’s value is rooted in player achievements and experiences, fostering organic, sustainable growth.
What’s the balance between allowing players to generate NFTs and tokens in-game and directly selling mystery boxes?
Finding the right balance between letting players create NFTs and tokens in the game and selling mystery boxes is critical. Big Time has put a lot of thought into how different NFTs are used within the game.
For NFTs that have a specific function or utility, Big Time Studios sells them first and then allows players to buy and sell them. On the other hand, cosmetic items are made by the players themselves and aren’t sold directly by Big Time. This approach helps keep the game engaging and fair, allowing players to earn and buy unique items without overshadowing the game’s economy.
Do you have any idea about the core audience for Big Time? Do you think it’s different to other successful blockchain games such as Pixels, Splinterlands, Nine Chronicles, Axie Infinity etcc?
The core audience for Big Time is distinct from other successful blockchain games, primarily due to the nature and platform of the game.
Pixels, Splinterlands and Axie Infinity are browser-based games, with the latter two focusing on card gameplay, while Nine Chronicles is a mobile idle battler. In contrast, Big Time is an immersive MMORPG built in the Unreal Engine, known for its extensive capabilities for game development. This difference in game design and platform means Big Time has a broader appeal, attracting players interested in web3 games and traditional gamers looking for rich, immersive experiences typical of high-quality RPGs. Unreal Engine allows for high detail and complexity in-game environments and character interactions not commonly found in browser-based or mobile games.
As a result, Big Time is likely to appeal to a broader range of gamers, including those who may not have previously engaged with blockchain-based games but are drawn to the quality and depth of the gaming experience it offers.
Big Time has been in closed access for many months. What can you tell us about the plans in 2024 to open up access?
Big Time has been on a significant development journey since its inception as a company in 2020. Following the release of its early access version in April 2022 and the integration of the game’s economy in October 2023, Big Time Studios has made considerable progress toward creating a comprehensive gaming experience. Looking ahead to 2024, two significant milestones are on the horizon for Big Time as it continues to evolve.
The first significant step is the introduction of PVP gameplay. This addition will mark a pivotal expansion of the game’s features, allowing players to compete in-game directly against one another (outside of the already existing leaderboards), a key component in enhancing the game’s appeal and longevity. Another reason we’re prioritizing PVP is that our fans highly anticipate it. It’s just one example of us listening to and responding to what our players want from Big Time.
The second significant milestone is the transition from early access to an open beta phase. This move signifies a crucial phase in the game’s development, indicating that the game is stable and feature-rich enough to open up to a broader audience for testing and feedback. Moving to an open beta phase will allow more players to experience Big Time, contribute to its development with their feedback, and help shape the final product before its full official release.
These steps are essential for refining the game, expanding its player base, and ensuring that Big Time offers a rich, engaging, and balanced experience for all players, whether they are interested in the competitive aspects of PVP or the broader MMORPG experience.
Find out more about Big Time via its website.