Adam Hensel, Founder & CEO of Battlebound — Interview Series
Battlebound, a Web3-based studio that has spent the best part of 2022 foraging for assets on the newly revised platform, has lay the foundations for a universally accessible virtual world on the blockchain.
As it stands, Evaverse, a free-to-play social game, is making its rounds by way of bringing NFTs to Web3 technology, which is a monumental achievement that has been chalked up but never really expanded on since its 2014 proposal. Or at least, not until recent years, in which NFT gaming has gradually become one of the most talked about forms of media on the market.
Anyway, this is only the beginning for Battlebound and its founder and CEO Adam Hensel. Question is, what else can we expect from the Evaverse team? We caught up with Adam to talk about the future of the game, Battlebound’s involvement in NFTs, and the evolution of Web3 technology.
From what idea did Battlebound originate from, and why did you decide to act on it?
Building fun and competitive multiplayer games is my passion. I grew up playing MMORPG games like World of Warcraft and Final Fantasy XI where ownership really mattered and players were pushing the boundaries of how the games were designed to be played. When I first discovered NFT technology while working at Riot, I immediately connected the dots seeing an opportunity to engage players with ownership systems they’ve wanted for years. I wanted to create a studio that could meaningfully leverage blockchain technology and produce AAA gaming experiences with a small tight-knit team. Battlebound was founded to create positive engagement through ownership, utility, and value, in games players love.
Battlebound’s flagship IP, Evaverse, is paving the way for a new future using Web3 technology. What inspired the move to the read-write-own platform, and how do you plan to use it to develop new gameplay experiences?
Historically, passionate gaming communities have invested their time and resources into their favorite games, but received little value or ownership in return for their efforts. Web3 is the next evolution of gaming where players own digital assets and are rewarded for their contributions. From a game developer perspective, we are thrilled that we get to involve players at an earlier stage to help shape gameplay.
Players in the Evaverse own core game assets and are deeply invested in the game development process and iteration cycles. The ownership model aligns incentives from developers and players where we work together for the studio’s success. This includes helping shape the design milestones through NFT voting, transparent development feedback, and championing growth across social media and the Battlebound discord community.
Speaking of Evaverse, what exactly is it? How would you describe it to someone who’s just starting out in the NFT community?
The Evaverse is a social multiplayer competitive gaming experience that’s comprised of a series of game modes. These different game modes offer players the best of competitive web3 game genres in an immersive and open social world.
All our game modes are built for NFT and non-NFT players alike. We believe blockchain ownership technology enhances an already fun gaming experience; all players should be able to access the gameplay without a financial barrier to entry. We offer free-to-play games, that are available on Steam.
Hoverboard racing is our first game mode. Players can ride an NFT hoverboard that levels up and gain experience while racing against other players. We also just launched Cosmic Cup, a pet racing battle type of game that is similar to Fall Guys with reactive twitch-based combat. These games are fun and social, while competitive.
What can we expect to see from Evaverse before year’s end? Is there anything we can look forward to in 2023?
We have the Cosmic Cup mode that just released which I think the community will be really excited about. The Cosmic Cup will launch alongside Purrtle Packs, an in-game wearable that evolves through gamification to become an NFT avatar. We’ve also begun pre-production on our third mode, which is a 3rd person arena shooter with craftable weapons that players will be able to mint.
Next year we’re launching the Battlebound Games launcher and integrating web3 mechanics into the immersive play experience of the Evaverse. We’re also gearing up to launch the Evaverse token and economy features that will allow our players to earn game currency through skill-based competitions throughout the game. The vision for the token economy is detailed in our whitepaper available here.
Do you have any plans to influence indie developers to shift over to the Web3 platform in the future? If so, would you care to share with us what they are?
Our focus is reaching players by creating games they love and solving Web3s accessibility challenges. As the Web3 games sector matures and more immersive and fun games are released the emphasis will be on the game itself instead of the Web3 technology that empowers it.
The blockchain infrastructure is ever-evolving; how will Battlebound play its part and influence the development of NFTs over the next twelve months?
Battlebound is a game studio focused on delighting and serving our community and onboarding new players into NFT ownership. The infrastructure and on-chain features we leverage are chosen to create the best onboarding experiences possible. As a game studio comprised of AAA industry veterans our focus is creating Web3 games players want to play and leveraging the best blockchain infrastructures available to reach the most players.
For curious creators who are considering the idea of shifting from Web2 to Web3, what perks would you say tie in with the latter? How will Web3 change the way we see gaming?
In Web2, gamers invest their time and resources into the games they play and help grow the games industry without ever being rewarded for the value they contribute. We shifted from Web2 to Web3 after realizing more meaningful engagement can be created through player empowerment and digital ownership, and we think that players will see value in this shift also.
We spoke about Evaverse and what the future could potentially hold for it, but are there any other projects Battlebound is working on? Care to share any details on what’s in the pipeline?
Project A is Battlebound’s second game in development and is focused on deep immersion and innovating on traditional creature-collecting gameplay by blending competitive multiplayer combat with social progression and adventure. Project A offers players a more curated gaming experience with unique interoperability opportunities between all Battlebound titles. All Battlebound players will benefit from early participation in our ecosystem through airdrops, NFT rewards, and early access to games.
Lastly, we’ve noticed that Evaverse offers a number of free NFTs for newcomers. Is this something you plan on keeping, or do you intend to roll out a new structure in the future?
Since our very first mint, all mints have been free. We plan to continue this in the future in order to support mainstream adoption.
Is there anything you’d like to add for our readers?
Our longer-term vision is to hand our tools over to the community so they can create their own content, combine game modes, and build out different arenas and levels. Ultimately, players can monetize their work as the economy thrives. For gamers interested in joining our community, please visit https://www.evaverse.com/.
That’s great — thanks, Adam!
If you’re wanting to stay in the loop with Battlebound, be sure to check in with the team’s official social feed here. We’ll be checking back into Evaverse over the coming weeks to bring all the latest news on The Cosmic Cup to gaming.net. Can’t wait that long? Get a feel for the Web3 tech right now by signing up here.