Mythical Games' Blankos Block Party becomes Epic Games Store's first Web3 game

Blankos Block Party has become the first Web3 game to release on the Epic Games Store, nearly a full year after Epic's Tim Sweeney said that NFT games were welcome on the storefront.

The Epic Games Store has received its first Web3 game in Blankos Block Party. Developed by Mythical Games and Third King Games, the free-to-play party game recently launched on Epic's storefront in Early Access ahead of its full release on September 28. 

In October 2021, Epic CEO Tim Sweeney said that Epic would be open to having metaverse games on its storefront, unlike Valve. To do so, said Sweeney, developers of these games had to " follow the relevant laws, disclose their terms, and are age-rated by an appropriate group."

Speaking to GamesBeat, Mythical Games' CEO John Linden made it clear he hopes his title will allow for more blockchain games to come to the Epic Games Store. "It's been a long time coming," he said. "We’ve been working for years to get some of these networks to start. We spent over a year with Epic working through this.”

Players can own "playable NFTs" called Blankos (essentially taller Funko Pops) that can be leveled up or merged with other characters to create new ones. Players also have the option to sell their characters in Blankos' "play to earn" market.

"On the eve of our full launch, we’re excited to welcome the Epic Games Store community to our vibrant player-base which has already created over one million accounts thus far," said Mythical's chief creative officer Jamie Jackson.

Linden didn't go into the full process for approval by Epic, but he did say it came down to having the right kind of language for user agreements. Mythical also had to be rated by different ratings agencies around the world; in the US, the game is rated T for teen, since in-game items can be bought and sold. 

Notably, Blankos Block Party also doesn't have its own crypto token like other games of its type do; players buy in-game items using real world money or cryptocurrency. The in-game characters come with non-fungible tokens, however, and can be sold on a marketplace outside the Epic Games Store. 

Linden said Mythical won't try to highlight that part of the game. Instead, the developer will focus on players having ownership over characters and can resell those characters. "You don’t need to know what a wallet is. You don’t need to know what cryptocurrency is," he said. "You can literally just play it.”

Blankos may be the beginning of a larger Web3 gaming push

Blankos' release on the Epic Games Store will eventually be joined by Gala Games' Grit, and comes in a week where blockchain and NFTs are trying to become more mainstream.

Earlier in the week, news broke that Rockstar co-founder Dan Houser would help advise blockchain game developer Revolving Games. Revolving has two titles in the works, one of which is based on the beloved Battlestar Galactica franchise. 

Additionally, Square Enix is partnering with blockchain dev Oasys, which hopes to "truly bring new experiences and empower gaming fans from all backgrounds while helping to establish the next stage of growth for blockchain entertainment.”

That said, there's still some pushback from developers and players alike regarding NFTs and cryptocurrency. Some games are dancing around featuring NFTs or crypto for fear of backlash, and others have had to remove the technology after previously announcing its inclusion. 

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