Dead or Alive creator announces his new studio's first game and, oh no, it's an NFT thing

Characters from Warrior
(Image credit: Apex Game Studios)

The creator of Dead or Alive Tomonobu Itagaki has announced the name of his new company—Apex Game Studios—along with its first project. And… well, it's NFTs.

Warrior, the first game from Itagaki's new studio, promises a "3A" fantasy MMO experience that looks like it's based around a Pokémon-style system of collecting and battling "mob servants", each of which is an NFT. If that sounds a little sparse on detail, it's probably because the bulk of Warrior's website and press release instead centres on a bunch of verbiage about the  Web3 (that is to say, blockchain) technology that underpins the whole thing.

Indeed, Warrior's players can delight in an experience that "aims to solve the performance, security and sustainability issues of GameFi 1.0" through the game's in-built token system. These "Warrior Diamond Tokens" allow the trade of practically "all the assets that players obtain in the game."

In simpler terms, that pretty much means your ownership of in-game items and cosmetics is going to be registered on a blockchain, and can then be traded around with other players like assets on a commodity market. How Warrior intends to solve the performance, security, and sustainability issues of GameFi—or 'play-to-earn'—development is left very vague. Outside of references to a "multi-chain" framework, there's not much to indicate whether Warrior will run on an environmentally costly 'proof of work' system, or something a little greener.

Itagaki's ambitions don't end there. Once the NFT-based Warrior is out of the way, Apex Game Studios plan to try their hand at making games in the Metaverse, just as soon as someone figures out what that actually means.

The whole announcement reads like Deutsche Bank and Blizzard double-booked a conference room and just decided to present simultaneously, and it's hard not to be a bit skeeved-out by it. Everything about Warrior so far is big on "here's how we're going to generate a self-sustaining economic engine" and light on "here's how we're going to make a game anyone wants to play." Considering that we're still in the wake of a crypto crash and a flatlining NFT market, it's difficult to see it panning out positively for anyone. And it's sad to see another once-great creator join the gold rush.

Joshua Wolens
News Writer

One of Josh's first memories is of playing Quake 2 on the family computer when he was much too young to be doing that, and he's been irreparably game-brained ever since. His writing has been featured in Vice, Fanbyte, and the Financial Times. He'll play pretty much anything, and has written far too much on everything from visual novels to Assassin's Creed. His most profound loves are for CRPGs, immersive sims, and any game whose ambition outstrips its budget. He thinks you're all far too mean about Deus Ex: Invisible War.