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The Little Digital Factory has announced that it’s making Infinite Drive the “first true driving metavers.” The mobile game will use non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and Web3 technology.
The game studio, based in Montreal, Canada and Lyon, France, has 35 people and has many years of relationship with car manufacturers. He said the free game will already have over 100 licensed cars by the end of the year.
Infinite Drive is set to debut worldwide on mobile devices in the 1st quarter. But the company will sell NFTs of its cars over the summer.
By testing players’ driving skills, Infinite Drive will combine accessible and authentic gameplay with beautiful graphical reproductions of officially licensed cars, the company said.
Tiny Digital Factory has long-standing relationships with world-class automakers such as McLaren, Porsche, Mercedes AMG and Ford, while the Infinite Drive showroom already includes high-performance cars from Renault, Alpine, Ruf and W Motors.
Designed by racing fans for racing fans, Infinite Drives simulation-based gameplay will bring the thrill of sitting in the driver’s seat to the mobile metaverse, the company said. Players will be able to feel, hear and experience the unique characteristics of each car on the track, and compete online with each other.
By using the power of Web3 technology, highly skilled drivers will be able to “race to win”. They can participate in official races, competitions and even share the prizes, just like a real world racing team.
In addition, the integration of Web3 technology allows players to build, swap and own their own collection of dream cars while competing for pole position on the track. Starting this summer, Infinite Drive will offer an initial collection of 5,000 licensed real-world first-class NFT cars that will provide instant access to the game’s closed alpha phase.
However, players are not required to own a car to enjoy Infinite Drive and hone their racing skills, and the entire game will be free on iOS and Android.
“With its game engine architecture and unique digital car feature, Infinite Drive is the culmination of twenty years of creating driving simulation games,” said Stéphane Baudet, CEO of The Tiny Digital Factory, in a statement. “For decades, racing fans have lovingly seen their dream cars in virtual garages. So we used Web3 technology to allow players to own and make money on their vehicles along with a great gaming experience on the track. Infinite Drive offers the availability of mobile gaming combined with games and earnings, providing the tools to reward passionate gamers who already host racing events and help us create the best driving experience.
The company’s developers have worked on titles such as Jurassic World: The Game, Gangstar, Hitman Sniper, Fallout Shelter and Rollercoaster Tycoon Touch.
Tiny Digital Factory team experience includes GT Manager and F1 Mobile Racing. He has also worked with Animoca Brands to develop F1 Delta Time, a groundbreaking Web3 driving game, as well as the popular game REVV Racing. Animoca Brands lost its F1 brand license and announced in March that they are closing F1 Delta Time.
Infinite Drive has so far been fully funded by The Tiny Digital Factory, Baudet said in an email to GamesBeat.
The first collection of NFT cars will be made available to the community in early July 2022, while The Tiny Digital Factory’s next Series A funding round will support the public release of Infinite Drive.
The company has worked with over 20 automakers in the past three years on previous games.
“For Infinite Drive, we have already licensed about 30 car models from six car manufacturers. Other major car brands will be announced in the coming weeks, and we expect to have over 100 licensed car models by the end of 2022, ”said Baudet.
In addition to the cars, the company owns official racetracks and is in negotiations with several racing franchises around the world and in countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan and Australia.
“Instead of just licensing championships, our intention is to give these partners the tools to create and run their own digital events for their communities,” Baudet said.
I asked what Baudet thought about the opposition to NFT games from players and some game developers.
He said: “Ten years ago, we experienced the same kind of resistance when mobile gaming embraced the free-to-play model. We have been involved in blockchain gaming since 2020 with our partner Animoca Brands. In the beginning, we were also skeptical of the sustainability of these gaming economies, but we gradually learned about decentralized mechanisms such as co-ownership and their benefits to players.With blockchain games, invested players can really save their time or financial investment.The governance mechanisms also enable the gaming community to become heard and has a positive impact on the game’s development plan. “
The game’s closed alpha will be available in early July 2022. Anyone who owns one of the first series of cars will have instant access to the game. The public release of the game is scheduled for the fourth quarter of this year.
“Infinite Drive has a gaming engine architecture at its core, combined with the availability of free mobile gaming, gambling and earnings and owning a unique digital car,” Baudet said. “Web3 also offers tools to reward invested players who want to organize community racing events and help us have the best riding experience.”
Regarding the economic model, Baudet said: “In my opinion, web3 offers a more balanced economic model between players, investors and creators. When the game is successful, it should benefit all 3 parties more equally. Play-and-earn races and rental income do more profitable for engaged users.When players win, the game goes viral and fewer marketing investments are required to acquire new users.
A race metavers?
I also asked how it was a racing metavers, as opposed to just a racing game.
“Infinite Drive is more of a digital space dedicated to car fans than just a game. At its heart are the garages that hold users’ NFT car collections from which they can share their favorite cars with the community,” Baudet said. “It also offers the first dedicated marketplace tailored for new and used car NFTs. Today, car enthusiasts spend hours browsing sites like Autotrader to discover hidden gems or rare car models. I would be happy if Infinite Drive- the community has fun and spends a lot of time browsing our marketplace content.Finally, Infinite Drive offers features that allow users to create communities (clubs) around interests such as car brands or meet to show and test their respective cars.
Baudet also talked about the inspiration for the game.
“Almost 18 years ago, I ran my first game studio, Eden Games. At the time, MMO games were popular, and I wanted to create a supercar-themed MMO,” Baudet said. “Fortunately, Atari, our parent company, had a Test Drive brand. , which launched the whole fantasy of supercars in video games in the 1980s. With a very talented team, we took this dormant brand and created Test Drive Unlimited, the first massively multiplayer online racing game (MMORG). Although Test Drive Unlimited introduced several innovations to the racing genre, the technology at the time was too limited to fully realize our vision, and we were simply too small a studio to build it all. The Infinite Drive concept is similar to Test Drive Unlimited, but this time I want it to be an open platform so we can achieve this with partners and the gaming community.
Prior to joining Tiny Digital Factory, key team members worked on many successful console and mobile games such as Jurassic Park World, Fallout Shelter, Rollercoaster Tycoon and Hitman Sniper. Since then, the company as a company has developed or co-developed many games in the racing genre, including F1 Mobile Racing (EA), GT Manager (self-released), F1 Delta Time and Revv Racing (the two Animoca brands).
Baudet founded the studio in Montreal in 2015 and opened another studio in Lyon in 2017, when his partners Pierre Carde (general manager) and Olivier Raffard (license and business manager) joined him.
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