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Block Tackle Raises $5 Million for the Development of the Solana NFT Skateboarding Game

Coinbase Ventures, Solana Ventures, and Animoca are investing in a new studio of gaming industry professionals developing NFT games on the Solana platform.

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#skatex #nft #nfts

If recent studio funding announcements are any indicator, veteran video game developers are flocking into the blockchain space, and here’s another to add to the list. Block Tackle, a Solana-based skateboarding game developer, said today that it has raised $5 million from a group of seasoned developers to produce SkateX, a Solana-based skateboarding game.

Play Ventures and Cadenza Ventures lead the $5 million seed round. Coinbase Ventures, Solana Ventures, major metaverse investor Animoca Brands, and Twitch co-founder Kevin Lin were among the other notable investors who took part.

Ben Topkins and Rob Oshima, who formerly worked together at mobile gaming firm Kabam, have co-founded Block Tackle, a new Web3 game startup. Electronic Arts, Apple, Roblox, Lucasfilm, and Supercell veterans are among the 13-person crew.

While working on popular free-to-play mobile games like Kingdoms of Camelot, the co-founders witnessed how gamers invested endless hours and dollars in games over the years, but had nothing to sell or transfer to another game. If they switched to a new game, they’d have to start over from the beginning.

To put it another way, game makers own all of the value in those games. Users can sell their NFT assets in Web3 games, or use them in other games and metaverse environments. An NFT functions as a document of ownership for a one-of-a-kind digital item, which can range from profile images and artwork to interactive video game elements.

An in-development screenshot from SkateX. Image: Block Tackle

“We really saw a great opportunity there when we saw that there was potential for players to contribute, both in molding communities and in the value that they produce via play,” Topkins told Decrypt. “We wanted to be among the first game creators to use blockchain technology to create fantastic games.”

SkateX, an NFT-driven skating game built on the Solana blockchain, is being developed by Block Tackle. SkateX will sell one-of-a-kind skateboards as NFT collectibles, which gamers own and can buy and sell as they see fit. However, it will bring NFT owners into the community, allowing them to possibly influence the game.

“Players can take a place at the table and own an NFT,” Topkins explained, “and then they get to skate on that board and accomplish tricks, quests, and challenges to level it up.”

Topkins described SkateX as having an accessible vibe to its gameplay, citing the Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater series as one of his favorite childhood games. SkateX will allow people to connect online to skate, grind, and pull off tricks together.

The initial 1,080 Solana NFT skateboards will be released in April, ahead of the game’s own release later this year, with additional boards (and board variants) to follow. The game’s boards are being designed by Concept Art House, which has previously collaborated with Dapper Labs and Gala Games on prior Web3 projects.

The NFTs will also be compatible with other Solana metaverse games and apps, with the possibility of being used in them. Topkins said his team is in talks with other game developers working on the platform, and that they’ll also ask the eventual SkateX community where they want their NFT boards to go in the metaverse.

He cited Solana’s low transaction fees and ostensibly carbon-neutral status (due to offsets) as reasons for Block Tackle’s decision. “We’ve also just seen a lot of people in the Solana space that we admire and enjoy working with,” he continued.

Thanks to the seed money, Block Tackle hopes to expand its workforce to around 30 individuals while continuing to develop SkateX. Topkins stated that the team is already brainstorming ideas for new crypto gaming ventures, adding that Block Tackle would “possibly launch other games in the not-too-distant future” in addition to SkateX.

ART & COLLECTABLES

Ford is getting ready to enter the Metaverse with digital cars and NFTs

A month after the company announced significant personnel reductions, it has filed a trademark application covering its future initiatives in the Metaverse and NFT space.

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Ford Motor Company, an American automaker, has filed 19 trademark applications across its key automobile brands as it prepares to enter the realm of nonfungible tokens (NFTs) and the Metaverse.

Mike Kondoudis, a trademark attorney licensed by the United States Patent and Trade Office (USPTO), disclosed in a tweet on Wednesday that the business had submitted a total of 19 trademark applications covering its car brands, including Mustang, Bronco, Lincoln, Explorer, and F-150 Lightning, among others.

The trademark applications include a projected online marketplace for NFTs and virtual versions of its businesses’ automobiles, trucks, vans, SUVs, and clothes.

Ford intends to produce digital images of its vehicles, SUVs, trucks, and vans that will be verified by NFTs, according to USPTO filings submitted by the automaker on September 2.

The business also disclosed plans for “downloadable virtual commodities,” or “computer programs,” that would include apparel, accessories, and parts for vehicles for usage in “online virtual environments,” such as virtual and augmented reality trade exhibitions.

Additionally, there are plans to develop an online marketplace for “others’ digital artwork” as well as “online retail shop services featuring non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and digital collectibles.”

Less than a month after Ford Executive Chairman Bill Ford and CEO Jim Farley announced significant personnel reductions from its global workforce to decrease corporate expenses; Ford has decided to enter the Web3 area.

Ford isn’t the first automaker to enter the Metaverse market.

While premium automakers like Bentley and Lamborghini have already launched NFT collections, automakers including Nissan, Toyota, and Hyundai have indicated ambitions to enter the fast-expanding Metaverse market.

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ART & COLLECTABLES

Crypto-Vultures Profit from the Death of Queen Elizabeth

Only a few hours after the Queen’s passing, more than 40 meme tokens bearing her name have been released.

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Yesterday, according to Buckingham Palace, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II passed away. Although her loss triggered a global outpouring of sympathy and grief, it has also been exploited as a money-grab.

Elizabeth II, monarch
Grift endures eternally, but the Queen is gone.

There are over 40 meme coins on Ethereum and the Binance Smart Chain thanks to Queen Elizabeth’s passing (and at least one exploitative NFT collection).

While the news of the British monarch’s demise saddened people worldwide, cryptocurrency scammers took advantage of the occasion to launch dozens of meme coins with Queen themes on Ethereum and Binance’s BNB Chain.

Among the new crypto coins that were introduced are “Queen Elizabeth Inu,” “Queen Doge,” “God Save The Queen,” “London Bridge Is Down,” “Queen Grow,” “Rip Queen Elizabeth,” “Elizabeth II,” and “Queen Inu II.” Other tokens with the name of the next king, King Charles III, have also appeared. According to DexScreener, at least 40 separate meme coins appear to have been produced in the previous six hours.

The most liquid tokens, Save The Queen and Queen Elizabeth Inu, have already processed trade volumes of around $700,000 and $200,000 since their debut. At the time of writing, the price of Queen Elizabeth Inu is up 1,517%, while it has increased by 23,271% on Binance Smart Chain and 3,708% on Uniswap. Prices are incredibly unstable and exceedingly unlikely to persist.

The “Queen Elizabeth 69 Years NFT” NFT set has reportedly been produced. One image is said to represent each year of the Queen’s reign in the collection. The project’s aims should be questioned because Elizabeth II reigned for 70 years, not 69.

The crypto community, typically known for its gallows humor, mainly reacted negatively to the initiatives. When told about the NFT collection, NFT aficionado ThreadGuy said, “You’re going to hell.” Trader Byzantine General declared, “We’ve got to stop this crypto stuff.”

In 1926, Queen Elizabeth was born. She was the longest-reigning British monarch in history and passed away in Balmoral Castle at 96.

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ART & COLLECTABLES

One crypto sector, according to billionaire Chamath Palihapitiya, is experiencing a classic bubble cycle

One crypto sector may be going through a typical hype cycle, according to billionaire investor and software entrepreneur Chamath Palihapitiya.

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In a new episode of the All-In podcast, the CEO of Social Capital discusses the sharp decline in trading volume in the non-fungible token (NFT) market.

Palihapitiya offers Coachella and Burning Man as examples of major music festivals that strive to be distinctive but may wind up being mostly the same.

The billionaire contrasts NFTs and the overall art market with the two music events.

“I do believe that there is something going on; the simplest way to explain this is with the Burning Man/Coachella scenario. Many of these things are similar, but when some people approach anything new, they are too insecure to accept that it is similar to another item, so they spend a lot of time attempting to convince you that it is different. When someone says that a time is different, it’s probably not that different, as stated in the Warren Buffett quote, is an example. Or consider the other famous historical adage, “Things don’t always repeat in history, but they rhyme.”

All of this is meant to imply that, aside from major advances in science, not much new has been discovered recently. We keep repeating the same patterns, and one of them is the social capital that comes from making certain decisions and then having those decisions validated by others in order to feel valuable. And this occurred in NFTs, as well as, I’m sure, in the initial stages of several artistic movements. These events are more comparable than dissimilar because they have presumably occurred in a number of other markets as well.

Burning man and Coachella are same. The art market and NFTs are both the same. It doesn’t need to be unusual; you can simply appreciate it because you think it’s cool. I would just take it with a grain of salt and tell anyone who comes to you asking why it’s so different.

DappRadar reports that earlier last week, trading volume on popular NFT marketplace OpenSea reached a one-year low.

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