Tomonobu Itagaki - the Japanese designer best known for creating Tecmo's Dead or Alive series and rebooted Ninja Gaiden games - has announced his new company Apex Game Studios, which is currently 'incubating' an NFT-focused MMORPG for mobile and PC named Warrior.
Itagaki shared his announcement on Twitter, explaining Apex Game Studios would specialise in creating "high-quality and immersive" triple-A "Web3" titles - Web 3.0 being the umbrella term incorporating (frequently controversial) technologies such as blockchain and NFT.
Apex Game Studios' first project, Warrior, is an MMORPG developed in Unreal Engine that's due to launch in Q1 next year. Unfortunately, details remain pretty limited at this juncture, with the official website being primarily interested in detailing the NFT economy at Warrior's core.
There is, however, promise of "competition, battle and exploration", alongside talk of over 100 monster types (known as Mob Servants) that can summoned to assist during combat, randomly generated gear, a "unique talent system", a trading system that will let players trade "almost all assets" via "Warrior Diamond Tokens", gems enabling players to "fully experience the exciting process of polishing...rough gemstones into boutique ones", crafting, and cosmetics.
Following Warrior's release early next year, Apex Games will, as per its official development roadmap, gradually launch new PVE and PVP gameplay "to improve game experience, token circulation and token empowerment". Later updates will "progressively implement a multi-chain framework to increase the influence and asset liquidity of Warrior" and "gradually iterate gameplay to make Warrior a high-quality GameFi 2.0 project that is both entertaining and investment-oriented with competitive and long-term operation capabilities."
A press release shared by Itagaki as part of today's announcement noted Apex Game Studios is, alongside blockchain and NFTs, also interested in developing games based on the Metaverse.
Itagaki, who departed Tecmo in 2008 and would go on to release the poorly received Devil's Third for Wii U in 2015, announced he'd founded a new studio early last year. At the time, he explained he'd been focusing on teaching in the interim, but said, "Now I feel like I want to make a game again and just established a company for that purpose."