Initial release is SkateX, an immersive extreme sports game where players own their own skateboards, which function as digital assets (NFTs) in the game and beyond
SAN FRANCISCO, March 22, 2022 — Block Tackle, a new game studio whose immersive, fun-first games leverage blockchain technology and allow players to own their own digital assets, has closed a $5M seed round co-led by Cadenza Ventures and Play Ventures, the company revealed today as it announced its official launch.
Block Tackle’s mission is to upgrade the traditional gaming model — where players pay to have fun and developers profit — by making top-quality, supremely entertaining games that use blockchain technology and digital asset ownership (NFTs, or non-fungible tokens) that allow players to literally invest in the game and its community while having fun.
Block Tackle is dedicated to building the first generation of high quality, fun-first, blockchain games.
“Block Tackle is dedicated to building the first generation of great games in blockchain,” said co-founder Ben Topkins. “We’ve assembled a team that believes in the future of blockchain technology but doesn’t believe it should come at the cost of pure player enjoyment.”
Block Tackle’s debut title, SkateX, is a massively multiplayer online game (MMO) in which players own their own one-of-a-kind skateboards, which can be used not only in the game but in the wider Web3 universe. SkateX is due for release later this year, after the highly anticipated drop of 1080 unique and customizable animated skateboards in April.
“Our goal is to make blockchain games accessible and irresistible to all, and there is no better way to start than with SkateX,” said Block Tackle co-founder Rob Oshima. “Players own their in-game items and participate in the game economy while building their skills alongside other skate enthusiasts from around the globe. We’re taking gaming from a zero-sum experience to a positive-sum experience for players.”
Block Tackle’s $5M in seed funding — from co-leaders Cadenza Ventures and Play Ventures alongside Animoca Brands, Coinbase Ventures, Solana Ventures, Brevan Howard, Concept Art House, House Fund, Hustle Fund, Pirata Ventures, SOL Big Brain (Solana influencer), Kevin Lin (Twitch/Duskbreakers), Holly Liu (Kabam/PKO), Robin Thurston (Outside Group CEO), and others — will be used to build out its game development studios.
“The future of gaming means embracing blockchain technology, NFTs and crypto — but for many, those concepts are hard to understand at best,” said Cadenza Ventures Managing Partner Max Shapiro. “We are thrilled to support Block Tackle and its team of seasoned gaming veterans as they usher in a new era in games by redefining the value proposition for players.”
Members of the Block Tackle team — including co-founders Rob Oshima and Ben Topkins — have helped to create some of the world’s most popular games, including Hobbit: Kingdoms of Middle-earth; Fast & Furious: Legacy; MARVEL Strike Force; and AVATAR: Pandora Rising. Oshima and Topkins met while working at Kabam (the company behind successful games like MARVEL Contest of Champions and Transformers: Forged to Fight) and later built NERF Strike on Roblox, a NERF FPS game that now has more than 30M plays, 10M+ players, and an 84 percent positive rating.
About Block Tackle
Block Tackle Inc. is a San-Francisco-based studio dedicated to creating the first generation of fun-first blockchain games. Founders Rob Oshima and Ben Topkins assembled a team of fellow game industry veterans with experience making games for EA, Kabam, Lucasfilm, Roblox, Telltale and Supercell. Block Tackle — which raised $5M in a seed funding round co-led by Cadenza Ventures & Play Ventures — is actively building an engaged community around its debut game, SkateX, in the run-up to its highly anticipated drop of a collection of 3D animated skateboard NFTs. For more information on the company, visit skatex.io.
Source: Block Tackle, Inc.