In the Ember Sword Metaverse, the players are the bosses.

About Ember Sword | bright star studio

  • Founders: Mark Laursen (Founder/CEO), Joris Huijbregts (Founder/CTO), and Loren Roosendaal (Founder/Executive Producer)
  • Founded in: 2019
  • Employees: 50
  • Money raised: 2.7 million in financing
  • Ultimate goal: make a game that people fall in love with and players who add value to the game will also benefit from it.

Loren Roosendaal, co-founder of game company Bright Star Studios, made time for the day’s kick-off. Roosendaal is the textbook example of an autodidact. He started programming at age ten, and by twenty he had a team of forty-five employees in Silicon Valley. After founding several successful tech companies, he returns to his passion: designing games. With Bright Star he is developing a Blockchain MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game) Ember Sword, he tells in this start-up episode of the day.

Massively multiplayer online role-playing game. That’s a mouthful, what does it mean?

“Simply put, it’s a game where the player decides which character to adopt. So it’s a role play. This game is played online with many different people around the world. Well-known examples of MMORPGs are World of Warcraft and Fortnite.”

Why did you want to build such a game?

“The idea for Ember Sword came at the end of 2017. With a group of friends who work in the games industry, we discussed whether it would be cool to build a game studio to make games fairer. That was how it happened. I myself have experience in massively multiplayer online games, another founder has the two largest guilds. [georganiseerde groep in een spel] founded in World of Warcraft. He has been world champion for two and a half years. But we wanted to make it different from other games.”

“World of Warcraft once had 12.5 million subscribed players who paid $15 a month to play. There was a problem: for example, someone who collected gold in the game to resell it could earn good money, but also risk being banned for life if they were caught. While World of Warcraft itself makes a lot of money from players who add value to the game. We believe that the time, creativity, and therefore value that players add to a game should be rewarded. That is why we are building a game on the blockchain with the so-called true property† Players can trade items and/or terrain with each other to earn money. So we didn’t necessarily want to do something with blockchain, but in the end we did.”

Loren Roosendaal© Bright Star Studio

Is a play to win match?

“I always tell people to be careful with that term. †If everyone plays to win, where does the money come from? In real life you can’t keep printing money indefinitely, in a game you can’t make unlimited tokens either. This went wrong with Axie Infinity, causing the value of the chips you could earn in the game to plummet. On the other hand, during the economic recession in the Philippines [hier wordt het spel Axie het meest gespeeld] tens of thousands of people, maybe more, have been able to survive with Axie. The problem is that there are big companies that created guilds, recruited players to play with them and claimed seventy percent of the profits. At some point, the revenue runs out, especially if the market crashes due to inflation.”

How to make an ethical game?

“The design of a game must include elements that create limits that protect the players. In this way, you can also check the loan mechanism that earns a lot of money. When I build games, I look at things like easy to pick up and put down† By that I mean the game should be easy to pick up for relaxation, but it should also be easy to put down, so you know someone’s work productivity isn’t being destroyed by becoming addicted to the game. We consider addictive games to be ethically irresponsible and we think about it a lot.”

“It doesn’t make sense to build a game with the notion that everyone who plays is going to make a lot of money. We want to protect our community well. The land that is now being sold within Ember Sword is only a small percentage of the total land, so we could potentially sell a lot more land. We select the people who were given the opportunity to buy land based on a selection and ranking process. Who really wants to add value to the game and the gaming experience of others? In this way, we make sure that the structure that is built also entertains the players and therefore attracts new players.”

What is the added value of Ember Sword for society?

“The reality is that the games industry is making about $160 billion a year right now and $400 billion in ten years. Game publishers rarely give back to the gaming community. We’re building a new model where about half of the revenue from the game goes back to the people who do great things for the game. And we want to better reward developers. Everyone thus becomes a small part of the owner of the game world they co-design. For example, if our game has made a billion, it will be divided between the developers and the players who add value to the community and the game. A new form of service economy. In any case, the enthusiasm is there. The game is still in the pre-alpha phase, but there are already around 200,000 people who have signed up. The people who bought the land were already allowed to test the technology and the capacity of the server. We will be doing more of these engineering tests in the near future as we work towards our early access release.”

What are the future plans?

“As Bright Star, we want to create a big, fantastic game world with Ember Sword that people fall in love with. A world where they have a great time with their friends and where people get together and play together like always. It must be social. Through a link you can invite friends to play without having to pay for it. We want to return to the old values ​​of the games, but with a new look, making the game owned by the gaming community. We hope that this becomes a game that stands the test of time because people are involved. Who knows, gamers will eventually become full owners. World of Warcraft turns 25 this year, what good would it be if Ember Sword became the first game to survive 100 years?

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