It’s not only a significant milestone for the Australian-founded project but the Web3 gaming space in general, as Illuvium is a title widely touted within crypto circles as a serious contender for genuine AAA game status.
What is Illuvium: Zero? It’s the resource-generating, city-building-style companion game to the other two core aspects of Illuvium – Overworld and Arena (both in beta-testing modes).
This component is being released in an alpha state and available to be played by any land-owning Illuvium participant. Once it reaches beta status, Illuvium: Zero will become free to play and open to the public.
The value of owning Illuvium land
Land-owning? Back in June last year, at one of the absolute dumpiest stages of the ongoing bear market, the Illuvium team conducted a highly successful virtual land sale that saw 20,000 land plots sold to 5,000 buyers, raising a total of US$72 million.
At that time, co-founder of the project Kieran Warwick told us that holding Illuvium land is akin to owning “a mine that can give you residual income for 10 years“.
Sure, it’s nothing like owning a lithium, gold, silver or copper mine, but there’s still something to that statement for crypto fans. In fact, the land plots themselves (which have the capacity to generate in-game asset NFTs that can be used to power game actions or sold on the open market) have spiked in value in the lead-up to the game’s launch, increasing by an average of about 48% over the past week.
Illuvium ZERO floor price is now .5eth 🔥 pic.twitter.com/Mn5RhH8pr4
— Fight4ETH ♊ (@Fight4Ethereum) January 5, 2023
Commenting ahead of the event, co-founder and Chief Gaming Officer Aaron Warwick said:
“Illuvium: Zero is one of the three pillars of the Illuvium Universe, and players will quickly see the utility of owning Illuvium Land. We can’t wait to see the gameplay strategies that develop as we continue to create the meta game amongst all Illuvium titles.”
Meanwhile Illuvium’s Chief Technology Officer John Avery, is confident that players of casual mobile games will enjoy what Illuvium describes as the “simple yet intricate gameplay” of Zero, not to mention opportunities to influence the in-game pricing of Illuvium’s two other games.
“One of the unique aspects of Illuvium Zero is the deep interaction between the in-game economy and real-world markets,” said Avery. “Players can use their in-game industrial complex to create and transform ERC-20 tokens, which leads to interesting possibilities. For example, you can use your in-game factories to convert one token to another to take advantage of small market differences (arbitrage).”
Live now: Illuvium Insider featuring never-before seen gameplay from the upcoming Illuvium: Zero Private Alpha! 🚀https://t.co/vkkqyznhfx
— Illuvium (@illuviumio) January 5, 2023
‘We care about the gaming experience’
NFTs are still seeing backlash from the broader gaming market. And this is despite, or perhaps partly because of, the increasing interest and investment that Web3/NFT gaming and metaverse ventures are seeing from outside the crypto bubble.
(Case in point, late last year the president of Activision Blizzard announced he was leaving the company to become the CEO of blockchain company Yuga Labs, which owns the Bored Apes and CryptoPunks brands.)
Still, Kieran Warwick says Illuvium’s goal is to change that negative connotation:
“We’re built on a carbon-neutral platform Immutable X, which removes the environmental pushback. We’re also building our universe with the gamers in mind, which means we care about the experience, not the ability to earn; if players do earn inside our universe, consider it a bonus.”
Illuvium is expected to open its full gaming universe to the public midway through 2023.
None of the contents of this article should be construed as financial advice.
This is not sponsored content, although for full disclosure, the author does hold some ILV tokens and four patches of Illuvium Land, along with some ETH, BTC and various other crypto assets he’s accumulated over time. Yep, not exactly risk averse right here.