Solana Game Mini Royale: Nations Hits 2M Players After NFT Launch
Last week, first-person shooter Mini Royale: Nations became the first live multiplayer game to run on Solana following the launch of its first in-game NFT items. Now developer Faraway has marked a new milestone, doubling the number of active players over the last month.
Mini Royale: Nations has now amassed more than 2 million total registered players, including more than 600,000 monthly active users (MAU). That’s more than double the previous MAU high mark that Faraway co-founder Alex Paley shared with Decrypt in early November.
The web-based shooter had already been live for months as a free-to-play online multiplayer game without any sort of blockchain integration. However, as planned, Faraway launched a series of 10,000 in-game items sold as Solana NFTs on December 9 and then activated them within the game on December 16.
On Dec 16, 2021, Mini Royale: Nations became the first live multiplayer game on @solana pic.twitter.com/WnTO8tGQnX— Mini Royale: Nations (@MiniNations) December 16, 2021
As mentioned, Mini Royale: Nations is the first online game to run on the Solana blockchain and feature live, simultaneous multiplayer action. An NFT acts like a deed of ownership to a unique digital item—in this case, a one-of-a-kind in-game avatar that only the holder can use.
According to Faraway, the NFT sale—which took place on Solana marketplace, Magic Eden—brought in $1.3 million and sold out in 30 seconds. Owners who hold onto their NFT throughout Mini Royale: Nations’ first in-game season will receive benefits, including the game’s upcoming CHEDDAR token. The season, titled “Vikings in the Miniverse,” kicks off this week.
Mini Royale steers clear of 'play-to-earn'
While the game features fully-optional NFT collectibles, Paley told Decrypt that his team has avoided pushing hard on NFT-centric messaging, and isn’t billing Mini Royale: Nations as a play-to-earn game. That’s a stark contrast to Ethereum-based Axie Infinity, a play-to-earn phenomenon with more than $3.7 billion worth of NFT trading volume to date.
But it also comes after backlash to established game makers like Ubisoft and GSC Game World as they’ve announced their respective in-game NFT plans. Paley told Decrypt that Faraway is focusing on pushing concepts like “open economies” and “true ownership” in promoting its NFT and token-driven elements.
🥶❄️🥶 pic.twitter.com/PjywBdhsdb— Mini Royale: Nations (@MiniNations) December 15, 2021
“Our positioning is that we have a goal of making hyper-social games with player-driven economies, and that blockchain is a tool for enabling these open economies,” he said. “This narrative has resonated across the board—gamers and crypto people alike.”
“I think games that have steered too much into the ‘play-to-earn’ or ‘OMG NFT’ narrative have seen an allergic reaction from the ‘true gamer’ crowd,” Paley added, “so we have been careful to avoid that.”
Faraway announced a $30 million seed round last month. It was the first investment from a $100 million Web3 gaming co-investment fund created by Lightspeed Venture Partners, cryptocurrency exchange FTX, and Solana Ventures. The round also featured participation from Andreessen Horowitz, Jump Capital, Sequoia Capital, and Pantera Capital.
Last week, Solana Ventures announced a separate $150 million investment fund focused on Solana-based game projects, created in partnership with Forte and Griffin Gaming Partners.Source