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Trip Hawkins is now making NFT games

Trip Hawkins is now making NFT games

Hawkins has joined the startup Games for a Living to help make games like Elemental Raiders that use NFT and tokens.

Some of the biggest names in the video game industry, like Will Wright and Peter Molyneux, have moved into the crypto world and are now making NFT-based games. Now, we can add another big name to that list: Trip Hawkins was the first CEO and founder of Electronic Arts, a company that makes a lot of video games.

Today, Hawkins was announced as the co-founder and chief strategy officer of Games for a Living, a startup that is developing games using NFTs and blockchain tokens.

Manel Sort, who was the first vice president at King, the company that made Candy Crush Saga, helped start Games for a Living. The two game industry veterans worked together in the past at Hawkins’s former mobile game company, Digital Chocolate.

“I’m confident that blockchain, combined with our vision, can create a new gaming paradigm for the benefit of all,” Hawkins said in a press announcement. “We plan to do it in a way that helps enhance game performance and value for players, while keeping things fun.”

Elemental Raiders is now available on Steam in a free-to-play version without tokenized elements, though the publisher has previously sold Ethereum NFTs linked to the game and will release an NFT “battle pass” along with its own GFAL token in March.

Early in March, there will be a real Elemental Raiders tournament with NFT and token rewards, but not in the Steam version of the game. It has also teased a second game called Diamond Dreams, which is a matching puzzle game that will use NFTs.

In an interesting move, the publisher’s whitepaper says that it will use its own private blockchain for games instead of an open, permissionless network like Ethereum or Solana. Games for a Living says it will set up a foundation to oversee the blockchain network and make rules for other developers who want to use the network to run their own NFT-based games.

But many crypto builders think that private (or permissioned) blockchains go against the Web3 ethos because they are not open networks that anyone can build on. In some cases, networks made by a centralized company can be progressively decentralized and given to the community over time, but the publisher’s whitepaper doesn’t say that this is the plan.

Hawkins was an early Apple employee before leaving in 1982 to found Electronic Arts, which is now one of the major video game publishers. EA’s most popular series include the FIFA and Madden NFL sports franchises, as well as Battlefield, The Sims, Need for Speed, and Mass Effect.

In 1991, he quit his job as leader at EA to start a company called 3DO, which made a video game console that wasn’t a big seller. Then, in 2003, he started Digital Chocolate and was its CEO until 2012. Since then, he has advised or been on the board of a number of gaming, tech, and esports startups.

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