Gunzilla Games, a AAA game studio, announced that they have raised a total of $46M in their latest investment round. This new round of investment will allow the studio to build out their new platform called GunZ, empowering players by granting them complete ownership over their in-game possessions. GunZ will be the foundation for “Off The Grid” (OTG). One of the OTG’s standout mechanics is “in-game item trading”, the first game where players will be able to buy new in-game items from other players who collected them in the game or acquired them from each other. Trading will be handled via an internal blockchain based marketplace or any third-party marketplace which supports NFT technology. This investment round is led by Republic Capital. Other major participants include Griffin Gaming Partners, Animoca Brands, Jump Crypto, Raptor Group, CoinFund, Shima Capital, Dominance Ventures, GSR, Kucoin Labs, Spartan Investment Group, AlphaCrypto Capital, Blizzard, Digital Strategies, Morningstar Ventures, Gamegroove Capital, NGG and Huobi Group, who will also assist in maintaining the technical infrastructure of the project. Notable angel investor and advisor include Justin Kan, co-founder of Twitch.
Gunzilla assures gamers that they will never sell NFTs directly to their player community, nor will they hide progression or any game features behind a monetized paywall, the trading is entirely optional. Gunzilla believes that the GunZ platform has the potential to radically change the core gaming experience for players, and those not interested in trading are able to completely skip this feature and simply enjoy the full game for free without any limitations.
Vlad Korolev, CEO and Co-Founder of Gunzilla, explains: “We are striving to provide players with complete freedom in every detail of OTG, and with each step of its gameplay. In OTG additionally to the core gameplay, players will be able to own and trade their in-game items with other players. As well as assure players that their hard-earned items remain theirs to keep, no matter what. In today’s free-to-play games, if you pay for something, it isn’t yours. You do not, and cannot, own anything. Anyone can read the EULA of any game to verify this. If you’re banned, for example, any item can be taken away from you, even if your ban is accidental. When you stop playing any free-to-play game, the money you’ve put in also disappears. We are re-inventing the system, putting the power back in the hands of gamers, and are using blockchain technology to make this happen. With OTG and GunZ, we are creating a universe that will set a new standard for the industry”
Players will also be able to take their items out of the game. As the universe of OTG continues to evolve, gamers will discover new items each time they play. In-game items that players can trade will include the one-of-a-kind characters that players create themselves, custom weapons, clothing items and accessories.
This investment round follows the recent released teaser-trailer of Gunzilla’s new game OTG, a AAA Battle Royale 2.0, third-person shooter, led by the studio’s Chief Visionary Officer and Oscar nominee Neill Blomkamp. A free-to-play (F2P) title, OTG, that features a strong narrative focus with unique gameplay mechanics and is due for release across next-generation platforms in 2023.
Brian Johnson, a Senior Director of Republic Capital, said “The Gunzilla team is nothing short of stellar with industry veterans having contributed to games that many of us grew up playing. We believe that free-to-play reigns supreme and that by combining it with an optional Crypto component, Gunzilla will lead by example, marrying the Crypto and gaming worlds. There’s no doubt that the future of Crypto gaming needs to involve next-gen consoles, and we believe Gunzilla will allow this to happen with ease.”
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Everi’s Michael Rumbolz Elected American Gaming Association Chairman
The American Gaming Association (AGA) board of directors elected Michael Rumbolz, Executive Chair of the Board of Everi Holdings Inc., as the association’s new chairman. He will succeed Hard Rock International Chairman and Seminole Gaming CEO Jim Allen, who has served as AGA chairman since January 2022. Rumbolz begins his two-year term in January 2024.
“I am grateful for the opportunity to help shape gaming’s future as the AGA’s next chair,” said Rumbolz. “From stopping illegal gambling to evolving responsible gambling, the AGA is tackling transformational issues and I am eager to build on the progress made during Jim’s tenure.”
Working from a busboy to the c-suite, Rumbolz’s career spans all levels and aspects of the gaming industry with experience encompassing gaming equipment manufacturing and distribution; hotel and casino operations; casino fintech; digital gaming; and gaming legislation and regulation. Rumbolz previously served as President and CEO of Everi, Member and Chairman of the Nevada Gaming Control Board, and Chief Deputy Attorney General of Nevada.
“It’s an honor to welcome Mike—an industry legend in his own right—as the next AGA chairman,” said AGA President and CEO Bill Miller. “Mike’s career as an operator, manufacturer and regulator is unparalleled and will be vital to driving meaningful progress on industry priorities.”
During Allen’s tenure as chairman, the AGA supported the industry’s record-setting COVID recovery while working to evolve the industry’s approach to responsible gaming and launching a new effort to stop illegal gambling.
“Jim’s knowledge, insight and guidance have helped the AGA advance our mission and maximize our impact for the industry. He’s been a trusted advisor to me, and I am thankful for his partnership over the last two years,” Miller continued.
“Our industry and this association have never been stronger. I am immensely proud of our success over the last two years accelerating gaming’s recovery while defining and advancing new priorities,” said Allen. “The AGA is well-positioned under Mike and Bill’s leadership.”
UNITED KINGDOM TO HOST 2024 PUBG MOBILE GLOBAL CHAMPIONSHIP
PUBG MOBILE Esports is thrilled to announce that the 2024 PUBG MOBILE Global Championship (PMGC) will be held in the UK, taking place live next December with a $3 million prize pool. The first time a major PUBG MOBILE event has been hosted in the UK, this tournament will bring local fans a unique opportunity to see the very best skill that the world has to offer. This news comes ahead of this year’s 2023 PUBG MOBILE Grand Finals in Istanbul.
James Yang, Senior Director of PUBG MOBILE Global Esports, announced the news during the opening ceremony of the 2023 PMGC Grand Finals, with the exact UK location to be revealed at a later date. This is the first time a major PUBG MOBILE event has been held in the country and the first in Western Europe since 2018.
The highlight of the PUBG MOBILE Esports calendar, the PMGC brings together dozens of teams from around the world to compete in the ultimate showcase of talent. This year’s Grand Finals are taking place this weekend in Istanbul, Türkiye, where the final sixteen teams remaining in the competition will battle it out to become PUBG MOBILE World Champion.
Joining next year’s PMGC in the top tier of PUBG MOBILE Esports events, as well as next year’s midseason tournament in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, is the PUBG MOBILE Global Open (PMGO), which will take place in Brazil throughout March and April 2024 and feature a $500,000 prize pool.
Xsolla and GamesBeat Announce Global 2024 Tour Partnership
Xsolla, a global video game commerce company, is excited to announce its partnership with VentureBeat and GamesBeat, a premier source for tech news and events, for its upcoming 2024 Global Tour. The Global 2024 Tour brings an exciting series of events to cities worldwide.
This collaboration between Xsolla, and GamesBeat, marks a significant milestone in the gaming industry. The tour is set to kick off in Austin, Texas, at the renowned SXSW festival, showcasing a commitment to connecting industry leaders and enthusiasts from around the globe.
The 2024 Global Tour promises to be a melting pot of ideas, featuring prominent figures from the gaming and tech industries. As the tour progresses, it will extend across four more locations including various cities in Europe and APAC, offering a dynamic platform for networking, knowledge sharing, and exploring the latest gaming technology and commerce trends.
Details regarding additional cities and dates will be announced, highlighting the tour’s potential to draw a diverse audience, including game developers, publishers, and tech enthusiasts.
“We are excited to embark on the Global 2024 Tour with GamesBeat, bringing together the gaming community’s brightest minds and most passionate voices,” said Berkley Egenes, Chief Marketing and Growth Officer at Xsolla. “We aim to share insights and foster a dialogue that propels the industry forward. Including diverse voices and perspectives, especially through our Women in Gaming initiative, is a testament to our commitment to providing equal access to games and technology for everyone around the world..”
The tour’s emphasis on diversity and inclusion is further exemplified by the partnership between Women in Gaming and Diversity & Games at GamesBeat events in 2024. This initiative underscores the commitment to creating a more inclusive gaming environment.
In addition to the tour, GamesBeat will offer live quarterly updates, enhancing the community’s engagement with the evolving gaming landscape. These innovative strategic media partnerships are made possible through the thoughtful and creative process with VB Lab, which focuses on creating the right opportunities for its partners.
“The collaboration with Xsolla for the Global 2024 Tour represents a significant milestone for GamesBeat,” said Gina Joseph, Chief Strategy Officer of VentureBeat. “Our journey through cities like Austin signifies more than just an event; it celebrates the gaming community’s diversity, creativity, and potential. Through our live streams, quarterly updates, and thought leadership series, we aim to provide unparalleled value and insights to all stakeholders in the gaming ecosystem.”
Complementing these efforts, Xsolla will release insightful quarterly reports, offering a deep dive into the latest trends and developments in the gaming industry. These reports, VB spotlight webinars, and exclusive content from GamesBeat will provide a comprehensive view of the industry’s trajectory, enriching the dialogue and insights shared throughout the Global 2024 Tour.
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