June 23, 2024

Mikayla Macfarlane

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Immutable Games launches Gods Unchained Web3 game on mobile

7 min read
Immutable Games launches Gods Unchained Web3 game on mobile

Immutable Games is launching its Web3 game Gods Unchained in early access on both Google Play and Apple’s App Store today after four years of development.

Immutable Games has been working on the mobile version on and off for that time as it struggled and finally succeeded in getting approval for the tactical card game, said Daniel Paez, executive producer of Gods Unchained, in an interview with GamesBeat.

The worldwide launch comes after heightened demand and feedback from the game’s pre-alpha build, revealing a strong community desire for on-the-go play, Paez said.

Available now on both Google Play and Apple’s App Store, the early access build promises to extend the immersive Gods Unchained experience to a global mobile audience. The mobile game on iOS and Android will be an addition to the PC game.

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The pre-alpha feedback made it clear that the Gods Unchained community sought the flexibility to engage with the game anywhere, anytime. The mobile experience, in its early access form, has been crafted to seamlessly complement the PC gaming experience, ensuring players can bring the Arena to their fingertips on their terms.

Building on the content and performance enhancements seen in the pre-alpha phase, the Gods Unchained Mobile app offers an array of features. These include Immutable Passport integration, ranked, solo, and casual modes, a deck builder tool for optimizing decks on the fly, and more.

The Gods Unchained Mobile release follows a series of milestones for Gods Unchained, such as its debut on Amazon Prime Gaming, re-listing on Epic Games Store, and the launch of Season 2, Far Horizons.

Season 2 introduced the first major expansion, Tides of Fate, incorporating new artwork, exclusive rewards, and fresh strategic elements interwoven with captivating storylines. As mobile gaming is projected to grow by 4% year-over-year to $111.4 billion in 2024 (Data.ai), Gods Unchained positions itself uniquely to capitalize on this trend.

“Your mobile is probably one of your most important devices, which is why it was important for us to give players the freedom to choose where they want to play, whenever they want,” Paez said. “For anyone who has ever wanted to play a quick game on the go, GU Mobile now makes it possible. Players have the opportunity to transform into a hero, villain, or even a giant, food-obsessed feline at the touch of their fingertips. We can’t wait to see where fans end up playing GU.”

“With the mobile gaming industry poised for significant growth in 2024, now is an exciting time to launch GU Mobile. It’s a major milestone in creating seamless transitions between desktop to mobile gaming,” added Paez. “This is just the beginning, so stay tuned.”

A long journey

Gods Unchained is launching on iOS and Android after four years.

Gods Unchained Mobile was picked up and dropped multiple times across different teams as different priorities came into place, Paez said. During that time, platform owners like Apple and Google worked out their policies toward Web3 games, which can be controversial because players can purchase gear and then sell it to other parties, sometimes raising questions as to whether the games constitute illegal gambling or create risks for young players.

Immutable Games Studio started co-developing the mobile game last year with a partner, iLogos, and they integrated Immutable Passport into it. That lets players use the account to play Immutable games without having to set up a Web3 wallet.

“We have a lot of players already saying how long they’ve been waiting for this,” Paez said. “The truth is we’re releasing this now as a way to further engage our fans. But development is going to be continuing. And so we have three months of polishing and bug fixes to do, as well as integrating additional features that will begin to build on top of the game. As policies clarify, we’ll start adding more of the Web3 side of things such as the ability to buy.”

That is, there will be items for purchase that require ownership of Gods Unchained tokens and the ability to get special rewards or buy packs directly as non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Paez said the company made the game playable in both developed and developing countries, as well as on tablets.

As a Web3 game, Gods Unchained grants players true ownership of in-game items. Merging the immutability of tangible cards with the convenience of digital collectibles, players can earn, trade, sell, and collect NFT cards for strategic deck-building and skill-based multiplayer battles.

Immutable Games, the gaming-focused internal development arm of Immutable, a Web3 gaming company based in Sydney, Australia.

Platform policies for Web3

Gods Unchained is in early access on mobile.

The platform companies want to make sure that their walled gardens for purchases will be intact, and Immutable Games wants to be able to use in-app purchase systems on the platform without risking massive fraud related to fiat payments.

In other games, the problem of fraud has arisen in cases where there isn’t sufficient know-your-customer policies (KYC) or verification of identities in place. Bad actors can get thousands of different credit cards, purchase a lot of NFTs and dump them on marketplaces before chargebacks are initiated. Immutable Games has to build solutions that prevent that from happening while still making it easy for real players to sign on and make their own payments.

Apple requires that the Web2 version of a Web3 game be the same as the game that exists on other platforms. It doesn’t want the App Store version to be de-featured or to have its payment systems going unused in favor of other platforms where the game exists. And game devs cannot drive users out of the app to websites with lower prices, and if they do direct players offsite then they have to put in a security warning. There’s a lot of litigation over this that will likely change the Web3 policies on the platforms over time. The European Union wants to curtail these policies, but it may take a while for enforcement.

A companion app

Immutable Games is launching a companion app for Gods Unchained on mobile.

Rather than call the mobile game a full-blown game, Immutable Games is calling it a companion app. That’s because it doesn’t have all the features of the full Web3 game yet. The team got good feedback on its testing and fixed problems with its launcher. And now it’s ready.

Paez said the bear market for Web3 games has affected the title. But starting in September of last year, things started turning around for Gods Unchained thanks to the release of new content, Paez said. New game modes became available in October and a new expansion launched. The team released a crafting system to let players generate new cards. And there were events that kept things lively in the new year.

“This has really helped change the curve of our users,” Paez said. “At the same time, we created a content creator program.”

The broader market

Paez said that, with the revival of cryptocurrency markets, he is glad that a lot of despair over Web3 games has begun to lift. On the other hand, there were a lot of Web3 game companies that raised money on the expectation that they were only raising part of the funds they needed. They expected to be able to return to venture capitalists to fund their next milestones. But they’re finding the funding is scarce now, Paez said. (This is borne out in the latest numbers on game VC investments). Those game startups are having trouble because they can’t get more money and they don’t have a game they can ship yet.

As a result, it could still take time for the market to get better, Paez said.

Don’t expect to see a lot of marketing at the launch, as the company will do a quiet launch at first to make sure all the bugs get squashed and the game gets polished, Paez said. Then, after 30 days, the company will start adding more features and reach out to the platforms for marketing help.

Meanwhile, Immutable Games wants to find the players who like Gods Unchained. Those who play older games like Magic or Hearthstone might be ripe players to target, Paez said.

“I think Gods Unchained is a little closer in the Hearthstone level of difficulty and learning curve,” he said. “This element of being able to trade your cards is not something that Hearthstone or Magic can copy without completely ruining their business models. And so we’ll probably be taking that approach once we feel the mobile app is in place.”

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