"Cross the Ages" (CTA), a free-to-play game that features digital trading cards as non-fungible tokens (NFT), announced a $12 million seed round at an undisclosed valuation on Monday. The funding will go toward a development program, talent retention and go-to-market activities.
Investors included game-focused crypto investment firm Animoca Brands, major game publisher Ubisoft, Polygon (the blockchain powering the game) and Sebastian Borget, co-founder and COO of The Sandbox.
Blockchain gaming is a flourishing area of the crypto industry often viewed as the way to bring the next big wave of people into crypto. In January, the number of active blockchain games had doubled from the prior year to nearly 400. Crypto exchange giant FTX launched its own gaming unit in February, and last week announced the acquisition of Good Luck Games, maker of the free-to-play card battle game “Storybook Brawl.”
'Cross the Ages' universe
"Cross the Ages" is a mobile-first collectible card game set in a dystopian future based on a series of free-to-read novels, the first of which is already available. Players compete individually and in teams for NFTs and have the option of converting digital cards into physical copies.
The game is slated to add metaverse elements by mid-2023, including quests based on clues in the novels. Developers, artists and gamers will also have the ability to create new cities and games.
The beta version of the CTA game will launch in late May followed by digital and physical cards in June. CTA will then debut an NFT marketplace and decentralized finance (DeFi) protocols suite, the latter of which will give users access to farming, pooling and bonding for optimized trading options within the game’s infrastructure.
“The CTA DeFi product will be accessible via the main user interface, but it will operate as its own standalone platform,” CTA co-founder and CEO Sami Chlagou told CoinDesk in an email. “We want to keep the gaming experience somewhat separate to ensure that the more commercial aspects of the CTA experiences do not distract from what will be a dynamic and unique metaverse gaming experience.”
The CTA team currently stands at over 140, which includes artists, authors, developers and business experts. The team is expected to grow to over 200 by the end of this year and potentially as large as 250 by mid-2023, said Chlagou.
Singapore-based CTA is headed by co-founder and Chairman Christophe de Courson, who has worked in blockchain technology and venture capital, and Chlagou, who is also the owner of game producer Pixel Heart, which has produced more than 50 games for platforms such as Nintendo, Xbox and PlayStation.
“Sami's vision of 'Cross The Ages' around creating an innovative, multidimensional entertainment format which players can participate in and own – between books, collectible trading cards in both physical and NFT formats and video gaming – is truly unique, and he has not only a top-notch team, but also a track record of successfully shipping games,” said The Sandbox’s Borget in a statement.
CORRECTION (March 28, 2022, 17:53 UTC): A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that CTA was based in France; it is based in Singapore.
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