As the team behind the new metaverse game Cross The Ages (CTA) prepares for the upcoming release, CEO and co-founder Sami Chlagou explained the project’s innovative approach–poised to make waves in the GameFi market.
Revealing some of the compelling facts about the 16-month-long development, Chlagou broke down how CTA aims to provide a deeper playing experience based on strategic choices involved with collecting cards–engaging players long term.
Free-to-play meets play-to-earn
“Currently, the main trend is to migrate everything to the metaverse, but CTA is trying to do the opposite,” explained Chlagou, outlining the project’s unique approach that draws upon the nostalgia of trading cards.
These tangible collectibles will allow players to bring a piece of the metaverse back to the physical reality, while at the same time, with their introduction into the play-to-earn equation, CTA will bridge the gap between gaming and crypto, he added.
With this, CTA is ushering in a completely new format of the game, where players can combine old and new gaming habits, explained Chlagou, noting that the gas fee for creating a card is going to be $1.
Tree Monster by Brian Valeza © Cross The Ages
The low entry barrier is another key element that sets CTA apart from other blockchain games on the market–the game is free to play, and those that want to access play-to-earn functionality can do so for as little as $10 or $20.
By combining the free-to-play and play-to-earn model, CTA is going to revolutionize the GameFi sector, argued Chlagou, not hiding his ambition for the game to drive the mass adoption of blockchain technology.
With this in mind, he also revealed some of the main reasons behind the team’s decision to launch on Polygon.
“First of all, it was important for us to choose a chain that would allow us to create a game where the gas fee will never exceed $1,” he explained, noting this was one of the prerequisites considering the mass adoption goals set for the CTA.
Reachable technical support was another crucial element, which, according to Chlagou, leveraged smooth cooperation and communication–both increasingly important when building for the long haul.
“Third, with Polygon we are clearly able to build for the multi-chain future,” he concluded, adding the EVM compatibility as one of the key factors to the list.
Iris by Dzydar © Cross The Ages
Physical cards meet NFTs
In recent years, the company behind the project acquired five studios–in Hungary, France, England, Japan, and Brazil, said Chlagou, who launched his first business for trading collectible cards at the age of 24.
Amongst others, Chlagou, who worked as a producer in the audiovisual sector for the past years, also founded the first private e-commerce platform for video games, Rushongame.com, and Pixelheart, a publisher and distributor of retrogaming and limited edition video games.
He admitted to getting into trading card games as a nine-year-old joining the Magic The Gathering bandwagon back in 1993, and believes that CTA’s move to include this retro aspect will appeal to all breeds of gamers.
“We are not just building a game, we are building a whole universe,” said Chlagou, noting that a superstar group of 14 writers created a compelling storyline for the next 10 years.
Outlined in seven books, the story combines elements of both Fantasy and Sci-Fi, while flirting with powerful metaphors that are evoking philosophical reflection on current expansion into the virtual realm.
Bird by Jesus Conde © Cross The Ages
The impressive team of 134 people currently working on the project includes a vast array of illustrators, who are wrapping up the first collection of more than 365 collectible cards with different scarcity and unique traits.
The dream team of artists comes from projects such as Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, Witcher, Lord of the Rings, to name a few.
Preparing for the release
The project that was initially developed in the shadows, currently enjoys the backing of multiple VCs, revealed the team.
Meanwhile, CTA’s Instagram, Discord, Twitter and Telegram channels are growing rapidly.
“We currently have a strong community of 300.000 people, but our mission is to reach a million by March 22,” said Chlagou, adding that the book already crossed 60.000 downloads.
The chapters which are currently available in six different languages, including French, English, Spanish, Japanese, Chinese, and Polish, are released weekly–enabling prospective players to understand the game more intimately before the release.
Characters are developed based on the enneagram types–another aspect that makes the story timeless and more relatable.
Demon by Felix Donadio © Cross The Ages
“We will have the demo version ready by the end of February,” said Chlagou, noting that early access is planned for the end of April, beginning of May.
According to him, “the key of success with this kind of project is based on one thing–the IP.”
“If you have this, you have absolutely everything,“ argued Chlagou, pointing out the importance of building on a well-defined and proactive IP strategy.
According to the team, a movie release is envisioned as a part of the logical progression and could be expected three years following the game launch.
The team is also not lagging behind with plans for 3D immersive VR, which are, although still largely contingent on technological and hardware improvements, on the roadmap for 2023 and 2024.
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