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Australian indie game developer Grease Monkey Games, a subsidiary of Animoca Brands, has received financial backing from gaming giant Epic Games to develop a new blockchain-based motorsport game Torque Drift 2

Receiving an Epic MegaGrant from the Fortnite developers, the funding will be used to develop the drift-based motorsport title. The Unreal Engine is a 3D computer graphics game engine developed by Epic Games, which has been used in many industries after it was first introduced in the 1998 game Unreal.

According to an August 18 announcement from Animoca Brands, the Epic MegaGrant, which ranges from $5,000 to $500,000, will be used to develop a realistic gaming experience comparable to other triple-A games that also use the Unreal Engine.

Considering that Grease Monkey Games is developing a play-to-earn (P2E) game, the Epic Games grant represents a notable demonstration of support from the traditional gaming industry, which has often been at odds with blockchain gambling.

Torque Drift 2 is an upcoming drifting motorsport game with a tuning garage available to players from Q3 2022 and a full release date set for 2024. The game will use non-fungible token (NFT) parts, cars, decals and items that players can use to create their car and profile.

Players will also be able to create their own paint job and car tuning NFTs, which can then be shared and sold on the Torque Drift 2 marketplace.

Grease Monkey Games is a traditional game developer that has released original IP games since 2014, which have over 45 million downloads worldwide. They were acquired by Animoca Brands in February 2022 and Animoca will support them as they transition to blockchain gaming.

Unlike traditional games where players typically purchase in-game items with real money, but are then blocked from withdrawing that money, the incorporation of blockchain-verifiable NFTs into games is seen as a means of providing ownership digital on game content. As such, it allows players to sell items when they have finished playing the game or when they wish to exchange their items for new ones.

This type of model is often referred to as P2E, with players being rewarded with economic value for their participation within the ecosystem.

Related: NFT games have an edge over “money in, no money out” games: Polygon’s Urvit Goel

Many critics of P2E games such as Udi Wertheimer point out that these games require wallets and cryptocurrency purchases before players can start playing, and are not as fun as traditional games.

Other reviewers such as Minecraft developer Mojang Studios have pointed to the implementation of NFT in games as a speculative pricing tool, which encourages enjoying the playability of the game.

Animoca Brands, on the other hand, has been a prolific investor in blockchain-enabled games, with a wallet which includes The Sandbox, Axie Infinity and Phantom Galaxies. Animoca Brands co-founder and executive chairman Yat Sui is a huge supporter digital property rights and believes this represents a paradigm shift towards a more decentralized society.