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PlayStation veteran Michael Mombauer and Days Gone’s creative director, John Garvin, have teamed up to create a Triple A game studio called Liithos. They created Ashfall, a story-driven open world title for PC, consoles, and Web3.
A San Diego, California studio is creating a “True Web3 Triple A Address” that will debut on computers, consoles and the Hedera network, a blockchain-like technology.
The company said it has compiled a roster of best-selling and award-winning talent from the best-known and most recognized teams in the industry. Garvin is Vice President of Creative at Liithos, and previously served as Creative Director for Days Gone and Siphon Filter at Sony’s Bend Studio. Garvin is the writer and director of Ashfall, which is set in the Seattle area after what looks like a future volcanic eruption.
Mumbauer is the CEO and was previously the CEO of The No Moon, which has raised a lot of money but hasn’t released a game yet. Mombauer was previously the Head of the Visual Arts Team at PlayStation.
I asked Mombauer if Web3’s strategy was one of the reasons he left That No Moon. But he said in an email, “I learned a lot from my past experiences and my time at That No Moon, but I wanted to get creative and explore a new adventure. I’m excited to be working with John Garvin, Hedera and the Liithos team to bring a new Transmedia Trilogy experience to players.”
Liithos wants to create a world of connected entertainment, revolutionizing the way players experience 3D games. Mumbauer has been at Sony for 13 years, leading innovation for three generations of gaming platforms, from PlayStation 3 to PlayStation 5.
Mumbauer helped bring in beloved game characters like Nathan Drake from Uncharted, Joel and Ellie from The Last of Us and Deacon St. John from Days Gone to life. He was a major partner in the development of Naughty Dog and helped introduce the second installment of The Last of Us.
“At Liithos, we want to bring the next evolution of Triple-A games to fans in a connected way we’ve never seen before,” Mombauer said in a statement. “The gaming industry is amazing in that it has evolved through a series of innovations, and it never looks back. We look forward to continuing this trend, working with partners like the HBAR Foundation to support the Hedera Network, who understand the potential and the need for innovation without any adverse impact on the environment.”
The world of Ashfall is the brainchild of Garvin, the creative veteran who has written and directed some of Sony’s most popular and successful game franchises for over 25 years. Garvin created the popular open world game, Days Gone, which was one of my favorite titles. He was also responsible for the most successful title in PlayStation Vita history, Uncharted: Golden Abyss.
Over the course of his career, Garvin has delivered more than a dozen first-class titles. Liithos brings these two forces together with the goal of revolutionizing the game for the next generation of gamers.
Ashfall will see players fight for survival in a world suffering from global warming, a fiery volcanic ring of fire, mysterious and destructive energy fields, and warring enclaves, starting with a connected single player adventure. It will evolve into a player-versus-player (PVP) and player-versus-environment (PVE) multiplayer transmedia cinematic world.
“Michael and I have been working creatively together for nearly two decades and this is our chance to create something really new and exciting. It feels like getting a band together,” Garvin said in a statement. “Our goal is to create a truly next-generation open-world experience that interacts With new technologies to enable user-generated content. As always, our goal is to create lovable characters, compelling stories, cutting-edge gameplay, and a world to explore, not only in games, but in other media as well.
Players will be able to choose to play the game utilizing the Hedera Network where cleanup, discovery and exclusivity are at the heart of the building, selling and trading experience. Ashfall currently has partnerships with comic book creators, artists and influencers, where the story will begin with digital comics written by John Garvin, with hardcover by DC Comics’ Worldstorm and Brett Booth.
“The team that Michael assembled at Liithos represent the best minds in AAA game development and cross-media IP creation,” Alex Rossman, Vice President and Head of the Metaverse Fund at HBAR, a partner in Hedera Network, said in a report. “As Liithos leads the charge of bringing top-tier gaming into the Web3 era, creating richer and more rewarding experiences for their users, we are excited to partner with them and support game development and the Liithos ecosystem, both on the Hedera Network. And within the gaming industry at large.”
Founded in 2021, the HBAR Foundation supports the development of the Hedera ecosystem and the HBAR economy by providing grants and other resources to developers, startups, and organizations looking to launch decentralized applications in DeFi, NFT, CBDC, ESG, gaming, and other sectors. Hedera uses its blockchain-like technology to verify digital assets and large-scale transactions.
When asked how Web3 will play a role in this project, Mombauer said, “Transmedia and the power of connected worlds have always been something I have been passionate about. There is a bit of a misunderstanding in my opinion about what blockchain games can mean to players. I see blockchain as a railway and a hub. are video games.
He added, “The other train stations all lead to the main station which is the gaming station, and the trains deliver valuable goods (NFT) to players through the other stations. It’s a way to have deeper and more engaging experiences than ever before. We want to reward players for doing things they already love to do.” , and create a path from those areas they love to what they love most, the game.”
The company hasn’t described much of its technology yet. As for the type of game, I asked if we should consider something like Days Gone.
“Yes in some ways. Fans have been looking forward to John Garvin’s next project after the release of Days Gone in 2019,” Mumbaeur said. “Since then, players have been asking for a sequel and have been excited to see what Garvin will be working on next. And here we are with Ashfall and Lithos. Ashfall isn’t just a 3D game, but Liithos has revolutionized the way media, technology, and blockchain can be connected and work seamlessly with Web3’s first true 3D game and entertainment studio.
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