Acting Defiant: An Interview with Rob Lee, Studio Lead at Common Extract
The head of the award-winning Malaysian game studio shares his bear market blues, Web3 woes, and his newest project, Defiantz NFT.
Long bear markets are dreadful.
They fill newcomers and seasoned collectors alike with unease; but whilst this decline can be hugely stressful, it also presents an opportunity to focus on establishing a solid community and building momentum for the future.
At Gamescom Asia earlier this year, I caught up with Rob Lee, Studio Head at Common Extract, to tell us what it’s like to be building a blockchain game in the chilly conditions of the crypto winter.
Jenz: Can you tell us more about Defiantz and the team behind the collection?
Rob: Defiantz is a blockchain gaming project by game development studio Common Extract. We’ve been around since 2008 building projects as a work-for-hire service, mostly in animation and gaming, spanning both Web2 and Web3 brands, and even Roblox.
Ultimately, we spend most of our time on contracted game development, but have also worked on key Malaysian IPs as well as with clients across the US and Europe.
What was the inspiration behind the collection?
The art is strongly influenced by the popular Nintendo series Splatoon, and the style of its Japanese art director, Seita Inoue. The storyline takes a all-to-familiar common cliché and spins it on its head; kicking-off with a virus that causes a global pandemic, with the only survivors being those who underwent a brain replacement!
The Defiantz NFT collection launched in March. What has your journey been like since?
We launched a 333-piece DZ Military generative PFP collection as a free mint back in March. We’d originally planned for a 10,000-piece collection but we’ve put it on hold because of the bear market. Now, we’re building an arcade top-down action platformer as well as a DeFi system, which are both still in development.
Despite the market conditions, we’re still building. We strongly believe that Web3 games will be the future. Maybe not right now, but in two or three years from now, it will come.
We think there’s a big opportunity for casual games in Web3. We see the market for it, so our focus is very much in that area.
Right now, you’re build a project, committing to networking and trying to raise funding all at the same time. How are you finding it?
Building during the bear is not ideal nor easy, but the market conditions don’t affect our belief in the future of Web3. Sure, VCs and investors are a lot more careful now, but those that are still around are the ideal long term partners going forward because only those with faith in the industry are still here.
How is the game development aspect of Defiantz coming along?
We’re currently raising funds, plus building two casual games based on our current IP. There may be other collections that we wish to announce in future.
Regarding the games, the first is going through fine-tuning and the addition of more content, whilst the second is almost at the end of its art stage. If everything goes smoothly, we expect the second game to be ready by Q1 2023.
Where do you see Defiantz 12 months from now?
We’re focused on building. Hopefully the market will be better in 12 months time, but it gives us time to focus on our community. We’re looking to collaborate with those that are passionately building in the space, so that we can help push the industry further.
There’s so many companies looking to enter Web3 and that creates a lot of opportunity for those already here. As an industry, we can certainly grow bigger together.
What’s your message to your community, and to those building in Web3?
We’re not here to take your money and disappear, that’s for sure!
To those who believe in NFTs, whether you’re an active trader or someone who simply believes in the technology, reach out and connect with us.
Give it time, and the market will recover.
Bear markets are scary, but they have a habit of weeding out the bad actors in the space. Whilst the currently outlook for Web3 is bleak, this downturn and subsequent recovery (fingers-crossed!) may turn out to be the best thing for the industry so far.
From speaking with Rob, it’s clear they’re not here to make a quick buck, rather they’re committed to growing Defiantz, building their games and helping the industry to succeed.
To learn more about Common Extract, visit their website and follow their Twitter. For everything Defiantz-related, head to their Discord and Twitter for the latest updates, and view the current NFTs on OpenSea.