Play-to-Own TCG Skyweaver Enters Open Beta
After four years of development, testing and fine-tuning, this trailblazing Web3 trading card game hits its Open Beta phase today!
In 2014, Hearthstone’s release set a new standard for digital trading card games. Today, the bar may have been raised once again.
Skyweaver, developed by the Sequence Wallet and developer platform creators Horizon, is a free-to-play, cross-platform, play-to-own TCG, running on the ETH sidechain Polygon ($MATIC). After much anticipation – and with a waitlist of over 345,000 eager players – it enters its Open Beta phase at 16 UTC today.
One of Horizon’s goals with Skyweaver was to create; “a free-to-play crypto game (in which) no knowledge of Ethereum, blockchain or cryptocurrencies is needed to enjoy”. Have they succeded? Let’s dive in and find out.
Before we get into the gameplay, firstly we must ask, what is play-to-own?
Michael Sanders, Co-Founder and Chief Storyteller at Horizon Blockchain Games, in an exclusive for NFT Insider, explains;
“We’re not trying to set the expectation that Skyweaver is a game you play… with aspirations of getting rich. We’ve designed Skyweaver to be first and foremost a fun and strategic trading card game that players adore for its gameplay.”
Cards in Skyweaver come in three different grades; Base, Silver and Gold. Each of the 500+ unique Base cards can be obtained through gameplay, completely for free. Should you find success in the Ranked and Conquest modes, you can earn tradable Silver and Gold variants of these cards that can be listed on the Sequence Market.
The USDC stablecoin is the currency of this marketplace, eliminating the impact of crypto volatility on the game’s economy and allowing all users to quickly and easily determine the USD value of their cards – great for Web3 newcomers and veterans alike.
Moving on to gameplay, and I say this without any exaggeration or embellishment; blockchain game or not, Skyweaver is a genre-defining digital TCG experience.
For me, it’s not just the singleton gameplay style – allowing for a wide variety of strategies and unexpected plays, nor is it the diverse Hero, Prism and Element combinations, or the beautiful levels of complexity (taking full advantage of its digital medium), it’s the obsessive attention to detail and insightful quality-of-life improvements over its competition that make Skyweaver such an enjoyable game to play.
Built-in dynamic deck and graveyard tabs? Check. A card history tab you can add or remove on the fly? Check. Persistent face-up for “revealed” cards? Check – and that’s just the start.
From the fluidity of the game itself (eliminating the common “ran out of time” digital TCG problem) to the day/night turn cycles, to the way the grass ruffles and the rocks clink when you click on them, every detail has had due attention, thought and creativity applied to it in ways we have yet to see accomplished at this high of a level.
I’m far from their only supporter – gamers, personalities and businesses from around the world have flocked to Skyweaver in droves.
The Skyweaver app boasts over 233,000 installs to date, and since the Closed Beta launch on November 25th, 2021 – which enabled the mainnet Polygon economy – over 446,000 gameplay hours have been clocked across 1.7mil games, facilitating $1.9mil of transactions on the Skyweaver marketplace.
Alongside a waitlist of over 345,000 players, their Discord is on the cusp of hitting 100,000 members (99.6k at the time of publication), which far outweighs their Web2 gaming contemporaries such as Hearthstone and Magic: The Gathering Arena.
This vision, success and direction has been noted by a number of prominent Web3 VCs. To date, Skyweaver has raised $13.3mil in funding from the likes of Coinbase, Initialized Capital, Polychain and many more, and with the announcement of their recent partnership with OpenSea, it’s clear that confidence in the game is sky-high – and rising further still.
This feeling of confidence is one that is shared by Alexis Ohanian, Co-Founder of Reddit, who remarks;
“(Skyweaver) was the first game that really opened my eyes to the vast potential of play-to-earn and NFT gaming. The future of this space will be dictated by companies like Horizon, who have been hard at work building a community and meticulously refining their product to not only appeal to Web3 gamers but to gaming audiences at large.”
Peter Kieltyka, Co-Founder & CEO of Horizon Blockchain Games confirms this approach, stating;
“We’re committing to providing… easy and secure access to Web3, where everyone can own, use and enjoy digital assets. We see Skyweaver as bridging the gap that currently exists between the Web2 and Web3 gaming communities.”
With unrivalled gameplay, a Web2-friendly crypto solution and hundreds of thousands of excited fans, it’s no surprise that many see today’s Open Beta launch not just as a big day for Skyweaver, but as a landmark day for the blockchain gaming industry as a whole.
So, what’s next for Skyweaver? Michael Sanders explains;
“Throughout 2022, we plan to nature our community, engage in some exciting partnerships and tournaments… and further evolve Skyweaver. Highly-anticipated features slated for release in 2022 include match replays and observer mode, in-game guilds, new cards, expansion sets, “Lethal Puzzle Games”, customization of private matches, cosmetics to personalize player experiences…”
Combine these planned features with their regular patch updates that take place every two weeks – driven by player feedback and data – and it’s hard to dispute the fact that Skyweaver is one of the hottest Web3 properties right now.
I’ll end on this quote from Michael;
“We’re always working to make Skyweaver better for our players.”
These aren’t cheap words – this is their core principle, demonstrated by their journey to today, and their approach to the future.
For blockchain gaming to reach mass adoption, we need talent, understanding, and a player-driven focus. Horizon Blockchain Games possess those qualities in spades, and they’re being rightly heralded amongst the flagbearers of the industry, setting a gold standard for Web3.
Web3 needs more developers like Horizon Blockchain Games, and it needs more games like Skyweaver.