Illuvium releases Overworld as it attempts to bring AAA quality to web3 gaming

Quick Take

  • Illuvium Labs has released a new private beta.
  • It’s the second of six games the team has planned over the next two decades.
  • Illuvium: Zero could also have an alpha release before Christmas.

A new game for Illuvium has gone live — if you’re one of the 30,000 lucky community members selected to try it out.

The private beta for "Illuvium: Overworld" is the second game released by Australia-based Illuvium Labs to date. A preview of gameplay teased details about the universe’s backstory, and the Overworld will involve playing as a ranger whose spaceship has crash-landed in the wilderness.

Players will be able to explore a section of the Overworld called the Crimson Waste, mine resources and forage for assets to create weapons and armor. They can also hunt for Illuvials, the powerful creatures used for battling in "Illuvium: Arena," which came out earlier this year and is also in private beta.

Built using Unreal Engine 5 and on ImmutableX's blockchain, Illuvium’s whitepaper describes its series of interlinked games as a “universe consisting of an open-world monster collector, auto battler, and city builder.” It plans to release an additional six games over the next two decades.

A third title could also be around the corner. The company said "Illuvium: Zero" could have an alpha release before Christmas.

The first AAA blockchain game?

The race is on among web3 game developers to create the first blockchain game that goes viral and wins over traditional gamers. That's no small task, with popular games like PUBG, Fortnite and Roblox attracting hundreds of millions of players a month.


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By comparison, the most popular web3 game at the moment, Alien Worlds, had just 690,000 unique active wallets engaged with its smart contract over the past 30 days, according to DappRadar.

Even at its peak, web3 gaming poster child Axie Infinity reached less than 2.8 million players a month.

While awareness and onboarding remain an ongoing struggle, perhaps the biggest issue to mainstream adoption is simply that the games themselves just haven’t been compelling enough to non-crypto audiences.

Illuvium thinks it can change that. Valued at $10 billion and with backers that include AAVE founder Stani Kulechov and Sandbox founder Sebastien Borget, it wants to introduce 100 million gamers to the advantages of owning their hard-earned digital assets in the form of interoperable NFTs that can be collected, bought, sold and used across its games.

"Our mission is to build the first truly AAA experience in the history of web3,” co-founder and game director Aaron Warwick said.

© 2023 The Block. All Rights Reserved. This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

About Author

Callan Quinn is an NFT, gaming and metaverse reporter. She started her career working for the expat magazine City Weekend in Guangzhou, China. She also has worked as a business journalist in the UK, Somaliland and the republic of Georgia. Before joining The Block, she was a freelance journalist covering the Chinese tech industry. She speaks Mandarin, French and German. Get in touch via Twitter @quinnishvili or email [email protected].


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