Block Tackle to Develop Solana NFT Skateboarding Game, Backed By Game Industry Vets
Updated: Mar 23
Coinbase Ventures, Solana Ventures, Concept Art House, and Animoca back a new studio of game industry veterans building NFT games on Solana.
San Francisco – March 22, 2022 - Block Tackle, a new game studio whose immersive, fun-ﬁrst games leverage blockchain technology and allow players to own their own digital assets, has closed a $5M seed round co-led by Cadenza Ventures and Play Ventures, the company revealed today as it announced its oﬃcial launch.
Block Tackle’s mission is to upgrade the traditional gaming model — where players pay to have fun and developers proﬁt — by making top-quality, supremely entertaining games that use blockchain technology and digital asset ownership (NFTs, or non-fungible tokens) that allow players to literally invest in the game and its community while having fun.
“Block Tackle is dedicated to building the ﬁrst generation of great games in blockchain,” said co-founder Ben Topkins. “We’ve assembled a team that believes in the future of blockchain technology but doesn’t believe it should come at the cost of pure player enjoyment”
“Our goal is to make blockchain games accessible and irresistible to all, and there is no better way to start than with SkateX,” said Block Tackle co-founder Rob Oshima. “ Players own their in-game items and participate in the game economy while building their skills alongside other skate enthusiasts from around the globe. We’re taking gaming from a zero-sum experience to a positive-sum experience for players.”
Block Tackle’s $5M in seed funding — from co-leaders Cadenza Ventures and Play Ventures alongside Animoca Brands, Coinbase Ventures, Solana Ventures, Brevan Howard, Concept Art House, House Fund, Hustle Fund, Pirata Ventures, SOL Big Brain (Solana inﬂuencer), Kevin Lin (Twitch/Duskbreakers), Holly Liu (Kabam/PKO), Robin Thurston (Outside Group CEO), and others — will be used to build out its game development studios.
“The future of gaming means embracing blockchain technology, NFTs and crypto — but for many, those concepts are hard to understand at best,” said Cadenza Ventures Managing Partner Max Shapiro. “We are thrilled to support Block Tackle and its team of seasoned gaming veterans as they usher in a new era in games by redeﬁning the value proposition for players.”
Members of the Block Tackle team — including co-founders Rob Oshima and Ben Topkins— have helped to create some of the world’s most popular games, including Hobbit: Kingdoms of Middle-earth; Fast & Furious: Legacy; MARVEL Strike Force; and AVATAR: Pandora Rising. Oshima and Topkins met while working at Kabam (the company behind successful games like MARVEL Contest of Champions and Transformers: Forged to Fight) and later built NERF Strike on Roblox, a NERF FPS game that now has more than 30M plays, 10M+ players, and an 84 percent positive rating.
About Concept Art House Since 2007, Concept Art House (CAH) has provided art for some of the most popular and successful game companies in the world. CAH has shipped over 1000 games and collectibles with the most influential brands in gaming, entertainment, and digital assets/NFTs with many reaching top rankings in iTunes, Google Play, Steam, OpenSea, and console marketplaces. CAH is proud of its successful track record and its team of world-class art directors, dedicated producers, and talented artists who bring decades of expertise in digital entertainment, technology, and creative services to our partners. CAH has created art for gaming franchises such as: Call of Duty Mobile, Fortnite, Game of Thrones: Conquest, Hearthstone, League of Legends, Magic: The Gathering, Marvel: Contest of Champions, NBA 2K series, ROBLOX, PUBG and many more. CAH is headquartered in San Francisco with offices in Shanghai and Chengdu. Visit us at www.conceptarthouse.com
About Block Tackle Block Tackle Inc. is a San-Francisco-based studio dedicated to creating the ﬁrst generation of fun-ﬁrst blockchain games. Founders Rob Oshima and Ben Topkins assembled a team of fellow game industry veterans with experience making games for EA, Kabam, Lucasﬁlm, Roblox, Telltale and Supercell. Block Tackle — which raised $5M in a seed funding round co-led by Cadenza Ventures & Play Ventures — is actively building an engaged community around its debut game, SkateX, in the run-up to its highly anticipated drop of a collection of 3D animated skateboard NFTs. For more information on the company, visit skatex.io.
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