While streaming personality Herschel “Guy” Beahm IV, more widely known by the moniker Dr DisRespect, has suffered a bit of a fall from grace ever since his Twitch ban in 2020, a new project of his has been generating some noise in the gaming (and cryptocurrency) communities. First appearing on a Times Square billboard back in June, Beahm teased a new development studio named Midnight Society, which is currently in the process of developing their work-in-progress “Project Moon.” Described as a “AAA competitive PvPvE first-person shooter,” Project Moon looks to “capture the essence of arena shooter level design with the scale and scope of battle royale player counts, and the session-to-session gameplay mechanics of extraction-based shooters.” An ambitious mouthful, right?
Good bye NYC.
Wow wow wow wow what a city. pic.twitter.com/HPteCrguis
— Dr Disrespect (@DrDisrespect) June 24, 2022
It gets better, as Beahm has put together a relatively small team of seasoned game developers, anywhere from an original Infinity Ward member to a sandbox design lead for Halo and Gears of War. In addition to a small development team of ten, 12 more non-development members span a wide range of experience, several of them relating to crypto in some way. This smaller team hopes to provide a different development experience, democratizing the process so as to include their so-called “Founders Action Pass holders” – basically, the schmucks that bought in at “Day Zero.” Oh, and that’s the other thing: to access the game’s early “snapshots,” players must own a specific NFT, of which only 10,000 have been sold. However, according to Midnight Society, over 400,000 gamers applied, implying that many more “share their vision for what’s possible.” Whatever that means.
As the gaming audience has consistently shown their complete disinterest in NFT-integrated games, this new iteration is no exception, catching flak on Twitter and abroad for the sell-out nature of charging for playtests. Usually, with most developments, Quality Assurance testing is a paid position that a select few perform, as they are handling an under-developed version of the game and providing feedback to help with content and bugs. For Project Moon, however, the players are the ones paying to test a half-baked game – which is, apparently, the point of the project.
Yet, Beahm insists that “you don’t have to have NFTs to play” and that “it doesn’t change your experience of the game once it releases.” He goes on to say that it will be free-to-play and not pay-to-win, the NFTs only providing an advanced sense of digital ownership Midnight Society feels has been missing since the mass digitization of gaming. Simply, the integration of NFTs will allow those who want more involvement to do so. It remains to be seen how the every-six-week Snapshots will fare, as each of them revolves around “specific feedback parameters,” detailing exactly what the devs want players to focus on in their feedback. The democratization of game development is not an original concept, but Midnight Society’s integration of NFTs aims to provide options for gamers rather than “convert” them, an interesting duality that could turn out either way.