Popular Twitch and YouTube streamer Dr. DisRespect, aka Guy Bheam co-founded a game studio late last year called Midnight Society to develop a AAA shooter—and now they’re incorporating NFTs that let its holders help the developers make the game. The “vertical battle royale” that Bheam and Midnight Society is developing aims to have a strong focus on community-building and building with the community hence its introduction of NFTs.
Bheam under the name Dr. DisRespect has a loyal following on Twitch with over 4 million subscribers. He has made his name streaming battle royale games such as PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG), Call of Duty: Warzone and Fortnite. Bheam had recently started Midnight Studio back in December 2021, together with former Call of Duty creative strategist Robert Bowling and Halo 5 multiplayer designer Quinn Delhoyo. The studio promised they would be creating a community-focused online PVP multiplayer experience that would be the first of its kind.
There have been considerably high expectations for the game they will be developing, especially considering the minds behind the project. However, there has yet to be an update until its latest blog post earlier in March detailing its new community-focused features.
In the post, Bowling stated that as they head into the beta stage of the game, they want the community involved in the development of the game and core gameplay by incorporating any feedback they get from the community stating that:
“We’re looking to leverage the collective strength of our Day Zero community to go hands-on during crucial early development milestones of the project. This means building an infrastructure that allows the active participants of our community to experience environments, weapons, movement, and other core tenets of the gameplay at a stage where their feedback, input, and guidance can be incorporated.”
In order to facilitate this approach, the Dr. Disrespect and Midnight Society has decided to sell Founders Access Passes, which are basically NFTs to 10,000 select members of the community. Holders of these passes will be called Variants. These Variants will be the first to actually experience the game firsthand and be part of the decision making process on its development:
“[The Access Passes will] grant the holders exclusive access to the early builds of the game, private Discord channels, and the ability to not only play but vote on key design decisions that will shape the future development of the game in both micro (reload speeds, recoil balancing, time-to-kill tweaks) and macro (maps, modes, meta) ways.”
Access Passes also include a unique VisorCortex ID NFT that is different with every user and identifies you as a verified avatar in and outside the community. These passes can also be sold to other players along with the attached VisorCortex ID similar to selling any other NFT. The developers also promise that Founders Access Pass holders will have access to exclusive gear drops and would be part of guest lists for major conventions and meet-ups.
Dr. Disrespect and company also mentioned that those that are interested to buy access pass NFTs will need to go through a vetting process. This is allegedly to ensure that only community members get to benefit from the Founders Access. This also eliminates profiteers and non-community members that have no interest in the long-term development of the game.
Applicants need to meet the following criteria in order to join:
- When you joined the Midnight Society community
- How active you’ve been in the community
- How active of a gamer or creator or developer you are in general
- Your vision for what makes a good PVP shooter
Founders Access Passes are available for $50 for the 10,000 community members that qualify. The developers have mentioned that once you pay for the access pass, you can do it as you please. Holders or Variants, will be able to keep it for the benefits or sell/trade it to other interested users.
Analysis and Perspective
While the new updates for this game do sound promising in terms of community focus and it being feedback-driven there is little to no news to the actual game or possible gameplay apart from it being an online multiplayer PVP shooter. This, understandably, has left many with mixed reactions to the Founders Access Pass.
Many in the community or have been following Dr. DisRespect have questions as to why they should purchase Founders Access Pass for a game that doesn’t even exist yet—which is actually par for the course for many NFT gaming projects making them susceptible to scams like rug pulls. It made a bad first impression with many players especially since the Founders Access pass seems more like a bid for funding rather than getting players involved.
Some have also raised concerns that this move to include NFTs focuses too much on profitability rather than gameplay with one popular streamer, Asmongold, saying it’s a “huge mistake” to suddenly include NFT in the game and that it could damage the reputation and “authenticity” of Dr. DisRespect in the long run.
This could also present an issue with the game having a potential release on Steam as the gaming platform has banned all games that have NFTs or blockchain-enabled back in October 2021.
From the editor: There’s also an underlying concern of the core idea of the Founders Access Pass. Its holders essentially pay money to help with the decision making process in making the game. While tactics like this are usually in traditional gaming’s early access models, usually they already have some early form of the game to grant early access to and participants merely improve on what’s already there.
The game that Midnight Society is selling doesn’t even have a name yet, let alone an early access build. It just feels like they’re selling people the right to make the game for them, instead of with them.
Of course this doesn’t do any favors to the mainstream perception of NFT projects in gaming as many such efforts have been met with serious skepticism and intense backlash
United Gamers writers offer their unique Analysis and Perspective as expert opinions to help readers understand the context of the facts. These opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the publication or its principals.