PlayStation veterans Michael Mumbauer and John Garvin have announced Liithos, a new gaming and entertainment studio that will specialize in the development of Web 3 games. A recently launched website for the studio can confirm that one of its first projects will be Ashfall, a “true Web 3.0 AAA title” currently in development for PC and consoles that leverages Hedera’s hashgraph, a blockchain alternative that’s complemented by HBAR, the system’s native cryptocurrency. Mumbauer, who serves as Liithos’ CEO, previously worked as the head of PlayStation’s Visual Arts Service Group and helped develop some of its biggest franchises (e.g., Uncharted and The Last of Us), while Garvin, Liithos’ vice president of creative, had served as the creative director and writer at Bend Studio, the team behind zombie adventure Days Gone. Garvin will be directing and writing Ashfall, a post-apocalyptic title set in the Pacific Northwest hundreds of years in the future.
“Global warming has led to massive flooding and famine,” reads a teaser for the game. “The appearances of the Trace – pockets of dark energy – have created havoc, causing massive electrical storms and igniting volcanic activity worldwide. Civilization has collapsed into local Enclaves at war with each other over ideology and dwindling resources…”
Asked how Web3 would play a role in this project, Mumbauer said, “Transmedia and the power of connected worlds has always been something I’ve been extremely passionate about. There is a bit of a misunderstanding in my opinion on what blockchain gaming could mean for gamers. I see the blockchain as a railway and the main station is videogames.”
He added, “The other rail stations all lead to the main one, which is games and the trains deliver precious cargo (NFTs) to gamers via the other stations. It’s a way to have deeper and more engaging experiences than we’ve ever seen before. We want to reward gamers for doing stuff they already love doing, and create a path from those areas they love back to the thing they love the most, gaming.”