Gamers hate NFTs, you say? Not in the world of "Deadrop."
Popular YouTube streamer and former pro esports player Guy “Dr. Disrespect” Beam started his own game studio Midnight Society back in 2021 with plans to create a top-tier first-person shooter. Plans for his first game, "Deadrop," ruffled feathers among crypto haters because Midnight Society released 10,000 optional Polygon NFTs called “Founders Passes” for the unreleased game last year.
Now in its pre-alpha stage, "Deadrop" was publicly play-tested to much fanfare Friday evening by the likes of esports stars Dr. Lupo, Scump, Zlaner, and other pro players.
The three-hour event was held at the Esports Stadium in Arlington, Texas and had a substantial crowd, with one content creator who attended in person, Spike, telling Decrypt that there were “about 500 people” at the event and a long line to get in.
In addition to the IRL audience, Dr. Disrespect’s livestream of the event saw roughly 22,000 concurrent viewers, and Scump’s stream of the event garnered 10,000 concurrent viewers. All things considered, that’s a massive audience for a game that offers NFTs to players.
For those concerned, the Doc’s NFTs do not appear to disrupt or change the gameplay at all. In fact, the 10,000 Founders Pass NFTs appear to function more as tickets to a membership club of sorts, granting holders a one-of-a-kind PFP whose visor can be worn in-game, voting rights on game elements, access to Midnight Society events, priority for merch, access to game builds, and other perks. The current floor price for a Founders Pass is 0.4 ETH, which is about $726.
During the pre-alpha gameplay test, Midnight Society cofounder and ex-"Halo" developer Quinn DelHoyo explained that not only is "Deadrop" person-vs-person (PVP), but it also has a core person-vs-environment element (PVE). This combo is often referred to as PVPVE in gaming, which, while a hefty acronym, accurately describes the gameplay experience centered around taking out other players while also slowly climbing upward to an extraction point before a deathly freeze sets in.
“There is a whole 720 degrees of carnage,” DelHoyo told the crowd of the game’s vertical challenges.
Its PVPVE nature makes "Deadrop" a bit like fellow PVP Battle Royales "Call of Duty: Warzone" or "Apex Legends," but "Deadrop" has a uniquely retro aesthetic. While Midnight Society devs reminded viewers that all the in-game landscapes were still in their very early, unfinished stages, they also expressed a desire to create a world permanently set in the 1980s and 1990s—an aesthetic that matches Doc’s eccentric personality.
One element of "Deadrop" that makes it relatively unique compared to other shooters is the fact that “teaming” is allowed and actually encouraged by the devs. Teaming is when multiple players form groups in the game and agree not to kill each other, even though they could do so and reap great rewards. Teaming in "Deadrop" has its own issues though, such as accidentally shooting your friends or grappling with the impact of betrayal.
Some online viewers were annoyed that "Deadrop" charged players who didn’t own its NFTs $25 to test out its pre-alpha game. To some degree that confusion is understandable considering that Midnight Society’s website states "Deadrop" is “free to play.” One gamer also reported framerate issues with the game, which is being developed in Unreal Engine 5 with ray-tracing.
While Twitter users argued over whether Doc is “obsessed” with NFTs, and others claimed the Midnight Society team is “heavily focused on NFTs,” there was no use of the maligned acronym onstage at the Friday night event.
Instead, the focus remained on hyping up the new gameplay features to the crowd.