Published on November 16, 2023, 11:36 pm

Bazooka Tango, a gaming studio founded by former Rockstar and Riot developers, has successfully raised $5 million in a funding round led by BITKRAFT Ventures. The company plans to allocate the funds towards the development of Shardbound, an immersive multiplayer game that combines elements from trading card games (TCG), tactical maneuvers, and digital collectibles.

Established in 2019 by Bo Daly and Stephan Sherman, veterans in the AAA gaming industry and the minds behind Vainglory, Bazooka Tango aims to revive the abandoned Shardbound title initially started by Spiritwalk Games in 2015. By introducing new features, Bazooka Tango hopes to offer players an enhanced gaming experience.

Shardbound is set on a fantasy island levitating above Earth. In this game, players engage in battles against opposing armies where they strategically use their deck of cards to cast spells and summon minions. Maneuvering across both low and high-ground terrain, as well as utilizing boulders for cover, adds an additional layer of tactics to gameplay. Players can move characters (known as commanders) up to three spaces per round, unleashing melee attacks on nearby enemies or ranged attacks on any enemy within their line of sight.

To amp up the excitement during battles, there is a “Super Meter” that fills up as players trade damage with their opponents. Once complete, players can unleash devastating attacks affecting seven surrounding tiles. It’s important to exercise caution with these attacks so as not to harm allies.

In Shardbound, each player starts with 50 health and one mana crystal. Mana is required for playing cards and activating abilities. Players slowly gain mana each turn until reaching the maximum limit of 10. The player who runs out of health first loses the game.

Bazooka Tango has also introduced “Victory Points” as an alternate victory condition in Shardbound. By hitting a “Victory Crystal” that spawns on a player’s second turn, players can collect Victory Points. The first person to accumulate 10 victory points wins the game. This addition adds an exciting strategic dimension to gameplay.

According to Bo Daly, Bazooka Tango plans to expand the content of Shardbound with seasonal releases. Additionally, the company has other upcoming features in the pipeline such as deck building and leaderboards, aiming to offer players more extended gameplay options.

The business model of Bazooka Tango revolves around player retention and in-app purchases since Shardbound is free-to-play.

During the initial playtest phase, a thousand creators including @Kripparian, @DansGaming, @BruceGreene, @YellowPanther, and @GAM3Sgg participated. Chris Clay, Immutable’s vice president of game design and former Magic: The Gathering Arena game director, also livestreamed his experience on Twitch two months ago. The playtest resulted in over 50,000 pre-registrations and generated over 10,000 hours of watched content.

Bazooka Tango is planning to launch a public beta later this year before its official release in 2024. The game will be accessible on platforms such as Steam, Epic Games Store, Apple Store, and Google Play Store. While there are plans for mobile device accessibility in the future, the company’s current focus is on providing a solid PC gaming experience.

Bo Daly mentioned that they aim to be fully cross-platform within the next year as they recognize the importance of being available where gamers are. This hints at potential expansion into other channels down the line.

In addition to BITKRAFT Ventures’ participation in the recent funding round, RW3 Ventures, Sfermion Ventures, Foresight Ventures, and Builder Capital were among the other contributors. Alongside developing Shardbound further, Bazooka Tango intends to utilize these funds to expand its team of twelve people and launch three new titles currently in development.

Daly expressed gratitude for the resources that enable Bazooka Tango to pursue such an ambitious vision. With a major infrastructure project underway to connect all these gaming experiences into something exceptional, they are determined to create a world-class team capable of bringing it all together.

With the rise of web3 gaming, presidents from Polygon and Immutable predict that an estimated 100 million gamers will come onboard within the next two years. This growing trend presents exciting opportunities for the gaming industry as a whole.

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