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Watch > Episode > Mark Long - Shrapnel: Building The First AAA Shooter Game On The Blockchain

Mark Long - Shrapnel: Building The First AAA Shooter Game On The Blockchain


CEO of Shrapnel

Mark Long is a producer, author, and visionary leader in the gaming industry with a long and storied career. He has worked for some of the biggest companies on the planet, while also blazing a trail that is shaping the gaming landscape for a new generation.

As the CEO of NEON Media, Mark is actively spearheading a unique venture that fuses the best of game development with film and television, while elevating transmedia and audience experiences. This forward-thinking approach positions NEON as a trailblazer in redefining how audiences engage with entertainment across multiple platforms.

NEON’s first title is ‘Shrapnel’ – the world’s first blockchain-enabled, first-person shooter (FPS) game, which is being built on Avalanche. The game combines a rich set of player-creation tools, including combat, creation, curation, and connection into a community where players own the platform and decide its future.

Shrapnel is set in a not too distant future in the aftermath of a massive Lunar-Impact Event, where the asteroid 38 Sigma collided with the moon. This led to the formation of the Sacrifice Zone, a 500-kilometre-wide band on Earth, rich in fragments of the asteroid which are called Shrapnel.

The Zone has become a battleground for Mercenary Forces, who are extracting valuable materials and fighting for control over Compound Sigma, a peculiar substance with quantum properties.

“Experience a war-torn, not-too-distant future where a mysterious substance has changed the balance of power as we know it.”

Mark believes gaming is going to be Web3’s first and biggest commercial success, and is therefore fundamentally changing the way games are made and played. By giving players more ownership over their in-game assets, they can participate in the development of the game and create a more immersive and engaging experience.

The problem of course is that up until now, most Web3 games have not been up to scratch and have left traditional gamers less than enthusiastic. And while the number of blockchain players is still relatively small, Mark feels it’s important to target that exact demographic by simply making a “free-to-play game that’s fun to play.”

Mark acknowledges that, generally speaking, gamers aren’t motivated by new financial infrastructure; but rather more interested in adventure, and for blockchain gaming to succeed, developers need to focus on awesome game design instead of trying to prop up their tokens.

“We want to transcend the real world and perhaps embody a totally new persona. In order to build player trust, studios need to focus on amplifying what players already enjoy.”

Mark thinks that if implemented effectively, blockchain offers a system of services that can enhance gameplay and utility and offer players empowerment. Whether that’s the ability to trade or sell their in-game purchases or having a vote on a game’s governance and future plans.

“Web3 games are more transparent, fair, and inclusive than traditional games. They also offer players more opportunities to earn money and to participate in the development of games.”

Mark is a big thinker and a true gamer himself at heart. His vision for the industry goes beyond traditional paradigms and while he’s determined to provide a AAA game that satisfies the hardcore, he believes he can elevate their experience and introduce them to the world of Web3 in a way that no other studio has so far managed.

Previously Mark led the interactive team at HBO’s Digital Products group, was a Program Manager of xCloud at Microsoft, and before that the Founder and CEO of Zombie Studios, an independent game developer and publisher that operated for 23 years.

Here, he produced and launched over 32 titles, for every major platform from SEGA Genesis to the iPhone, and had a who’s who on their client list including major publishers like Microsoft, Disney, Activision and Sony.

Beyond this, Mark has somehow found time to publish 5 graphic novels, one of which – ‘The Silence of Our Friends’ – was a New York Times bestseller. I’m delighted to have Mark joining me in the studio, not least because Shrapnel is one of our most recent investments inside The Investment Club.

Download clips

A number of clips from this exclusive interview are now available to download, share and repost. Spread the word: grab these clips today!

  1. Why Web3 is redefining the gaming paradigm
  2. Cross-platform trading and endless possibilities in Web3
  3. Shrapnel – A FPS on Avalanche
  4. Play-to-Earn with style
  5. A token focused on utility, not speculation
  6. Connecting with audiences across platforms
  7. Future-proofing your franchise
  8. The pursuit of perfection
  9. Building a blockchain-enabled first-person shooter
  10. Global gaming habits
  11. The pursuit of happiness
  12. Crypto catch-up and the US
  13. Shrapnel and AI-powered gaming
  14. From battlefield to game-field
  15. Mark Long’s journey in storytelling
  16. Conquering the blank page
  17. My pioneering advice for game creators
  18. Your life, your movie – unleash the director within


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