Illuvium offers players a AAA gaming experience, complete ownership of in-game assets, and a cryptocurrency primer
“In building the game, we have added and added to the scope... It’s a community – they govern us, and they can bring things in.”
What sets Illuvium apart from earlier generations of games is its use of the Ethereum blockchain as an underpinning technology to enabled trusted commerce. This gives players a secure and immutable method of owning their characters as non-fungible tokens (NFTs), meaning they can trade characters and purchase other assets within the game environment.
Serious family business
Illuvium is the creation of brothers Kieran and Aaron Warwick, who, with help from a third brother, Grant, have combined their unique skill sets to bring the game to life. Kieran describes his talents as being in the business world, whereas Aaron brings a background in game design, and Grant in computer generated imagery (CGI).
The team also benefitted from the advice of another brother, Kain Warwick, who has built a solid reputation as a cryptocurrency investor and thought leader in the emerging concepts of Web3 and decentralised finance. Kieran says Kain’s insights and connections were essential for helping Illuvium raise funds, which it achieved through a token offer.
Kieran first began developing the concept of a blockchain-based game in early 2020, as a means of allowing gamers to take full ownership of their in-game creations. Together, Kieran and Aaron spent two weeks putting together concept graphics and a 15-page game design document that formed the foundation of Illuvium.
“From there, we started building a team. We had 20 people by January 2021, including the lead concept artist, lead animators, and a CFO,” Kieran says. “I was relentless about getting experts in their field. None of us had built a AAA game before, but these hires were important for investors.”
Just 14 months later, Illuvium released a beta version of the game and began inviting players to join. The team has now grown to 250 and Illuvium has invited 12,000 people into its beta version – and has another 1.9 million on its waiting list.
While the valuation of the Illuvium tokens has fluctuated, in June this year the company raised an additional $74 million in a virtual land sale as more people bought into the concept.
Players can earn crypto tokens as they play, which they can redeem for in-game assets or wager on tournament battles. Players can also own virtual land within the game’s world, which they use to produce fuel – a critical element for catching and upgrading Illuvials.
“With what we’ve set up on AWS, the serverless architecture, we can essentially spin up hundreds of millions of players.” Kieran says. “It’s completely scalable and they’re all in a global region so everyone can play with everyone.”
AWS Services Used
Amazon OpenSearch Service
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Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (Amazon VPC) gives you full control over your virtual networking environment, including resource placement, connectivity, and security. Get started by setting up your VPC in the AWS service console.
AWS Amplify is a complete solution that lets frontend web and mobile developers easily build, ship, and host full-stack applications on AWS, with the flexibility to leverage the breadth of AWS services as use cases evolve. No cloud expertise needed.
AWS Activate offers startups free tools, resources, and more to quickly get started on AWS