Will Luton of Village Studio is sure cross-game avatars will work for Web3 gaming

Will Luton, who has worked at big companies such as Rovio, A Thinking Ape, and SEGA in the past, said in an interview that he is confident the system will work.
Playken and Mii
Village Studio co-founder Will Luton stated in an interview that he is confident that this system will be successful.

Will Luton, who has worked for big companies such as Rovio, A Thinking Ape, TinyCo and SEGA in the past and is currently the Founder of Village Studio, which received a $2.3 million investment last week, spoke to mobilegamer.biz Founder Neil Long about the company’s vision.

Starting his career as a Senior Tester at SEGA, Luton later assumed the role of Assistant Director for a period of 6 months. After working in many companies, Luton worked as a Product Lead at A Thinking Ape from 2014 to 2016.

Village Studio Founder and Chief Product Officer Will Luton

Luton, who later got his first managerial role at Rovio as Senior Product Manager, became a Executive Producer after six months in this role. Today, he continues his career as the Chief Product Officer at Village Studio, where he is the Founder, as well as serving as the Chief Product Consultant under the wings of his own company, Department of Play.

Village Studio announced last week that it had raised $2.3 million from an investment round for its cross-game NFT avatars, Playken. Village Studio Founders include names such as Cyril Barrow, who has held Senior Executive roles at Rovio and EA in the past, and Tak Fung, who has worked at companies such as Google, Microsoft, and Zynga, in addition to Will Luton.

Animoca Brands led the $2.3 million investment round, in which companies such as Venrex, AngelHub, K3, and WinZO participated. Yat Siu, Chairman and Co-Founder of Animoca Brands stated that they are looking forward to the new experiences the Playken project is building and are excited to be a part of the project.

Nintendo has done this before with Mii’s

Speaking about Playken’s vision, Luton says he disagrees with the technical challenges of the cross-game avatar system. Drawing attention to the Mii system implemented in Nintendo‘s consoles, he states that the idea has existed for years and has worked before.

Mii, which appears on Nintendo’s consoles such as 3DS, Wii U, and Nintendo Switch, is a customizable avatar. With various customization options, it could be used as a player avatar in console games and even directly as a character in various games. The most important feature of this system was that it could be shared and transferred manually or automatically with other users over the local network or the internet.

“If you look at Miis on the Wii, you could build a Mii and it would turn up in multiple games. It was the same with the Xbox 360 avatar system. The technical side of it has been solved, you can implement these things. In Unity there will be an SDK, effectively, which allows you to integrate these things. Same with Unreal, I’m sure, down the line.”

Will Luton – Founder and Chief Product Officer, Village Studio

Luton answers the question “so why is no one trying to implement it” that occurs in mind about this system as follows;

“The reason these things were never interesting for game developers is that there was no financial reason for you to implement this avatar system, or for players to necessarily care about them.”

Will Luton – Founder and Chief Product Officer, Village Studio

Saying that NFTs increase ownership in games, it becomes easier for everyone to have their look and identity, and this is a good thing; Luton states that Playkens will take this job to the next level.

“It’s nice to have a consistent look and identity across games, that’s becoming more important to players. But now it becomes more than that, it’s about the items you buy which become boosters, stats and attributes that you care about. That’s the reason to take them from game to game.”

Will Luton – Founder and Chief Product Officer, Village Studio

Luton says Playkens will be found in a wide range of games, from Wii Sports-like games to the battle royale JRPG genre.

“It’s the metaverse, it’s going to be kind of janky. If you’ve ever seen Ready Player One you’ve got these anime avatars walking around with giant robots…. and in Second Life you’ve got a nine foot giraffe alongside a dwarf, right? It’s been proven that actually you can just kind of let this stuff run wild and it doesn’t have to be consistent. Roblox is the same thing.”

Will Luton – Founder and Chief Product Officer, Village Studio

Luton gave the following answer to Neil’s question, “How would you like to deliver these games to people’s hands?”

“We’re waiting to see how this plays out. But it’s certainly PC first, side loading on Google and what happens with iOS and Play Store…we don’t know.”

Will Luton – Founder and Chief Product Officer, Village Studio
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