Midnight Society, the new AAA game developer backed by controversial streamer DrDisrespect, aka Guy Beahm, has detailed how its early access plans involve owning “Founders Pass” NFTs.
A blog post by Midnight Society’s Robert Bowling (formerly community manager of Call of Duty studio Infinity Ward) explained that the studio wanted to invite its “Day Zero community”, which are already part of the studio’s Discord, to become paid-up early access members.
These members will pay $50 (or the equivalent in planet-burning Ethereum cryptocurrency) for a Founders Pass NFT which grants membership benefits, plus a unique, procedurally generated “VisorCortex” helmet design. The Pass and the associated benefits can then be sold or traded to others down the line.
Beahm is set to detail more on the game today via livestream.
“As we focus on building the best new PVP multiplayer first-person shooter, we’re looking to leverage the collective strength of our Day Zero community to go hands-on during crucial early development milestones of the project,” Bowling wrote.
“This means building an infrastructure that allows the active participants of our community to experience environments, weapons, movement, and other core tenets of the gameplay at a stage where their feedback, input, and guidance can be incorporated.”
A big ticking countdown clock shows there are just over seven days left to apply for an early Founders Pass. Yes, you can’t just buy one – you have to be granted the ability to buy one.
Midnight Society will grant 10,000 potential applicants the right to purchase a pass using a points-based system, with first dibs for popular content creators or engaged community members.
“Approval is based on a detailed scoring system which helps us identify our most dedicated, long-term community members who are active members of the gaming community in various ways (as a player, as an athlete, as a developer, and/or as a content creator),” Midnight Society explained.
A founder’s pass gets you a “one-of-a-kind Midnight Society call sign and VisorCortex that you own”, early access to game builds, in-game guilds and merchandise, including “future VisorCortex drops”, plus voting rights on game features and access to studio events.
While this states that VisorCortex designs are yours to trade, a later FAQ answer on whether you can commercialise your design had this to say:
“All Midnight Society characters and Variant designs are intellectual property owned by Midnight Society – as such, Access Pass holders cannot sell or commercialise Midnight Society characters or designs in any way.”
On the environmental impact of NFTs, the studio said this (though did not comment on its use of Ethereum): “We are specifically using infrastructure (Polygon) that has a sliver of the environmental impact as traditional NFTs. The carbon impact of claiming Founders Access is equivalent to sending ~2.5 emails.”
Some fans are unhappy. YouTuber Geeky Pastimes, which has created content around Midnight Society in the past, suggested the inclusion of a $50 membership you can trade as an NFT would create the opposite of a community – a goldrush.
There’s also the matter of the game’s use of NFTs likely blocking its release via Steam, which does not allow NFT games.
Last weekend, Beahm announced he was “moving on” from his long-running legal dispute with streaming platform Twitch, which permanently banned him in 2020 for reasons which have never been made public.