Philippine-based MetaDhana Studio launched its first blockchain-based, non-fungible token (NFT) fighting game called “Rooster Wars” last April 9 in Makati City. The so-called alpha event was held in Fashion Interiors, a one-stop destination for art and furniture in an avant-garde setting.
MetaDhana’s top brass led by CEO Mikhail Jon Peñalosa welcomed the gaming community to this launch event, which was graced by industry stalwarts such as Mike Atayde and Daniel Matsunaga. AAG Ventures Co-Founder Omar Moscoso was a keynote speaker along with featured artists Jay Mosquera, Win Dolores, and Vanessa Tolentino.
Other executives of this Filipino-owned tech startup who delivered speeches were Jaime Busa, Head of Product; Dexter Paglinawan, Chief Marketing Officer; Jed Mark Serilla, Head of Growth & Community; Ben Joseph Banta, Head of Gaming; and Ian del Carmen, Head of Metaverse Development.
Highlighting the program was an exhibition of “Rooster Wars” – a multiplayer game where players can collect and play to earn by fighting with their roosters in the arena and finishing levels in adventure mode.
This online game was inspired by “Street Fighter” and other classic video games, but its mechanics are simpler. In terms of playability, it is both inclusive and competitive with added depth, allowing players to customize the build of their players and formulate strategies to win in real time.
Set on a distant planet called Galleos, “Rooster Wars” differentiates itself from the controversial “e-sabong” or online cockfighting – which started becoming popular in the Philippines during the first two years of the Covid-19 pandemic, when most people stayed at home.
Unlike e-sabong, “Rooster Wars” is animated and story-driven. It promotes a cruelty-free experience and only in-game resources are spent when participating in battles or revitalizing burned-out roosters. According to Peñalosa, there is no direct betting from both players and spectators, thus making it far from outright gambling.
The game itself comes with a free-to-play option such that online gamers are given the chance to try a new gaming experience in a play-to-earn fighting game. It came into fruition through a joint venture with Ranida Games, a homegrown game development company that created the globally popular online game called Basketball Slam!
Banta said cockfighting has a negative connotation in some regions, but it has been embedded in Filipino culture as well as in such countries as Thailand and Brazil. He revealed that “Rooster Wars” incorporates some elements of the cultural tradition but purposely removes any association with human beings.
Peñalosa disclosed that the MetaDhana team conducted extensive economic research and financial modeling before designing the economy of “Rooster Wars.” Their goal is to create a sustainable economy for the players through a hybrid design combining elements of the subscription model and the self-paying capabilities of decentralized finance.
Serilla emphasized that if Vietnam has “Axie Infinity” as its signature NFT-based video game which has taken the gaming world by storm, the Philippines has its “Rooster Wars” that is set to conquer the global gaming scene.
J. Albert Gamboa is a Life Member of the Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines (FINEX). He is the Chairman of the FINEX Media Affairs Committee and the Editor-in-Chief of FINEX Digest. The opinion expressed herein does not necessarily reflect the views of these institutions and the Manila Bulletin. #FinexPhils www.finex.org.ph