Good Luck Games, the Olympia, Wash.-based studio behind the digital card game Storybook Brawl, has been acquired by the Chicago company West Shire Games, Inc., which also owns the crypto exchange FTX. Financial details were not disclosed.
As part of the acquisition, Good Luck Games will be folded into FTX’s recently announced gaming initiative, FTX Gaming.
Storybook Brawl, currently a free-to-play game in Steam Early Access, is an “auto-battler” that takes most of its inspiration from fairy tales and folklore. Up to eight players can face off against one another with summoned armies of dwarves, angry sheep, vampires, sorcerers, and princesses. It’s got a substantial learning curve, but it’s an entertaining, addictive experience that’s rated Very Positive overall on Steam at time of writing.
The creators of Brawl began work on it as a pandemic project in early 2020 before they took it to Early Access in 2021, with a mobile version planned for future release.
Good Luck Games CEO Matthew Place is a former Magic: The Gathering Pro Tour champion who went on to become a lead designer on Hearthstone and the World of Warcraft trading card game. Three other members of the team —Josh Utter-Leyton, Matt Nass, and Luis Scott-Vargas — are also former professional Magic: The Gathering pro players.
“As we build our team of outstanding artists at GL Games, we wanted to develop ways for both the artists and players to benefit from and feel ownership in the success of the game,” Place said in a press release. “We found that FTX has a similar mindset in creating the model for digital object ownership done right.”
FTX Gaming is a “blockchain-as-a-service” arm of the larger FTX exchange, which promises to integrate “environmentally friendly blockchain technologies” in order to remain carbon neutral. Its aim with the acquisition is reportedly to use Storybook Brawl as a testbed, in order to find ways to integrate blockchain technologies into video games without turning off those games’ audience.
“We couldn’t stop playing Storybook Brawl when it became available last summer,” said FTX co-founder Sam Bankman-Fried in an official release. “Outside of it being an incredibly fun game our whole office enjoys, we saw an opportunity to be the vanguard for the ethical integration of gaming and crypto transactions in a way that hasn’t yet been done in this space.”
Within hours of the initial announcement of the FTX acquisition, Storybook Brawl was review-bombed on Steam, with multiple players leaving negative comments that specifically regard Brawl‘s new intended status as a testbed for blockchain gaming strategies.
Storybook Brawl will make its debut as an FTX property at this year’s Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, where it will be featured at FTX’s booth. Reportedly, FTX also has plans to offer an art-based NFT drop during the show.