Cardano Founder Charles Hoskinson's Studio Releases First Game—But It's on GalaChain

Outspoken Cardano founder Charles Hoskinson surprised Crypto Twitter last week when he announced his “first game is coming out,” alongside a trailer for a game launching on blockchain gaming platform Gala.

When one user asked about it, Hoskinson simply replied, “I have six companies.”

With Voyager: Ascension out today on Gala’s new GalaChain network, now we know a bit more about this particular company—and what Hoskinson’s involvement is.

RFLXT, the company behind the game, told Decrypt that it is an Input Output Global portfolio company, and Hoskinson is the co-founder and CEO of IOG. Hoskinson “doesn’t have a position within RFLXT itself,” a RFLXT spokesperson clarified.

(Following publication of this story, Hoskinson tweeted a video in which he says he’s a board member at the company and that RFLXT was a “spinout company” from IOG. As previously noted, the studio’s PR rep told Decrypt before publication that Hoskinson did not have a position at the company.)

“Our mission at RFLXT is to reinvent what entertainment can be, by launching and combining innovative technologies we haven’t seen combined before,” a spokesperson told Decrypt’s GG via email. “A big focus of our platform is allowing developers and creators (influencers, streamers, etc.) to launch in an environment that’s totally new.”

A key strategy for RFLXT is approaching the developers of old PC titles and helping “introduce them to the Web3 world,” they added. This is how Voyager: Ascension came to be. Originally launched in 2018 as Overload, the game hailed from some of the creators of old-school classic shooter Descent. Now it’s been reworked for the crypto world.

“We worked with that team to license the game and introduce features for Web3 audiences,” the RFLXT spokesperson told Decrypt.

Overload is currently available on Steam for $30 with nearly 1,500 very positive reviews. The gameplay looks almost identical to its Web3 counterpart as a fast-paced, sci-fi shooter akin to Quake, albeit in a spaceship. Voyager: Ascension is launching as a purely single-player experience, with a multiplayer mode “coming soon.” Overload has both modes available now.

However, Voyager: Ascension is releasing for free on Gala Games with what the team described as a “very low-priced token season pass” available.

But why GalaChain and not Cardano?

“Helping grow the presence and awareness for games built on Cardano is a major focus for us,” RFLXT told Decrypt’s GG. “But it’s also important to us that RFLXT work with a variety of chains and platforms, as we want to help grow and build the entire space in a new way.”

A core goal for the company is interoperability, as a result RFLXT believes that this partnership with Gala “just made sense,” as “their mission aligns closely with ours.” With that said, the team also confirmed that they are “working with Cardano games” for the RFLXT platform.

“Ultimately, our goal is for our titles to be released in a variety of places,” RFLXT said. “With the special integrations to our Digital Doubles and other RFLXT portal features working across platforms and chains.”

Digital Doubles is an AI-driven product that will enable influencers and streamers to integrate themselves into games. Depending on the title, Digital Doubles will interact with players in a variety of ways, from unlocking special features to being playable characters.

While Voyager: Ascension won’t be integrating this feature, when the RFLXT platform launches “later this summer,” the first full platform title called Chronoshot will integrate Digital Doubles. The team promised “some other titles following that,” with plans to showcase what’s next at August’s Rare Evo conference in Las Vegas.

Edited by Andrew Hayward

Editor’s note: This story was updated after publication to include the detail from Hoskinson’s tweeted video that he’s a board member at RFLXT, which the company did not share when asked prior to publication.

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