The most interesting dimension in Liithos’ announcement is obviously the prospect of seeing what the alliance between Michael Mumbauer and John Garvin can give. The first is the former boss of the PlayStation Visual Arts department, the same one who left Sony with part of his team after realizing that his dream of becoming a full-fledged studio was not going to come true under the direction of Jim Ryan and Hermen Hulst. The Last of Us Part I, remember? According to information from Jason Schreier, it was Michael Mumbauer’s team who began development of this PS5 remake before Naughty Dog took over the project entirely.
John Garvin, he had admitted and explained his share of responsibility in his dismissal from Bend Studio, a team for which he carried the main games as a screenwriter since the very first Siphon Filter. His volcanic temperament had apparently precipitated this departure and somehow facilitated the work of Sony, which apparently never wanted to validate a sequel to Days Gone.
It’s perhaps no coincidence that John Garvin is now working on Ashfall, a new open-world action-adventure game that is aiming for release on consoles and PC. The game is set in the Pacific Northwest (yes, like Days Gone) but hundreds of years in the future, as global warming has ravaged the Earth in alternating floods and fires. So far everything seems normal, but the release of Liithos integrates its game in a dose of modernity based on “Web 3.0” which does not facilitate the understanding of the project.
“Our goal is to create a true next-gen open-world experience that leverages new technologies to enable user-generated content. As always, we’re focused on creating beloved characters, compelling stories, evolving gameplay, and a fun world to explore, not just in games, but in other media as well.“, assures Michael Mumbauer in a press release thought more for the shareholders than for the players. “At Liithos, we want to bring the next evolution of AAA gaming to the masses in a connected way like never before.“, he adds. For this, Ashfall relies on the Hedera network, a cryptocurrency that presents itself as an alternative to blockchain technology that is less harmful to the environment.
And that’s good because Ashfall will have players fighting to survive in a world that has suffered the devastating effects of global warming. It is billed as a connected single-player game that will evolve into a PvP and PvE multiplayer transmedia world. According to the press release, the use of the Hedera network will in fact be optional and its purpose will be to set up an experience based on building, selling and exchanging.
Determined to awaken the specter of transmedia, Ashfall has also forged partnerships with creators, artists and influencers from the world of comics. The first contact with the universe of the game will therefore be through a digital comic written by John Garvin with a cover by Brett Booth (DC Comics). The comic in question is even sold for 100 dollars in the form of NFT on the Liithos store. Global warming or not, the future is definitely a dream.