Bazooka Tango – a gaming studio founded by former Rockstar and Riot developers – raised $5 million in a funding round led by Bitcraft Ventures. Proceeds will be put toward Shardbound, an upcoming immersive multiplayer game that combines trading card game (TCG) elements, tactical maneuvers, and digital collectibles.
The company was founded in 2019 by AAA gaming industry veterans Bo Daley and Stephen Sherman, the minds behind Vainglory, a multiplayer online battle arena game. Vainglory was developed and published by Super Evil MegaCorp, Daly and Sherman’s previous gaming venture.
Some of you may recognize the title Shardbound; It was initiated by Spiritwalk Games in 2015, but did not yield any results. Bazooka Tango is revitalizing the game, bringing new features that players can enjoy. Shardbound was developed in collaboration with Web3 publisher Immutable.
Basically, Shardbound is like Hearthstone married to Final Fantasy Tactics. Set on a fictional island flying above the Earth, players face opposing armies, using their deck of cards to cast spells and summon minions. Players can also collect achievement and login rewards such as weapons and loot boxes.
Characters (aka commanders) move around a hexagonal battlefield and must navigate both low and high terrain, as well as boulders to hide behind. They can move up to three spaces per round and make a melee attack against adjacent enemies or attack any enemy in line of sight.
There is also a “Super Meter”, which fills when the player deals damage. Once completed, they can deal six damage to the surrounding seven tiles, causing a devastating effect on nearby opponents. (However, be careful not to hurt allies.)
Players choose from five types of commanders.
Guide: Equipped with glowing golden wings, shields, and healing powers.
Steelsingers: Destructive geniuses who create and operate “chromia-burning” technology.
Land Size: Uses the ability to manipulate stone, create fire, and reshape the entire structure of the land.
Fate guardian: Chaotic and powerful beings who can bend time and space.
blood drinker: Use your allies and your own body to awaken magical abilities.
Each player starts with 50 health and one mana crystal. Mana is required to play cards and activate abilities. The maximum number of mana is 10, which players gradually gain each turn. Naturally, the one whose health gets worse loses the game.
Additionally, Bazooka Tango introduced “Victory Points”, which players can collect by hitting “Victory Crystals”, which are generated on the player’s second turn. The first person to score 10 victory points wins. This optional victory condition “opens up a new strategic dimension to the gameplay and should keep some viewers on the edge of your seat,” Daly told us.
The daily also confirmed that Bazooka Tango hopes to “broaden the game’s content with seasonal releases”. Other upcoming features include deck building, leaderboards, and more expanded gameplay.
Since Shardbound is free-to-play, Bazooka Tango’s business model depends on player retention and in-app purchases.
Image Credit: bazooka tango
A thousand creators participated in the initial playtest, including @kriperian, @DansGaming, @BruceGreen, @yellowpanther, @GAM3Sgg even more. Even Chris Clay, Immutable’s vice president of game design and former Magic: The Gathering Arena game director, broadcast live on Twitch two months ago. The playtest received over 50,000 pre-registrations, with 10,000 hours watched.
Bazooka Tango will launch a public beta later this year. It will officially launch in 2024 and will be available on Steam, Epic, Apple Store, and Google Play Store. The company plans to make it accessible through mobile devices; However, for now the company is focusing on the core PC experience.
Daly pointed to expansion into “other potential channels” in the future, saying, “We hope to be fully cross-platform within the next year… The most important thing is to be where the gamers are.”
The recent funding round saw participation from RW3 Ventures, Sefermion, Foresight Ventures and Builder Capital, among others. In addition to developing Shardbound, Bazooka Tango will use the funds to help grow its team of a dozen people and launch three new, in-development titles.
“We have three other titles in progress that we’re excited to bring to market once Shardbound finds its footing. This is all happening alongside a major infrastructure project that we are undertaking to allow us to connect all of these experiences together in a way that is much greater than the sum of its parts. So, there is a lot for us to do, and we are extremely grateful to have the resources to pursue such an ambitious vision and build a world-class team to bring it together,” said Daly.