London-based Kwari is aiming to shake up the multiplayer online gaming scene in a major way with its PC first-person shooter Kwari, which brings real cash to the forefront of frag action.
Kwari, reckons Kwari (that could get confusing), "will potentially change the PC gaming landscape forever" and explains that it's a game where players make money off each other in real-time.
"The game will ultimately be free to download online, but instead of being subscription based it will use a unique free-to-play/pay-to-play model whereby Kwari sells the player ammunition in place of flat rate charges or monthly subscriptions", the company has said.
Players fighting it out in Kwari for cash set up an account, are then matched on the basis of skill and enter a game at a pre-agreed stake level ranging from 1c to $1 a hit.
During the four-round matches (played on three 16-player maps and one 64-player Last Man Standing map called The Killing Floor) every time a player hits another, money is decremented from the target's stake and added to the shooter's.
"In a way, the player's money stake mirrors their in-game health, except it's exchanged from one player to another", says Kwari.
The company additionally plans to include jackpot prizes for which keys are required to unlock. "These jackpots are fed by self-inflicted damage sustained by the players in all games being played globally."
"For example, if a player jumps from the top of an arena or takes damage from a hazard, their stake is decremented and this feeds into the jackpots, which are then released hourly, daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly - the latter are expected to pay out millions of dollars. Most importantly; all money paid in to the game by players is won out of the game by players."
Kwari's creative producer Eddie Gill has explained that the idea for Kwari the game was spawned in 2000 at E3, when he saw "Peter McDougall (then-GM of Nintendo Canada) speak at E3 and he said that 'online gaming is thrilling from a consumer point of view, but somewhat more chilling from a business perspective'".
Speaking to Edge magazine, Gill said that what he expects of Kwari - "and it's a big claim" - "is to invent professional gaming. That doesn't mean professional in terms of skills or tournaments. It means money."
"When you play Kwari, you quickly realise that the fact that it's designed around money means it's played in a different way to any other FPS... As the user base grows, eventually we're aiming for a several-million-dollar jackpot that will go to one player. A Kwari millionaire".
Kwari will be available for download nearer the end of the year. You can currently sign up for a beta test programme via Kwari's website. The beta test is due to start next week.