Blue Isle Studios has launched its sci-fi shooter game Leap. And the unusual thing about it is that it already has a collection of user-generated mods from the Overwolf platform.
The team-based, aerial, first-person shooter is available now on the PC, Sony consoles and Xbox machines. To supercharge the launch, Blue Isle Studios partnered with all-in-one modding firm Overwolf to deliver a steady stream of user-generated content (UGC).
Those include map variants and unique game modes like “One Bullet, One Kill” at launch. In that mod, each player only gets one bullet. If they kill another player, they get that player’s bullet. If they miss, they’re out of luck. This kind of UGC will enable Leap to go down in history as perhaps the first game with so much UGC at launch, said Uri Marchand, CEO of Overwolf, in an interview with GamesBeat.
Overwolf teamed up with the studio early on and secretly revealed the necessary tools and assets for the modders to go to work early. And so Leap is arriving on consoles with an extensive selection of UGC, including private servers, diverse official maps and modes and a robust content roadmap.
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“With UGC, there is always the chicken and egg problem. Game developers tend to focus on a very high-quality game,” Marchand said. “And then when the game explodes and becomes massively popular, people start creating content around the game. But then the studio is too busy keeping the servers up and scaling the infrastructure. So they never get to the UGC part.”
He added, “But if you’re able to get that available at day zero, I think it actually increases the likelihood of the game being successful. there are a lot of creators creating content. In preparation for this launch, we had a group of creators working with us to create all these experiences. It was quite fast.”
Included at launch is notable content from Overwolf modder Thomas, who has come up with Sniper vs. Runners where the goal is to either snipe the runners from a distance as a sniper or dodge the snipers’ bullets while trying to complete goals as a runner on a vertical parkour map.
Another Overwolf modder, Lukas, created a private server dubbed Leap Hardpoint, a multiplayer mode that randomizes players’ weapons by requiring everyone to vote for them. Only Dragons is another mod created by Overwolf modder Eru. In that mod, players replace all vehicles in the game with dragons.
Leap Design Works
With Leap Design Works, players have endless opportunities to build community content through new modding features that allow fans to modify virtually anything in Leap. Players can make new modes of play, build original maps, create slick character skins, modify vehicles physics, redesign weapons and more.
Through the Leap modding suite, modders can unleash their creativity. The intuitive tools provide huge potential for Leap as they encourage creators to design content that will be featured within the game on both PC and console.
Overwolf creators are not the only modders currently featured. Leap features a variety of mods from the most advanced modders to novice creators who are using the Unreal Engine for the first time. Leap community members include several high school students from New Jersey’s Bergen County Tech that have developed UGC content available and playable today.
The new modding capabilities in Leap are for everyone and provide endless opportunities for gameplay within the high-flying action shooter.
In Leap, players select from four unique hero classes, each delivering a distinct balance of power, agility and defense as well as epic abilities.
They can call in orbital strikes, set up automated turrets, or control guided cruise missiles as each exosuit is armed to the teeth. Large-scale combat takes place on a variety of stages and skilled mercenaries use jetpacks, grappling hooks, and personal vehicles to close the distance on control points and active firefights. Don’t be surprised if you see a mercenary on a mechanical moose galloping at full speed.
Founded in 2010, Blue Isle Studios is an independent video game developer and publisher in Toronto, Canada. Led by industry veterans Alex Tintor and Brenden Frank, Blue Isle has established itself with titles that have sold millions of copies worldwide.
Tel Aviv-based Overwolf supports more than 1,500 games, 165,000 creators and 35 million monthly active users with its modding platform. In 2022, Overwolf paid over $160 million to in-game creators and it has raised $150 million to date from investors including Andreessen Horowitz, Griffin Gaming Partners, Insight Partners, and others.
“We have a really cool high-quality game, built in Unreal 4, launching with day zero support for UGC,” Marchand said. “Maybe this is what’s going to make this game great.”
Those mods are going to be available across platforms with full support. Right now there are about 10 servers available and more will be available later.
“At the end of the day, what we care about the most is the quality of the servers,” Marchand said. “It’s about the quality.”
There won’t be monetization for the UGC at launch, but in about a month or so the free-to-play monetization opportunities will appear. The community members will get the largest cut of the proceeds, while Overwolf and Blue Isle Studios will also get their cuts. Overwolf has about 145 people and it did $50 million in ad revenue last year.