Sniper Spotlight with Studio 369’s CEO Matt Candler

When a team of industry leaders with experience working on AAA games like The Walking Dead, Fortnite, MechWarrior 2, and myriad of other classic titles come together in Web3, big things are bound to happen.

Introducing Studio 369, a Web3 gaming studio and the creators of ‘Metalcore,’ a new blockchain-powered MMO where users in an alien world battle for military and economic supremacy. Currently in closed beta, the team has high hopes for the game, the studio, and the future of Web3 gaming.

Last week, we were lucky enough to catch up with the CEO of Studio 369, Matt Candler, to talk about the studio’s origins, the team’s vision, and much more. Check it out.

Can you please introduce yourself and explain your role at the company?

I’m Matt Candler, CEO of Studio 369. I’ve been in the gaming industry for nearly three decades, starting at Activision in 1995 working on titles including MechWarrior 2, Battlezone 2, and Dark Reign.

Since then, I’ve led production, publishing, and financing efforts across PC, console, mobile, and VR platforms. From pioneering Win95 and 3D Card tech to diving into console and mobile gaming, I’ve shipped over 100 titles, including hits like Ironman and The Walking Dead games.

Now, with Studio 369, I specialize in Action/RPG, Survival, Building, and FPS games. Our team excels in online multiplayer experiences and is currently developing MetalCore, an open-world mech shooter title.

What are the origins of Metalcore and Studio369? How did it all begin?

MetalCore and Studio 369 emerged from a fusion of industry expertise, drawing from Dan Nikolaides’ and my background at Activision and Midway Games, and Vic Lopez’s extensive 25-year tenure, which includes contributions to iconic franchises like Mortal Kombat, along with his experience from Lucasfilm and Disney.

Coming from the Web2 gaming industry, we saw a gap in the market for AAA games in the Web3 space that are focused on great gameplay and the gamer’s overall experience.

This is what inspired us to set MetalCore apart with its diverse gameplay, including first and third-person shooter mechanics, a three-way faction system, and rich in-game lore. Additionally, the integration of blockchain technology allows players to own in-game assets as NFTs and trade these items freely. We see this as an important step in the broader evolution of gaming, and it is a major component of both MetalCore and the games we hope to build in the future.

Tell us about your recent funding round. What are you most excited about it for and how will the funds be used?

Our recent $5 million funding round, supported by investors like BITKRAFT, SpartanGroup and Arrington Capital, is an exciting milestone for Studio 369.

We’re particularly enthusiastic about the opportunity to further develop MetalCore’s features, including our AI-powered Dynamic Missions System, ensuring near-infinite replayability for players. These funds will also enable us to scale our ecosystem, onboard new partners, and reach millions of players. Overall, we’re thrilled to continue pushing the boundaries of gaming innovation and delivering an exceptional experience to our community.

What sets MetalCore apart from the competition?

MetalCore has been in development for over three years and is the first mech shooter to be developed in Web3. A lot of blockchain games today are focused on play-to-earn models to draw in gamers. However, our game is primarily focused on providing a truly enjoyable gaming experience where users can play without needing to engage in any Web3 elements in the game, nor needing to purchase any NFTs from the get-go.

We’re also really lucky that MetalCore’s dystopian universe was designed by the well-renowned Stephan Martiniere, best known for his incredible work on Star Wars, Tron: Legacy, and Star Trek. Our team of industry veterans, each with more than a decade of experience have worked on titles that include iconic games and franchises such as Gears of War, Mortal Kombat, Silent Hill, Killer Instinct, Front Mission, LOTR Return to Moria.

What’s the goal of Studio369? How does the company plan to evolve?

Studio 369’s goal is to create groundbreaking gaming experiences that seamlessly blend traditional gameplay with innovative technologies like blockchain. We aim to push the boundaries of what gaming can achieve, delivering immersive and engaging experiences to players worldwide.

We’re also committed to expanding our ecosystem, forging partnerships with industry leaders, and scaling our games to reach a broader audience.

Ultimately, Studio 369 strives to be at the forefront of gaming innovation, consistently delivering high-quality titles that captivate and inspire players. Through our commitment to excellence, we aim to leave a lasting impact on the gaming industry and redefine the future of interactive entertainment.

Tell us about your relationship with Immutable. How does that work?

We’ve been partnered with Immutable for over a year now, and the experience has been excellent. Thanks to Immutable, it’s been a simple process to build our title on top of Web3 architecture. The Immutable zkEVM allows for scalability and zero gas fees for users.

Furthermore, the Immutable Passport makes onboarding for players who choose to engage in web3 features in MetalCore as simple as any traditional game title. This significantly lowers the barrier to entry for the average gamer and keeps the blockchain elements under the hood.

All of these tools come with support from their experts, who help with any pain points we may encounter and walk us through them. This is what Web3 needs for developers to start building games that are ready for the mainstream but still offer all the benefits that this technology can offer.

Why Web3? What was, or is, missing from Web3 gaming?

The transition to Web3 gaming represents a shift towards decentralization, ownership, and interoperability, offering players unprecedented control over their in-game assets and experiences.

What was previously lacking in Web3 gaming was a seamless integration of blockchain technology with traditional gaming mechanics. Many early Web3 games focused primarily on tokenization without enhancing gameplay or providing meaningful utility for players.

However, with advancements in technology and a growing understanding of player needs, the gaming industry is now leveraging Web3 to offer tangible benefits such as true ownership of assets, player-driven economies, and enhanced social experiences. By bridging the gap between blockchain and gaming, Web3 addresses previous shortcomings by prioritizing gameplay innovation, player engagement, and community interaction, ultimately revolutionizing the gaming landscape for the better.

Leveraging Web3 tech, MetalCore’s ‘scanning’ system allows players to obtain the vehicle and mech blueprints from their fallen foes, create new weapons and vehicles, convert them to Web3 digital collectibles, and trade them on the marketplace, should players want to do that. This provides more player agency, and meaningful rewards.

This “Loot, Upgrade, Convert, Trade” loop is a key unique feature in the game that leverages blockchain technology to give players control over their game items. That being said, there is no purchase necessary for players to enjoy MetalCore. We leave players in full control of how they want to engage with the game. They can choose to tokenize these items on the blockchain (AKA convert these items into non-fungible tokens or NFTs), and then trade or sell them in marketplaces. Or, they can choose not to engage in any Web3 elements and enjoy MetalCore like any other traditional game.

MetalCore’s thoughtful and groundbreaking economy design is one built with true in-game token utility. A sustainable game economy and token is centerpiece to gameplay and the core game loop of MetalCore. Whether engaging with Web3 elements or not, players can shape the outcome of the game through their choices, influencing the narrative and economy.

What is your team’s vision for the future of Web3 gaming?

We’re cautiously optimistic about the future of gaming. While there’s much to celebrate, the industry still has progress to make. MetalCore has been showcased at major trade shows like PAX West, TwitchCon, and San Diego ComicCon, receiving positive feedback, especially when players understand how blockchain can enhance their experience.

At Studio 369, we prioritize gameplay above all else. We believe in letting gameplay speak for itself, a philosophy that resonates with gamers. However, some in the industry focus too much on the financial aspects of blockchain, which isn’t sustainable. Games must prioritize fun and immersion.

We aim to set a precedent by prioritizing immersive gameplay, community involvement in game direction, and leveraging technology to enhance players’ experience. Our hope is to inspire future games to prioritize these principles, creating a blueprint for success.

What does the studio have planned for 2024?

We have ambitious plans this year, with MetalCore leading the charge. We’re gearing up for MetalCore’s full launch later this year, promising players an immersive gaming experience like no other.

Leading up to the launch, players can look forward to accessing our Closed Beta by signing up on our site to receive a beta access code, providing them with a sneak peek and exclusive rewards for being one of the firsts to explore the thrilling world of MetalCore.

We’re also focused on further refining MetalCore’s gameplay mechanics, enhancing player engagement, and solidifying partnerships to ensure a successful launch.

It’s an exciting time for us at Studio 369 as we prepare to bring MetalCore to the gaming community and set new standards for immersive gaming experiences in 2024.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

MetalCore is currently in Closed Beta, which means you will need a beta access code to play the game. To get yourself a beta code, be sure to sign up with your email at to be put on the waitlist to receive a code! During Closed beta phases, game keys will be sent out every 24 hours.

To get a fast-track to a beta code, you can join our Discord and fill out this form.

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You can also follow our social channels to get content and updates about the game:


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