Yoton Yo Studios teams up with creator Paul Jenkins on Exfinitum Omniverse TCG

Yoton Yo Studios has appointed award-winning Paul Jenkins to role of creative director in residence for the upcoming Exfinitum Omniverse physical-digital trading card game.

Burbank, California-based Yoton Yo Studios recently announced it had raised a $15 million Series A investment, and continues to attract world-leading blockchain grant funding. And the independent studio is starting to tell the world about its “phygital” TCG game, Exfinitum Omniverse.

The company is helmed by Peter J. Wacks, co-creator of Cyberpunk collectible card game and an award-winning author of graphic novels, comics and major franchises; The team aims to have rich storytelling and narrative at the core of Exfinitum Omniverse.

To supplement the talented Wacks and his writing team, the studio have significantly boosted their credentials and creative capacity with the appointment of Jenkins and his Meta Studios to the team.

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Yoton Yo Studios is making phygital games.

Jenkins is a serial award-winning creator, with accomplishments that straddle writing for, and building franchises in the film, graphic novel and video game industries.

During this time, he has won an Eisner, been nominated for BAFTAs, hit No. 1 on the New York Times Bestseller list, and worked with hundreds of world-renowned entertainment icons, from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Spider-Man, Batman, and The Origin of Wolverine to six platinum-selling video games.

Jenkins is also credited with playing a key role in the revitalization of the Marvel Universe. His creations have been seen in multiple Marvel movies and video games,including Into The SpiderVerse, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, and the upcoming Thunderbolts movie, which sees the screen debut of The Sentry.

Wacks said, “I’ve long held the belief that talent begets talent and never more so than when you put highest grade creatives in the same sandbox. I’m ecstatic that Paul and his team have come to join us. What they bring is not just exceptional creative talent and output, but ready-baked IP that fits Exfintium’s purpose and story arc. This is going to be a fun ride.”

Wacks said the game will hit alpha in the fourth quarter.

The fantasy part of Exfinitum.

“We’ll have playtesting happening then, and we’re starting playtesting on tabletops now,” he said.

Jenkins said, “Peter and I have been in this business for a long time. We’ve delivered a lot of content across multiple franchises. And I was lucky enough to be introduced to Peter by one of the people working for him designing the games. I’ve spent quite a lot of time in this business. Peter and I really hit it off and he’s got these brilliant ideas.”

Wacks said, “The amazing thing of getting to meet him was that in the first hour or two into that first conversation was that I felt like I found my best friend. The way that we talked about story and just that the deep heartbeat of why our characters are experiencing what they’re experiencing — you always bring as a lens.”

Wacks pointed to some Magic: The Gathering cards on his wall. He started collecting them in 1993, but in 1995, most of his collection was stolen. And for the past 29 years, he’s been working on solving that problem with the combination of physical cards and digital games.

The company is using Web3 infrastructure — but not cryptocurrency — to create a permanent record on chain for each card that gets issued.

“We have an invisible layer that’s baked into each card. And that smartphone can scan the card, read that layer,” Wacks said. “The human eye can’t see it. Only the smartphone can but it connects over the smart contract and can say this card is owned by this person. That way they can log into their digital account if something happens — a kid gets her collection stolen — and you can just mark all those cards have stolen and we can reprint them without damaging circulation.”

Yoton Yo Studios is making seven games in one TCG.

Jenkins said “I’ve been fortunate enough to enjoy success across books, comics, films and video games for three decades. It’s a genuine pleasure to have another opportunity in gaming and to help Peter and his team shape story and more. We both share very similar outlooks on the creative industries as a whole, and the immense opportunities and challenges they currently face.”

Jenkins added, “My team at Meta didn’t hesitate to commit to YYS for the long-haul when we understood the game-changing nature of Exfinitum Omniverse, and what it represents as a phygital TCG with multiverse, cross-storytelling at its core. Weaving some magic between the merging worlds of web2 & web3 offers myriad new opportunities to develop story and content. Combined with the generative approach to technology that Peter and his engineers are developing for the game system, and contributing tech, our combined visions and expertise certainly promise a significant shift in the TCG genre.”

The sci fi part of Exfinitum.

Meta Studios will be unveil new IP via Exfinitum Omniverse including Fablewood, Sidekick, and Switchlings, as well as a soon to be announced Exfinitum Omniverse origin story titled Quantumverse.

The team has 14 people at Yoton Yo Studio and another half-dozen or so at Meta. They’re trying to create a differentiated world.

“Why do we deserve anyone to give us their attention? Their attention is so valuable, right? But if you go simplistic, and you start looking at why we’ve got an incredible technology, that’s never going to be the full story. I think if you say we’re great storytellers, that’s never going to be the full story. I think it’s the hybrid. I think it’s the mash up of Peter and myself, personally, with our experiences and so on,” Jenkins said. “We’ve got the experience at these giant creative corporations. We know that the value the player gets from that is not as high as it could be. We want to get to people’s emotions through storytelling.”

Dystopia in Exfinitum

Wacks added, “We’re making guide rails so that players get to start guiding stories, so that players get to experience and actually be in control of the story they want. And that’s amazing. It’s genius.”

They want to get beyond TCG fatigue that comes from having too many games out there.

“I want to throw out the idea that we’re designing a TCG. We’re designing a game that can fit other games into it,” Wacks said. “We actually have seven different games currently that the card behaviors can play.”