Steve Aoki, celebrity music producer, DJ and noted collector of valuable Pokémon cards, has joined the studio behind a new trading card game.
As well as finding fame for his collaborations with a number of musicians - including BTS, Kid Cudi and Linkin Park - Aoki has garnered a reputation as a celebrity fan of trading card games, having purchased one of the rarest Pokémon cards - the Japanese promo Pikachu Illustrator - for more than $420,000 earlier this year. Aoki has also livestreamed unboxings of valuable booster packs and auctioned autographed Pokémon cards in support of various charities.
Aoki often shows off some of his personal collection through Twitch and YouTube channel Aoki’s Cardhouse - which offers various cards and boxes for sale online, if you have a couple grand to spare - and owns a Los Angeles trading card shop, The Coffee Breakers.
The DJ’s latest move in the world of trading card games appears to be making one of his own, as Aoki has joined trading card startup MetaZoo Games as a co-founder and partner.
MetaZoo Games’ debut title is MetaZoo: Cryptid Nation, which releases today, July 30th, following a Kickstarter campaign during the spring. The card game draws inspiration from traditional and modern folklore, featuring Pokémon-esque creatures such as Bigfoot, the Jersey Devil and Mothman.
Cryptid Nation shares gameplay similarities with trading card games such as Magic: The Gathering, with players drawing cards and spending aura - the game’s equivalent to MTG’s mana - to put creatures and artifacts on the table, with the aim being to reduce their opponent’s life points to zero.
One of the card game’s unique elements is the presence of “fourth wall” features, which boost card effects and abilities based on real-life factors. For example, Day card powers may be boosted during the daytime, while City features apply if the game takes place in a city and Altitude adjusts strength based on the players’ relevant altitude. (Among the less commonplace is the need to have a meteor shower happening nearby.)
Aoki will work on “marketing and corporate partnership endeavours” for MetaZoo, according to a press release, having contributed to the studio and its game behind the scenes for a number of months. He joins founder and creator Michael Waddell and incoming COO Shaw Mead, an apparent veteran of the TCG industry.
As well as five sets planned for the MetaZoo: Cryptid Nation TCG over the next 18 months, the studio said a second print run of the initial set - described as being nearly sold out - is “already on its way”. A release date for the second print run or future sets was not given.