Netmarble, the South Korean online-gaming behemoth, announced intentions to launch a slew of new games that incorporate blockchain and metaverse tech.
The company says its new, blockchain-based games will combine the regular enjoyment of gaming with NFT assets. The billionaire founder and chairman of Netmarble remarked in a press conference that he believes this will generate a new boom in the gaming industry.
Netmarble plans to release 20 new games throughout early 2022, over two-thirds of which will utilize blockchain technology in some aspect.
One such game is a play-to-earn game titled A3: Still Alive. Its players can use cryptocurrency to monetize weapons and other intangible in-game assets. Anticipated for launch in March, this game will be Netmarble’s first play-to-earn offering.
Ironically, play-to-earn games are currently banned in Korea due to concerns about their potential to foster gambling addiction among the nation’s youth. Therefore, most of these new games will be marketed to overseas gamers, such as in the United States.
There may also be age restrictions imposed on the games, according to the Korean Game Rating And Administration Committee, such as a classification of “age 18+” in cases in which an in-game system permits users to trade items with paid goods.
Another new game on Netmarble’s docket is to be titled either Everybody’s Marble: Metaworld or Modoo Marble: Meta World and will incorporate NFT and metaverse tech to enable players to buy land and even build and exchange “NFTized” real estate all in a virtual world.
NFTs are a form of digital asset stored on blockchain that authenticate in-game items and other objects like music and digital art.
Another Korean billionaire and a distant relative of Netmarble’s founder who sees a future of NFT-infused commerce is the founder of Hybe, most famous for backing K-pop sensation BTS. He announced plans to partner with the biggest crypto exchange in the country to release NFT photo cards of BTS and the other artists Hybe represents.
Another gaming developer, meanwhile, named Wemade, already released a blockchain-based game, called MIR4, which has already pumped up the company’s shares by 400 percent in just the three months following its global release.
As for what metaverse tech brings to these new games, not only will the metaverse transplant various game elements, but it will also use blockchain tech to create another real world within the virtual realm.
As part of this release of new blockchain-based games, Netmarble also announced the planned issuance of its own virtual currency.
Tentatively to be called Netmarble Coin, it will serve as a primary currency for these games. The company aims to release the virtual currency prior to the release of its first six new blockchain-based games, which will start with A3: Still Alive.
In all, the company says it will incorporate blockchain tech into more than 15 of its 20 new games currently being developed.
Netmarble’s virtual currency will not be traded on centralized cryptocurrency exchanges initially. Rather, the company will support it in tradable form via a decentralized exchange. In the near future, however, the company does plan to list its virtual currency on a centralized crypto exchange.