S.Korean game producers chase NFTs in real-money boost for players and firms

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  • Korean game makers embrace NFT development, carry actual cash into play
  • Gaming firms’ shares surge as traders guess on greater earnings
  • Regulators ban NFT video games in S.Korea on playing considerations

SEOUL, Nov 25 (Reuters) – South Korea’s cell and on-line game producers are luring players with companies utilizing non-fungible tokens (NFTs), leaping on a development the firms see as the way forward for the sector and sparking a pointy rally in their shares in current weeks.

An NFT is a digital asset that encompasses the whole lot from photographs, movies to textual content, whose possession document is tracked on the blockchain and is normally purchased with cryptocurrencies.

In the gaming world, the assorted characters, weapons, autos and different objects that players make use of to perform their specific duties may be NFTs.

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The benefit is that these NFTs may be traded for digital cash, specifically cryptocurrencies.

However, South Korean regulators have banned NFT-applied video games in the nation on considerations these new companies might gasoline playing habit amongst teenagers and the very younger. For now, these video games are accessible solely offshore.

“It’s not the blockchain technology that we are banning,” an official at South Korea’s Game Rating And Administration Committee informed Reuters on situation of anonymity as she wasn’t authorised to talk with the media.

“What we are saying ‘no’ to is the application of NFT that can be connected to real assets,” the official mentioned.

That did not cease South Korean game maker Wemade Co Ltd (112040.KQ) from going forward with the worldwide launch of its NFT-applied game, MIR4, in late August.

The game has attracted greater than 1.3 million players abroad, sending the agency’s share value skyrocketing greater than 600% for the reason that launch. Its market worth has additionally shot by over 11 occasions to six.6 trillion received ($5.55 billion) to throughout the identical interval.

Across the world, the recognition of NFT video games can be catching on quickly.

Axie Infinity, an NFT game developed by a Vietnamese unicorn Sky Mavis, has attracted 1.8 million players worldwide, producing $33 million in day by day transactions as of August, in keeping with the corporate.

In Wemade’s MIR4 game, at current, players can solely earn a living by mining ‘Dark Steel’ – the primary game useful resource which helps boost the energy of weapons and characters – that may ultimately be transformed right into a listed-cryptocurrency WEMIX.

Trading of things – weapons, outfits and items of jewelry – obtained by way of gameplay and characters will quickly be out there by way of the corporate’s platform XDRACO, An Young, the top of Wemade’s public relations group, informed Reuters.

Another NFT-applied game ‘Rise of Stars’ is about for launch subsequent yr, An mentioned.

WEMIX has been buying and selling in a $17.50 to $21.64 vary over the previous 24 hours, in contrast with $0.21 initially of the yr, in keeping with CoinMarketCap.

GAME CHANGER?

Despite the native regulatory hurdle, different South Korean game builders are additionally trying to money in on the NFT growth.

Earlier this month, NCSoft Corp (036570.KS) mentioned it’s readying launch of a game that features NFT and blockchain parts subsequent yr. Its shares jumped to the day by day restrict of 30% on Nov. 11 when the agency made the announcement.

Krafton Inc (259960.KS), the maker of the blockbuster “PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds”, additionally soared by as a lot as 22% since Nov. 11 after the corporate mentioned it’s reviewing the mixing of NFTs into video games.

KOSDAQ-listed Gamevil Inc (063080.KQ) and its affiliate Com2uS Corp (078340.KQ) rallied sharply earlier in November.

Analysts say the NFT development is a step change for the gaming trade and is more likely to boost their earnings.

“Winning used to be the main goal of playing games … but with the integration of NFT and cryptocurrency, it became more than just winning – a method to earn money,” mentioned Lee Sang-hun, an analyst at Hi Investment & Securities.

“That, eventually, would give an opportunity on re-ratings of valuation for gaming companies, along with an upward curve in stocks’ movement.”

($1 = 1,189.8000 received)

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Reporting by Joori Roh, Additional reporting by Phuong Nguyen; Editing by Vidya Ranganathan & Shri Navaratnam
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