South Korean Gaming Firms Emulating Axie Infinity Game Success
South Korean video game giants want to carve out a slice of the increasingly lucrative play-to-earn (P2E) crypto gaming pie – with heavyweight Neowiz set to drop a new crypto golf gaming title.
As reported, South Korean gaming regulators have effectively blocked the domestic release of crypto- and blockchain-themed games that make use of NFTs and in-game currencies that can be traded on crypto exchanges. The nation has one of the strictest sets of gambling laws in Asia, and considers crypto gaming to be a form of speculative activity or gambling.
That stance may well change under President-Elect Yoon Suk-yeol, who will take power in May. Yoon has already promised to foster domestic crypto- and NFT-related business in South Korea, but only time will tell if he comes good on his manifesto pledges.
In the meantime, Neowiz has revealed that it will release a game named Crypto Golf Impact on the Klaytn blockchain protocol. The network is the brainchild of the internet giant Kakao and its Ground X subsidiary.
The latter will give distribute some USD 161,000 worth of its native klay (KLAY) token to new players who have Neofin (a Neowiz subsidiary) crypto wallets. A maximum of around USD 20 worth of tokens will be offered to some 7,000 new users, EBN reported. Would-be recipients will have to register their interest before March 23, with the “winners” announced on March 23. The game itself will debut in April – on Google Play and the Apple Store.
The token is listed on a number of domestic crypto exchanges, as well as selected international trading platforms.
No mention was made as to whether South Korean users would be able to access the title via the marketplaces. Some domestic firms have attempted to bypass the gaming regulator by releasing their titles directly to marketplaces rather than apply for distribution permits beforehand – a practice that the regulator has insisted it will stamp out.
South Korean firms have been eagerly eyeing the success of P2E titles such as Axie Infinity – and want to use their intellectual property (IP) to cash in with blockchain versions of hit gaming series.
Maeil Kyungjae reported that, in addition to Neowiz’s developments, other rival firms are also shaping up to make their own moves. These include the likes of WeMade, which has previously released crypto gaming titles, launched its own coin, and developed exchange plans.
But Neowiz has also developed its own token, while Com2Us, the developer of the Summon War series, has teamed up with the crypto exchange FTX for an initial exchange offering (IEO). Minimum bids on the IEO will be USD 480.
“Expectations alone,” the media outlet noted, “will likely be enough to cause a bubble” in the markets.
Netmarble, South Korea’s biggest mobile game operator, is also gearing up for a token release.
The firm has published a white paper for a coin named MBX. The firm claimed that it had also established a dedicated blockchain gaming subsidiary and added that the token would become the gateway currency of the forthcoming Netmarble blockchain ecosystem. This token, too, will be based on the Klaytn blockchain.
Netmarble is part-owned by the Chinese tech giant Tencent.