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Published: February 2, 2022

Written by: Stoyan Todorov

  • South Korean game developer Netmarble is turning to blockchain, metaverse and NFTs for future releases
  • Netmarble will mostly market these games abroad as the “play-to-earn” mechanic it plans on adding is banned in South Korea
  • The games may be deemed inappropriate for individuals under the age of 18 due to their P2E element

Netmarble has big plans for its upcoming games with 70% of the 20 announced titles now designed to include some form of blockchain tech – from play-to-earn to NFT features.

Play-to-Earn Games Coming to Netmarble’s Portfolio

South Korean gaming firm Netmarble is planning to launch a series of blockchain-powered games that will focus on play-to-earn and NFT gameplay. The company will be launching 20 new games, 70% of which will be using blockchain technology.

The company has already released some details bout its upcoming releases with one of the new titles called A3: Still Alive. The game is a play-to-earn title that will allow players to monetize in-game assets. A3 is set to release in March.

Commenting on the big shift in development in the company, Netmarble founder and chairman Bang Jun-hyuk said:

“The blockchain-based games made by Netmarble will integrate the enjoyment of games, along with intangible assets through NFT, and I believe that the gaming industry will grow even bigger than it is now.”

Netmarble founder and chairman Bang Jun-hyuk

Blockchain gaming has been on the minds of developers for a while now, but the play-to-earn and NFT aspects of it seem to be the ones that resonate with gamers the most. While NFTs aren’t always a good idea – see Ubisoft’s failed effort to float NFTs – the play-to-earn model has become increasingly common.

Many developers have used P2E premise to beguile players into playing their products without offering much back. Outside of Axie Infinity, there are few games that offer strong incentives. Yet, for a developer such as Netmarble, harnessing the power of P2E games may be a great leap forward in the untamed metaverse and blockchain gaming space.

Netmarble’s Games Are Homespun, But Aspiring to Foreign Markets

Netmarble will focus on overseas markets, however, as play-to-earn games are prohibited under existing South Korean laws. This means that the company would need to focus on other regions, and possibly the United States.

The games developed by the company may also come as 18+ titles due to the fact that they style themselves as play-to-earn opportunities. Another game put forward by Netmarble is Everybody’s Marble: Metaworld.

True to its title, this game will focus on the metaverse and NFT tech and allow players to grab a slice of digital real estate. These do sell for a hefty penny and Decentraland, another metaverse game, has been able to flog off several parcels at eye-watering sums.

Each of the land parcels bought in Metaworld will be transformed into an NFT which, in turn, is a deed of ownership used as an authenticator in the game. Bang is confident that this new tech holds the key to elevated gaming experiences:

“The metaverse will not only transplant various elements from the game, but also converge with the blockchain technology to create a second real world beyond the virtual.”

Netmarble founder and chairman Bang Jun-hyuk

Whether Netmarble’s games succeed overseas remains to be seen. Interest in play-to-earn games, fueled by the success stories in games such as Axie Infinity, is definitely growing.

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