NFTs are becoming a massive part of our modern world. The gaming world is also experiencing this trend, especially in South Korea : the shares of game companies using this process are increasing. However, regulators are banning these NFT games.
South Korean mobile and online game producers are luring players with various services using NFT, capitulating on a trend that companies see as the future of the industry. In particular, luxury brands are becoming increasingly fond of it, such as Jacob&Co, Patek Philippe or Dolce & Gabbana.
In the gaming world, characters, weapons, vehicles and other objects that players use to accomplish tasks can be considered as NFTs. These can be exchanged for cryptocurrencies. However, South Korean regulators have banned NFT games applied in the country, fearing that these new gaming services will fuel gambling addiction among young Koreans, which is already prevalent in much of Asia.
Nevertheless, this did not stop South Korean game maker Wemade Co from releasing an NFT game in late August: MIR4. The game attracted more than 1.3 million overseas players, sending the company’s stock price soaring by more than 600 percent since its launch. Its market value has also increased more than 11 times to $5.55 billion over the same period. The success of NFT games is proliferating internationally.
Despite the local regulatory hurdle, other South Korean game developers are also looking to capitalize on the NFT boom. Earlier this month, NCSoft Corp announced it was preparing to release a game with NFT and blockchain elements next year. Its shares jumped to the daily limit of 30% on November 11 when the company made the announcement.
Krafton Inc, the maker of the blockbuster “PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds,” also climbed 22% since Nov. 11 after the company said it was looking into integrating NFTs into games. Analysts say the NFT trend is a sea change for the gaming industry and is likely to increase their profits.
“Winning used to be the main purpose of games, but with the integration of NFT and cryptocurrency, it has become more than just winning, a method of making money,” said Lee Sang-Hun, an analyst at Hi Investment & Securities. “This, in the long run, would give an opportunity for revaluation of the valuation of gaming companies, as well as an upward curve in the movement of stocks.”
Featured photo : © Getty Images
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