Nexon, a South Korean video game company, has announced that its partnership with Polygon will allow players and creators to develop and manage non-fungible tokens (NFTs) through its MapleStory Universe virtual world ecosystem.
The NFTs will have both tangible and intangible values and will be used to establish player ownership and resale assets. This move is an example of how South Korean game companies are embracing NFTs, despite resistance from hardcore gamers in the West.
MapleStory is a massively multiplayer game with over 180 million registered players and a strong social media and community forum presence. Its virtual world ecosystem also features third-party games and user-generated content.
Content creators will use decentralized applications (DApps) to develop new content and characters for the MapleStory Universe, beginning with MapleStory N. The new additions will be based on MapleStory intellectual property and available to players through the virtual world ecosystem.
MapleStory N is unique in that it will not have a cash shop, and players will acquire items solely through gameplay, such as completing quests and defeating monsters. In addition, the limited number of NFT rewards in each region increases the fun of ownership and enhances their value.
What higher-ups say about the partnership
Nexon made a significant move in the emerging Web3 gaming industry by partnering with Polygon. The collaboration will see use Nexon using the Polygon Supernets technology to power the blockchain ecosystem for MapleStory Universe to expand the in-game economy and take it to the next level.
Polygon Supernets is an App-chain solution that allows gaming industry leaders to scale on Web3 through dedicated blockchains. Its customizable app chains offer high performance with minimal transaction costs and access to premium tooling and implementation services to support any gaming or metaverse use case.
MapleStory Universe production director Sun-young Hwang announced Tuesday that Polygon Labs, the team responsible for developing and promoting the Polygon protocol, will provide technical and business support for MapleStory Universe.
Hwang also expressed excitement about expanding the NFT ecosystem as envisioned by MapleStory Universe by using Polygon, saying that the ecosystem was ideal and the team at Nexon “will work closely with the team at Polygon Labs to develop and market the game.”
Ryan Wyatt, president of Polygon Labs, said that the collaboration sent “a strong message” to the entire gaming industry about the importance of blockchain gaming. He added, “Korea is a critical market in bringing web3 gaming to the masses, and Polygon Labs is committed to offering multiple solutions to bring their visions to market.”
In an interview with GamesBeat, Urvit Goel, vice president of global games and platform development at Polygon Labs, explained that MapleStory has been around for 20 years and has a massive fan base, acknowledging Nexon as one of the largest gaming companies in the world.
Polygon Labs has developed a large ecosystem for Web3 gaming DApps within less than two years, collaborating with studios, publishers, e-sports teams and streamers. Many projects have migrated to Polygon from other blockchains because of its close ties to Ethereum, which has been the preferred ecosystem for builders looking for high liquidity, robust security and a large user base.
Goel insisted that Polygon is confident that its infrastructure can support millions of users and scale up transactions. He also noted that there is a challenge to overcome regarding skeptics who are hesitant to engage with blockchain games due to the lack of players and engaging experiences. However, Goel said that partnerships such as the one with Nexon could break this stigma.