Some of the world’s largest video game publishers have ventured into Web3 gaming, exploring the potential uses of blockchain networks, cryptocurrencies and NFTs across various platforms and genres.
The majority of these publishers hail from Asia. This regional dominance aligns with the predictions of DappRadar, which suggests that the continent may hold sway over the Web3 gaming space.
Square Enix’s Web3 campaign
Among the pioneers in this movement is Square Enix, the Japanese video game studio responsible for titles like Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts. Square Enix has been delving into NFT video games since 2019 and recently released a collection of Ethereum-based NFT trading cards.
Square Enix has sold off its Tomb Raider intellectual property (IP) and three affiliated studios to further fund its advancements in blockchain and AI research and development. The studio also announced plans to launch “Symbiogenesis,” an NFT game on the Ethereum sidechain network Polygon.
Nexon, Krafton and other South Korean game publishers
Nexon, the South Korea-based game publisher famous for its MapleStory franchise, is developing “MapleStory Universe.” This game will utilize Polygon NFTs on the dedicated Polygon “Supernet.”
Krafton, the publisher of PUBG: Battlegrounds and PUBG Mobile, plans to launch the metaverse game “Migaloo” this year in collaboration with Naver Z. Migaloo features a “create-to-earn” system, allowing players to generate digital assets. Krafton has also partnered with Solana Labs to develop games on the Solana blockchain in the future.
NCSoft, renowned for titles like Guild Wars and Blade & Soul, has invested in blockchain firm Mysten Labs. With the newly launched Sui blockchain, NCSoft aims to develop NFT games that utilize crypto transactions.
Com2us, responsible for Summoners War, has expressed a strong interest in blockchain games. Com2us plans to release approximately 10 to 15 blockchain games annually, primarily focusing on mobile platforms. These games will feature NFTs and crypto integrations powered by the XPLA blockchain.
Wemade made its foray into blockchain gaming by releasing World Fishing Championship — a play-and-earn fishing game for Android phones. Wemade has also announced the upcoming release of two blockchain games, a baseball game titled “R1B” and “Night Crows,” a high-concept fantasy MMORPG adapted into a Web3 game for a global audience.
At the recent Game Developers Conference, Wemade showcased its crypto gaming platform, “Wemix Play,” positioning it as a Steam-like store for crypto games. Wemix Play features an NFT marketplace and plans to host over 50 games from external indie developers, providing players with opportunities to “play and earn” various crypto tokens.
U.S. and European companies
Zynga, a prominent American gaming company renowned for casual hits like Farmville and Words With Friends, has also recognized the potential of NFTs and is actively working on its Web3 gaming division.
Zynga’s parent company, Take-Two Interactive, which boasts popular franchises such as Grand Theft Auto and NBA 2K, has invested in Web3 game developer Horizon.
French game publisher Ubisoft, known for Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Breakpoint and Assassin’s Creed, has cautiously embraced NFTs in gaming. Despite facing backlash from fans after introducing NFTs in Ghost Recon Breakpoint, Ubisoft remains committed to blockchain integration in its upcoming games.
Recently, the company released NFTs based on its Rabbids game IP in the metaverse game The Sandbox. It also introduced “Smart Collectibles” from Assassin’s Creed, blending physical collectibles with digital NFT components.