If you've seen some Coromon NFTs being advertised on social media in the last few days, you might think that publisher Freedom Games has joined the NFT grift. This isn't the case, however; it's all part of yet another fradulent cryptocurrency scam, and Freedom isn't happy about it.
What's going on with these fake Coromon NFTs?
Developers and publishers might be finding ways to circumvent Steam's strict no-crypto rule, but Coromon publisher Freedom Games isn't one of them. Yesterday, on social media, cryptocurrency scammers posing as a Coromon account offered people the chance to enter NFT giveaways and talked up blockchain gaming, leading some to wonder whether Coromon had jumped the NFT shark. This isn't the case, though; Freedom Games has put paid to those suggestions, calling them "patently false" and reiterating that Coromon has "absolutely no NFT or blockchain integration" in a press release.
The scammers tweeted under the name of Coromon (BSC), using the very plausible Twitter handle of @CoromonGame. The real Coromon Twitter account is @CoromonTheGame, so you can see where the confusion might have arisen. In @CoromonGame's tweet, the scammers list "game economy optimization" and "token economy distribution" as upcoming steps for the game, when in reality, Freedom and developer Tragsoft have absolutely no intention of implementing blockchain technology in Coromon. Unlike the folks at Mojang, Freedom stops just short of utterly condemning NFTs and blockchain tech full stop, but it's clear that Coromon, at least, isn't interested in blockchain implementation. If you see tweets from @CoromonGame or anything involving NFT integration in Coromon, be aware that it's a scam.
Supposedly, the scammers in this case are using "the face of [blockchain security provider] CertiK", as Freedom puts it, although the publisher says it doesn't know whether the scammers actually have a relationship with CertiK or not. This isn't even the first time this situation has happened to Freedom; back in January this year, the publisher found itself having to warn players that a similar scam was being carried out around voxel-based crafting game Outerverse. Plus ca change, eh?
NFTs and cryptocurrency totally aren't a grift, except when they are
Scams like this really aren't helping cryptocurrency and NFTs' case, to say the least. It seems that Web3-oriented crypto bros just can't help themselves. I'm reminded of the W3itch.io debacle last month, whereby a Web3 grift site stole code from Itch.io and used it to set up a copycat website full of all the cryptocurrency and NFT stuff that Itch.io has very publicly disavowed. There's also the group unlawfully creating Magic: The Gathering NFTs, a situation to which Wizards of the Coast swiftly put a stop back in February.
In general, NFTs aren't well-loved in the gaming community. While industry luminaries like Dead or Alive's Tomonobu Itagaki and studios like Ni no Kuni: Cross Worlds developer Netmarble are embracing Web3, it's not being quite so warmly-received elsewhere, with companies like Team17 and Plug In Digital backing down from NFT and Web3 partnerships after intense mockery and backlash from their respective communities. Common criticisms aimed at NFTs and cryptocurrency include a perceived lack of value for players, as well as a lack of desire to "play-to-earn" and the massively deleterious environmental effect Web3 tech has. Hopefully, the crypto scammers who stole Coromon's face will see the light and redeem themselves soon, but given that crypto bros still appear to dot the gaming landscape like particularly troublesome zits, it's not likely.