Netmarble has revealed that mobile RPG Ni no Kuni: Cross Worlds, which launched today in the West, will have NFTs and blockchain technology incorporated into it. Right now, you can exchange in-game currency for two different kinds of tokens, which you can then freely sell or buy outside the game.
Why are Ni no Kuni: Cross Worlds NFTs and blockchain tech a thing?
Given that Ni no Kuni: Cross Worlds publisher Netmarble has previously expressed a huge interest in NFTs and the blockchain, we probably shouldn't be surprised that they're being integrated into the game. According to Netmarble, there are two different kinds of Cross Worlds tokens: NKT and NKA, which correspond to the in-game Territe and Asterite currencies respectively. The former can be earned by completing daily tasks and challenges, while the latter is tied to competitive PvP content. As Netmarble points out, you can then store these tokens in your MarbleX wallet and freely buy and sell them outside the game. Hooray.
Right now, the plan (or "vision", as Netmarble refers to it) is to add a staking system in Q3 this year, so that a portion of Ni no Kuni: Cross Worlds' revenue will be returned back to players "as MBXL". Later, in Q4 2022, Netmarble is planning to add NFTs to the game, although we don't yet know what form those NFTs will take. Netmarble says it wants to emphasize Cross Worlds' "intrinsic fun factor" and that the studio will "never betray players who enjoy the game". Netmarble is clearly attempting to dampen the inevitable backlash that will arise from its inclusion of blockchain tech in the game, especially if the gaming public's reactions to publishers like Team17 are anything to go by.
Generally speaking, it's fair to say that NFTs aren't a particularly popular proposition among many gamers. While studios like Square Enix and PUBG owner Krafton (as well as Netmarble, natch) are going all-in on NFTs and the blockchain, the public's reaction has been roundly negative. Indie storefront Itch.io outright called NFTs "a scam", while backlash has forced studios like Poppy Playtime's Mob Games to issue public apologies regarding their stance towards NFTs. It's hard to see how Ni no Kuni: Cross Worlds could get away with it where those games haven't managed to, but given Netmarble's aforementioned dedication to NFTs, it's unlikely the studio cares as long as the profit margin looks good.
What is Ni no Kuni: Cross Worlds?
Ni no Kuni: Cross Worlds is a mobile RPG developed by Korean studio Netmarble. You play as someone test-driving a new VR game by the name of Soul Divers, but you quickly realize it's much more than a simple VR game. Within the world of Soul Divers, you must choose between several different character archetypes, meet adorable protector creatures, and explore a massive world, all while tending to your farm in the Familiars' Forest. This game was originally announced all the way back in 2019, so it's taken quite a while to make its way to the West, especially given that it managed to break $100 million around the world faster than Pokemon Go did.
You can download Ni no Kuni: Cross Worlds right now on mobile devices and PC. If you are playing the PC version, do note that you'll need a mobile account in order to play it; the PC client will simply prompt you to link a mobile account email so you can continue playing, and I couldn't find any way to sign up via PC. Of course, given the heavy implementation of blockchain tech and NFTs in this game, you might think twice about signing up at all. We'll bring you more on Ni no Kuni: Cross Worlds as soon as we get it.