Krafton, the studio behind PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, has announced that it is getting into the NFT game, despite recent backlash to NFT project announcements. With the help of Naver Z, the company has signed a deal “to develop a new Web 3.0 and non-fungible token (NFT) project aimed at building an NFT metaverse platform.”
PUBG Studio To Use NFTs In ‘UGC-Driven
There is no indication that Krafton’s NFT project will be directly linked to PUBG—instead, the company will use the experience it has gained developing and running PUBG to create a “user-generation content (UGC) creation tool” and a virtual world built in the Unreal Engine. According to the statement, Naver Z will “manage the metaverse service” and “handle community and social services.”
With a focus on NFTs and metaverses, Krafton Web 3.0 team lead HyungChul Park said, “This partnership between Krafton and Naver Z is strengthened by each company’ unique expertise and shared global focus. A high-quality UGC-driven open metaverse that stands apart from other services and energises the global creator economy through NFT technologies can be built by combining Krafton’s existing technologies with Naver Z and Zepeto’s experience and capabilities.”
Even though it’s a happy-go-lucky greeting with jazz hands and a resounding yell of “Metaverse!” it says nothing about what Krafton is trying to convey. Krafton runs the risk of overlooking the growing backlash against game-adjacent NFTs, which may be fine at this early stage since nobody is entirely clear on what the metaverse is (except, you know, bullshit).
NFTs in ‘UGC-driven Open Metaverse
As a result of negative feedback, Stalker 2’s NFT strategy was scrapped, as was Team17’s NFT strategy. In a more telling sign, Electronic Arts sent the following message last week: EA CEO Anrdrew Wilson said during the company’s Q3 earnings call that the role of NFTs and blockchain technology “remains to be seen” and that EA is currently not “driving hard” on them after declaring in 2021 that NFTs are “the future of our industry.”
Krafton may be able to avoid that fate. As long as the NFT ambitions of the company are kept separate and distinct from PUBG, gamers may not be as interested in the project.
However, there is always the possibility of negative consequences:
As Troy Baker recently discovered, the NFT industry is still rife with malpractice, and there is currently no tolerance for even the appearance of bad behaviour. Naver Z and Krafton have agreed to share more information about their NFT partnership “in the future.”