It’s been just over a week since Ni no Kuni: Cross Worlds launched globally, and it’s been somewhat of a phenomenon, with millions of downloads within the first few days. The Korean studio behind it, Netmarble, is no stranger to mobile games, and boasts a spot in the top 10 of global mobile game publishers.
But an explosive game launch isn’t the reason for this article. I’m writing this because Netmarble will be incorporating blockchain into some of their games, including Ni No Kuni: Cross Worlds; a huge opportunity for the blockchain gaming industry.
In this article we will cover:
- What is Ni no Kuni: Cross Worlds
- The Tokens and the Marblex Chain
- My Concerns
What Is Ni No Kuni: Cross Worlds?
If you caught some of Tuesday’s stream with SuperDope, then you likely saw him playing Ni no Kuni: Cross Worlds on the new Token Gamer Twitch channel. This game is a beautiful MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game), where you as a player get to explore a world, fight monsters, ride cats, and go on quests, all while leveling your character and improving your gear.
It uses a unique feature I hadn’t seen before where your player essentially plays for you. When there is a quest to go on, your player will move to the locations necessary to complete that quest on its own. When there is a battle, your character will fight the enemies on its own. Of course, you can take control at any point you want to move around freely and fight enemies yourself. I still have some mixed feelings in regards to this gameplay. While in some cases it is useful, in others it seems to take away from some of the MMORPG experience I’ve grown used to. It feels like a strange half-botting, half-playing experience.
Overall, the game is very well made, but most importantly it’s an actual game, one that web2 gamers would play, and are playing. It is going to take a game like this to bridge the gap between traditional and blockchain gamers, so I am rooting for Ni no Kuni: Cross Worlds to do well. It is encouraging to see another large game studio see the value in blockchain and take the leap into it.
The Tokens and the Marblex Chain
Ni no Kuni will be using Netmarble’s blockchain, Marblex for their web3 connection. They have already stated that there will be a dual coin system in game with the tokens being the Territe token (NKT) and the Asterite token (NKA). Territe will be a utility token for the game, earned from completing dailies, Familiar Adventure, or hunting monsters in Chaos Fields. Asterite, the second utility token for the game, will be exclusively earned through competitive content, such as Lava Valley and the Familiar Arena.
A total of one billion of each will be issued initially. In order to sell them through the Marblex app, you will need to exchange the currency you own in the game for the crypto outside the game. This does get confusing, and the developers have added a whole section on exchanging your tokens on their website here. This is a little concerning because simplicity is key to mass adoption, so hopefully the team makes this process straightforward from the user perspective. It looks as if the tokens will be tradable through the Marblex app as early as 6/9 (June 9th or September 6th?). Whether they will be withdrawable from the app at that date, we still don’t know.
In addition, staking is a feature on their roadmap for Q3 of this year, which will allow the user to earn a portion of the game’s revenue by earning the MBXL token. This is not a token used in Ni no Kuni, but instead, a token used on the Marblex Chain. There is little information on what this token actually does at this time. Also on their roadmap, is the mention of NFTs coming in Q4 of this year. How prevalent those may be in the game is still unknown.
Further down the road, NetMarble has plans to release a number of new games this year with blockchain integration. I’m looking forward to seeing if there is interoperability with NFTs and currency in the ecosystem, or if each game will be siloed.
I have two main concerns when it comes to this game. The first is that we currently don’t know if the tokenomics are any good, or how NFTs will be utilized in-game. Yes, the tokens are already in-game, but they aren’t withdrawable yet, so they might as well be standard game currencies. Once they are tradable on the blockchain it will be telling how well, or not so well, they do. I’m hoping the team at Netmarble can figure out their tokenomics, but this can be tricky. I am also hoping that they fully embrace NFTs. It would be great to see them prevalent in a game of this magnitude.
My second concern is that this game will fail once it adds its blockchain elements, and in doing so would (further) sour traditional gamers to blockchain. The scope of this game and the playerbase it reaches is a huge opportunity for crypto gaming, but if done incorrectly it could cause more harm than good. So far I don’t have a reason to believe it will fail, but I’m still nervous. This could be the start of mainstream adoption of crypto gaming, and I don’t want to see it go wrong.
If you have tried out Ni no Kuni: Cross Worlds let us know what you think in our Discord! You can also ask us about the in-game kingdom (guild) that we have!