• “Ni no Kuni: Cross Worlds” is an online role-playing game for PC, Android and iOS
• The ability to purchase tokens in the game and use them on cryptocurrencies has been heavily criticized by players
• Developer Netmarble tries to appease its players with a statement and sticks to blockchain and NFT plans
This is Ni no Kuni: Cross Worlds
“Ni no Kuni: Cross Worlds” is a video game developed by South Korean developer Netmarble and Japanese publisher Level-5, which can be played on PC or smartphone (Android and iOS). It is an online role-playing game and is about a virtual reality game within the game. In the character of a tester, you immerse yourself in the virtual world of the fictional adventure “Soul Diver”. As a player, however, one quickly notices that the explored world is not virtual at all. A mysterious girl named Rania then leaves you with a mission. You must rebuild your own kingdom, which was previously plundered by powerful enemies. This was to save the two connected worlds from certain destruction.
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The game is based on a blockchain and contains so-called “play-to-earn” elements. This means that players receive tokens during the game, which they can either use in the virtual world for their own progress or outside the game for cryptos. However, the tokens used in the game as a kind of currency can not only be earned but also purchased through in-game purchases for real money. In addition to the ability to exchange these tokens for cryptocurrencies or other tokens, Netmarble also announced, according to media reports, that they also want to introduce NFTs as digital assets in the fourth quarter of 2022.
Criticism of crypto, blockchain and NFTs is raining down
While everything that revolves around crypto and blockchain is currently very popular, the release of the blockchain-based game concept was met with great dissatisfaction among fans. Because if there is one thing that players absolutely hate, it is pay-to-win. This means that characters in the game can be upgraded for a fee in such a way that they have a clear advantage over others that only increase in level through the game’s progress. As a result, the competition is distorted and the fun is lost to many players. The token system in “Ni no Kuni: Cross Worlds” allows such a pay-to-win. According to EUROGAMER’s website, many players have noticed from the start “that buyers of cryptocurrency have a great advantage because they buy the best sets and animals directly”. The imbalance is especially noticeable in matches between two players.
But not only pay-to-win is a thorn in the side of many fans. The equipment with an unnecessarily large number of crypto elements also gives rise to criticism. Some users announced on Twitter that they either would not install the game at all or delete it immediately because of these components.
I uninstalled it right after I first read about the plans. 😂 Do not feel like this NFT, crypto-shit.
– Aquarius 🇪🇺🏳️🌈🇺🇦🇩🇪 (@ diedunichtbist1) May 26, 2022
I think it’s great that you’re telling us about this. 👍🏻 I toyed with the idea of trying it out. But not after this message. For my part, I will not give blockchain technology a chance.
– sky カ イ ラ イ ン ン ２ サ ン (@ skyline2sun) May 26, 2022
Developer Netmarble comments on the criticism
Shortly after the European launch of “Ni no Kuni: Cross Worlds”, Netmarble recognized resentment in its fan community and responded to criticism. In a message in his own forum, the developer writes that he can understand that there are some questions from the players about game-for-earn tokens. The concept used serves to improve the gaming experience and not, as many players perceive it, to make it worse. “Our goal is to create an environment where users can fully explore the amazing world of Ni no Kuni: Cross Worlds, and we believe the token finance system is one way to achieve that,” explains Netmarble. There are two types of “currencies” available in the game. “They can be used to strengthen your characters or exchanged for tokens that can be used outside of the game.” How players use tokens is entirely up to them. Exploring all content is also possible without participating in the token system or blockchain technology. After all, there are different ways to experience “Ni no Kuni: Cross Worlds”, and the token ecosystem is just one of them. Anyone can therefore completely refuse to use it, which the developer thinks is perfectly fine. Netmarble will keep its community updated on further news in this area.
As the announcement shows, Netmarble does not take the criticism from its players as an opportunity to turn away from blockchain technology and the token system. The crypto-plans for “Ni no Kuni: Cross World” should therefore be pursued further. With its forum post, Netmarble is simply trying to convince that the game can be played with pleasure despite and apart from play-to-earn. It remains to be seen if the developer will be successful with this.
Nicolas Flohr / Editor finanzen.ch