ADOPTION 2023 Part 3: Gaming

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Hyewon Jeong외 1명
Research Associate/
Xangle
Jul 14, 2023

Table of Contents

1. Introduction

2. Nexon: Reflecting on the Past 20 Years of MapleStory and Preparing for the Next 20 Years

3. MARBLEX: Driving Growth with MBX Token and NFTs at the Core

4. METAPIXEL: Overcoming Limits of Web2 Games and Building the Ecosystem with Community

5. WeMade: The Present and Future of WEMIX

6. Closing Thoughts

 

 

 

 

Table of Contents

1. Introduction

ADOPTION 2023 Part 2: NFT delved into the perspectives, adoption status, and outcomes of prominent domestic and global Web2 companies across various sectors including fashion, entertainment, platforms, and advertising in the NFT space. In ADOPTION 2023 Part 3: Gaming, we will shift our focus to leading domestic game companies, exploring their motivations behind incorporating blockchain technology into their games, the results following the launch of blockchain-based services, and their envisioned future direction for blockchain games.

 

2. Nexon: Reflecting on the Past 20 Years of MapleStory and Preparing for the Next 20 Years

The MapleStory Universe project strives to advance the proven formula that has made MapleStory successful over the past 20 years by integrating blockchain technology, in anticipation of the next 20 years.

The success of MapleStory has been built on the foundation of regular content updates that ensure the relevance of items and the management of item rarity through live operations such as server maintenance, monitoring, and post-response actions. This approach aims to provide players with a gratifying experience of acquiring items. While it is possible to allocate more development resources to create a larger volume of content and continuously adjust item rarity, this strategy is not sustainable. That is why the project aims to integrate blockchain technology.

How can blockchain enhance the reward experience? By leveraging blockchain technology, items that were once confined to game servers can transcend the boundaries of the game and exist as NFTs within spinoff ecosystems. This opens up new possibilities for creators, who can now share the responsibility of updating content, which was previously solely in the hands of the development team. Additionally, these NFT items can be utilized in a wide range of content, greatly expanding their utility and reach. Blockchain also addresses the challenge of managing item rarity. In the past, items were generated indefinitely based on the number of active users, making it difficult to forecast item availability over time. However, by implementing blockchain, the total production of each item can be limited and a fixed number of items can be generated per period, regardless of the user count. This approach resolves the inherent issue of inflation in Web2 games and provides a means to manage item rarity.

MapleStory Universe aims to create a space on the blockchain where a wide range of content developed by both development teams and creators coexists, with NFTs as the central focus. Nexon concluded the session by expressing their vision of a blockchain-based virtual world, where diverse Web3 projects will enter the MapleStory Universe through NFTs. They emphasized that the MapleStory Universe will also venture into diverse Web3 projects leveraging NFTs, fostering a convergence that transcends boundaries and brings about new forms of entertainment.

 

3. MARBLEX: Driving Growth with MBX Token and NFTs at the Core

MARBLEX, a blockchain subsidiary of Netmarble, was established to address concerns regarding the 1) slowing growth in the game market and 2) inefficient game marketing. It aims to overcome these challenges through two key elements: MBX tokens and NFTs. The introduction of MBX tokens by MARBLEX aims to address the short lifespan of individual games and the decline in revenue growth as the game industry reaches a mature stage. By providing users with a more immersive game experience and improving the accessibility of purchasing paid items, MARBLEX aims to align the interests of users and Netmarble. The positive impact of introducing MBX tokens can be seen in the game metrics of popular titles such as A3: Still Alive and Ni no Kuni: Cross Worlds, among others (refer to the figure below).

As the domestic game market has reached a saturation point, the gaming industry has become highly competitive in terms of marketing, with Netmarble alone spending approximately US$ 410 million (20% of sales) on marketing efforts in 2022. MARBLEX aims to leverage the unique characteristics of NFTs to create a natural marketing effect, targeting loyal customers and the younger generation. Their first NFT project, ”Marblership,” was launched in March 2023 and achieved remarkable success, selling out within five minutes and setting a record for the highest trading volume of a single project within the entire Klaytn ecosystem. MARBLEX concluded the session with a strong determination to overcome the limitations of existing games by utilizing MBX tokens and NFTs, propelling the gaming ecosystem to new heights.

 

4. METAPIXEL: Overcoming Limits of Web2 Games and Building the Ecosystem with Community

METAPIXEL, the blockchain division of NPIXEL, is developing Gran Saga: Unlimited ("Gran Saga"), a blockchain adaptation of their hit Gran Saga IP. METAPIXEL aims to overcome the limitations of Web2 games—inflation of game goods and less-than-transparent operations—through blockchain. Gran Saga mitigates the inflation problem by limiting the total amount of gold, the main goods, and ensures transparency by recording on-chain the probability of probability-based items and all user activities in the game.

Building a game ecosystem with the community is also a factor that sets them apart. Unlike Web2 gaming in which gamers unilaterally consumes the games provided by game makers, Gran Saga shares the development process with the community and actively reflects its needs. According to METAPIXEL, this has resulted in a loyal user base, as evidenced by the metrics from the first community test in March (see figure below). As such, Web3 can extend the lifespan of a game by developing the content demanded by the community, promote games through the community, and co-create content with the community. METAPIXEL then concluded the session by stressing that Web3 is an open vision for both users and companies to experience an evolved ecosystem and products.

* For more information on METAPIXEL, check out our report, Aptos’ Ariadne’s Thread: Untangling the Crypto Maze