Play to win: ‘Ni no Kuni: Cross Worlds’ game developers want to stick to blockchain and NFT plans despite criticism | newsletter

“Ni no Kuni: Cross Worlds” is an online RPG for PC, Android and iOS

The ability to purchase in-game tokens and spend them on cryptocurrencies has drawn strong criticism from players
Developer Netmarble is trying to please its players with a statement and is committed to blockchain and NFT plans

This is Ni no Kuni: Across Realms

“Ni no Kuni: Cross Worlds” is a Level 5 video game by South Korean developer Netmarble and Japanese publisher that can be played on PC or smartphone (Android and iOS). It is an online role-playing game and related to an in-game virtual reality game. In the character of the testers, you plunge into the virtual world of the fantasy adventure “Soul Diver”. As a player, however, you will quickly notice that the explored world is not virtual at all. Then a mysterious girl named Rania assigns you a mission. Namely, you have to rebuild your kingdom, which was looted by powerful enemies in the past. This should save the connected worlds from certain destruction.


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The game is based on the blockchain and contains so-called “play to win” elements. This means that players receive tokens in the course of the game, which they can spend either inside the virtual world for their progression or outside the game for cryptocurrency. However, tokens used in the game can not only be earned as a type of currency, but can also be purchased through in-game purchases for real money. In addition to the possibility of exchanging these tokens for cryptocurrency or other tokens, according to media reports, Netmarble also announced that it wants to introduce NFT as a digital asset in the fourth quarter of 2022.

Criticism rains down on cryptocurrencies, blockchain, and NFTs

While everything around crypto and blockchain is currently very popular, the launch of the concept of a blockchain-based game has been met with great discontent among fans. Because if there’s one thing players absolutely hate, it’s pay to win. This means that in-game characters can be upgraded for payments in such a way that they have a clear advantage over others who only level up through game progress. This distorts the competition and takes the fun out of many players. The token system of “Ni no Kuni: Cross Worlds” allows such pay-to-win. According to the EUROGAMER website, many players have noticed from the start that “the buyers of cryptocurrency have a huge advantage because they buy the best combinations and animals directly.” The imbalance can be seen especially in the battles between two players.

But it’s not just pay-to-win that is a thorn in the side of many fans. Equipment containing an unnecessarily large number of coding elements also causes criticism. Some users announced on Twitter that they either won’t install the game at all or delete it right away due to these components.

Developer Netmarble comments on criticism

Shortly after the European release of “Ni no Kuni: Cross Worlds”, Netmarble recognized the resentment in its fan community and responded to the criticism. In a message on his forum, the developer wrote that he can understand that there are some questions from players about tokens to play for profit. The concept used improves the gaming experience rather than making it worse, as many gamers see it. “Our goal is to create an environment in which users can fully explore the amazing world of Ni no Kuni: Cross Worlds, and we believe the Premium Economy System is a way to achieve this,” Netmarble explains. There are two “currencies” available in the game. They can be used to enhance your characters or exchange them for tokens that can be used outside of the game. The way players use the tokens is entirely up to them. All content can also be explored without participating in the token system or blockchain technology. After all, there are different ways to experience “Ni no Kuni: Cross Worlds” and the distinct ecosystem is just one of them. So anyone can refuse to use it completely, which the developer thinks is perfectly fine. Netmarble will keep its community updated with the latest news in this region.

As the announcement shows, Netmarble is not taking criticism from its players as an opportunity to move away from blockchain technology and the token system. So the coding plans for “Ni no Kuni: Cross World” should be pursued further. With his forum post, Netmarble is just trying to convince that the game can also be played with pleasure despite and apart from playing for profit. It remains to be seen if the developer will succeed in this.

Nicolas Flühr / Editor

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