Ni No Kuni: Cross Worlds, an adorable mobile RPG from developer Netmarble, is out now on the iOS App Store and the Google Play Store. It’s a cute RPG set in the world of the mainline games and features some of the most lovely visuals in a mobile game this side of Genshin Impact.
Judging by the games produced by the same studio, it’s also probably full of NFTs and blockchain bullcrap.
First reported by Fanbyte, the game’s connections to NFT and blockchain technology were first discussed in a Netmarble blog post last month. Here’s what Netmarble had to say about Ni No Kuni: Cross Worlds and its blockchain ambitions at the time:
“In line with A3: STILL ALIVE, Ni No Kuni: Cross Worlds users will be able to acquire in-game currencies by hunting in a particular field or dungeon and exchanging them for individual game tokens and MBX. How will blockchain technology be linked to various contents of ‘Ni No Kuni: Cross Worlds’? We are very curious!”
One might think this leaves Netmarble’s intentions regarding the blockchain somewhat oblique. Of the pages on the Netmarble website related to Ni No Kuni: Cross Worlds, few of them mention its connection to the blockchain. However, the blog post linked above features a roadmap that provides a crystal clear plan for games across the Netmarble portfolio. The broad expectation is that opportunities to buy NFTs or play-to-earn crypto mechanics will begin to appear in the months after launch, in line with other Netmarble games.
The hope, it appears, is to pull players in with the game’s nice presentation and Studio Ghibli art direction, and then spring the crypto nonsense on them later. By indulging in vagaries with its online copy, Netmarble seems to be trying to avoid the negative connotations that come with attaching blockchain mechanics to a well-loved IP.
Fans of the Ni No Kuni franchise and those interested in gacha games were immediately suspicious. Several Redditors in the r/gachagaming subreddit questioned Netmarble’s reasons for acquiring the license in the first place.
Will you be playing Ni No Kuni: Cross Worlds? Let us know in the comments.