Nexon, one of Korea's most prominent gaming developers and publishers, is teaming up with Polygon to power its MapleStory Universe in-game economy. This will allow players to develop and manage NFTs in the game, the project's production director Sun-young Hwang said in a company release.
First released in Korea in 2003, MapleStory is a massively multiplayer online game with more than 180 million registered players. Since its launch, it has brought in more than $4 billion in revenue for the publisher, according to a company presentation. The MapleStory Universe is an NFT-powered spinoff of this IP.
So far, large gaming shops have been reluctant to integrate NFTs and crypto into their games — with some opting to experiment with new products rather than tinkering with their most valuable IP. Nexon's play for NFTs via MapleStory could mark a departure from this.
What's the MapleStory?
In the game, players create their characters and embark on quests, battle monsters and interact with other players in a virtual world. The game features 2D side-scrolling graphics.
Currently, players buy and sell items with one another using the game’s currency. In its web3 iteration, players will acquire NFTs through gameplay (i.e., hunting monsters and completing quests) to unlock multiple benefits and utilities in various games and applications in the ecosystem.
The game's crypto elements are set to work via Polygon's Supernets — an extension to the core blockchain which allows it to scale up and perform more complicated tasks. Supernets are known for allowing blockchain gaming with low-to-no transaction fees — a factor that has previously put larger gaming shops off from entering the space.
“We will work closely with the team at Polygon Labs to develop and market the game,” said Sun-young Hwang in the release.
Polygon has also struck deals with gaming industry heavyweights such as Square Enix, Neowiz, Midnight Society, Jam City and Tilting Point, and e-sports teams and streamers, including Cloud9 and DrDisrespect.
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