Krafton, the South Korean video game company behind PUBG: Battlegrounds and TERA, has announced its intention to create an NFT metaverse platform. Including a user generated content creation tool to use in virtual world powered by Unreal Engine.
The company plans to build the platform with NAVER Z, operator of leading Asian metaverse platform ZEPETO, which is said to have attracted over 290 million users worldwide.
ZEPTO is a virtual world which enables users to interact with each other via 3D avatars using AR technology. Krafton intends to develop a user generated content creation tool and a high-quality virtual world using Epic Games’ Unreal Engine, while NAVER Z will manage the metaverse service plus community and social services.
“This partnership between KRAFTON and NAVER Z is bolstered by each company’s unique expertise and shared global focused as they look toward a future driven by NFTs and metaverses,” said HyungChul Park, Krafton’s web 3.0 team lead.
“By combining KRAFTON’s existing technologies and research on how to build scalable Web 3.0 creator-driven ecosystems with NAVER Z and ZEPETO’s experience and capabilities, we’re confident we can build a high-quality UGC-driven open metaverse that stands apart from other services and vitalizes the global creator economy through NFT technologies.”
While there’s no universally accepted definition, the metaverse is a network of 3D virtual spaces where users can socialise, play, and work, and some envision it as a successor to the mobile internet.
Tech companies betting big on the metaverse include Microsoft, Epic Games and Bandai Namco.
NFTs and gaming in 2020s
NFTs are unique non-interchangeable units of data stored on a blockchain (a form of digital ledger), which effectively allow users to own, buy and sell digital items such as in-game items or artwork.
Many game companies have already started selling digital items as NFTs, such as Ubisoft and Konami, while others such as Square Enix have expressed enthusiasm for the tech trend.
Last week Team17 quickly U-turned on its intention to enter the NFT space after the scheme received public criticism from a number of development studios whose games were recently distributed by the publisher.
A number of other NFT schemes have been cancelled following a negative reception, with the likes of prolific video game voice actor Troy Baker and Stalker 2 developer GSC Game World backtracking on plans following backlashes.
Others companies, however, have been more resistant to criticism of their NFT plans, with one Ubisoft executive recently claiming players just “don’t get it”.