• The stock price of South Korean gaming studio NCSoft has increased by 30% as a result of plans to launch NFT games in 2022

  • NCSoft, a South Korean game developer, has announced plans to release non-fungible token (NFT)-based games in 2022. NCSoft’s chief financial officer, Hong Won-jun, announced this during the company’s third-quarter earnings call on November 11.

    The planned NFT gaming titles, according to Hong, will be massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPG), with release dates set for Q2 2022.

    NCSoft’s NFT-based gaming titles will also use the play-to-earn (P2E) model, in which players are rewarded for playing the games with cryptocurrencies. NCSoft intends to create its own crypto tokens to be used as game rewards.

    The game developer may also expand the P2E format beyond its upcoming catalog of NFT-based games, with Hong stating, “We are also considering applying the play-to-earn game model to all NCSoft games.”

    Hong also stated in the announcement that the emerging NFT gaming space will provide opportunities for new business growth for the $13.67 billion company.

    The shift to blockchain-based gaming comes after the company’s market value dropped by more than $3.7 billion between August and September due to the failure of its martial arts role-playing game “Blade & Soul 2.”

    NCSoft’s NFT gaming announcement drew a positive response from investors, as the company’s stock price rose 30 percent on Thursday, from 592,000 Korean won ($501.57) to 786,000 Korean won ($665.94), matching its daily limit for the first time since January 2015. On the Korean Stock Exchange, the company’s share price is still down nearly 20% year to date, following a nearly 50% drop between February and October.

    Today’s announcement also demonstrates the growing popularity of blockchain-based P2E games in South Korea. Mir4, an MMORPG with a crypto component developed by fellow South Korean gaming studio WeMade Co, has gained popularity on Steam.

    Outside of South Korea, NFT gaming appears to be gaining traction, particularly as companies seek to build expansive metaverse ecosystems. This rise in prominence is reflected in the increasing volume of venture capital funding for NFT-based startups seen in recent months.

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