Welcome to This Week in the Metaverse, where Fortune rounds up the most interesting news in the world of NFTs, culture, and the metaverse. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with tips.
Let’s talk about blockchain gaming. The mention of mixing Web3 tech with video games can sometimes be controversial for mainstream gamers. Many are opposed to the idea, and yet games remain a significant part of on-chain activity—and a sector with huge potential.
Games made up 45.6% of all decentralized app activity in the first quarter of the year, according to Dapp Radar. And investments in blockchain games and metaverse projects totaled $434 million in March alone—and more than $700 million over the whole first quarter.
Although some notable companies in the gaming industry, such as Ubisoft and Microsoft, have distanced themselves from NFTs, others are making headway.
Final Fantasy creator Square Enix announced this week that it’s working with PC game launcher Elixir to incorporate Web3 technology into its products, according to Decrypt.
“This partnership brings us closer to Web3 gaming mass adoption,” Elixir CEO Carlos Roldan said in a statement.
This partnership builds on the launch of Square Enix’s first Web3 game, Symbiogenesis, and a previous investment in the metaverse platform The Sandbox.
Notably, many of the advances in Web3 gaming seem to be coming from Asia, where 55% of global gamers, about 1.7 billion people, are located. This group contributed more than $72 billion toward annual gaming revenue in 2019, according to DappRadar.
Although cryptocurrencies are banned in China, South Korean and Japanese companies are doubling down on blockchain tech.
While gamers in the U.S. sometimes have a negative view of Web3, that may not be the case in other countries. Citing a market research survey from Pacific Meta, DappRadar reported that 40% of respondents in Square Enix’s native Japan were aware of blockchain games, and of that 40% some 56% had a positive impression of them.
In other news
Fans of The Adventures of Tintin comic series or the 2011 movie by the same name can now own a piece of the action with two new NFT collections powered by NFT infrastructure company Crossmint. The first collection is tied to a limited edition printed poster—only 777 will be minted—that can be redeemed for a physical print. The second is purely virtual but comes with digital copies of Tintin creator Hergé’s The Blue Lotus book—in black and white, and color—and a one-time pass for two adults and two children for the Hergé museum in Belgium.
<strong>Mattel</strong> introduced peer-to-peer trading in partnership with NFT marketplace Rarible this week for the platform it launched last year to host branded non-fungible tokens. Owners of Mattel NFTs can now display, trade, and sell their assets on the marketplace. The company also launched a new series of Hot Wheels® NFTs in packs of seven that include 40 unique cars from McLaren, Pagani, Aston Martin, Chevrolet, and Porsche. Those that get the rarest of the cards can get a physical die-cast replica of their car.
The Wolf of Wall Street film is celebrating its 10-year anniversary with a limited series of NFTs featuring never-before-seen scenes and access to an invite-only event in December. The NFTs, which will launch sometime in the second quarter, feature outfits from the movies as well as shots of some of the main characters played by Leonardo DiCaprio, Margot Robbie, and Jonah Hill.
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