In the past, many peddlers of cryptocurrency in gaming had said that implementation of play-to-earn games would see huge earnings for games that adopted it- ostensibly one of the reason titles like Ni No Kuni Cross Worlds had it added retroactively to the game for its global release.
However, based on the data from AppMagic, the myth of Crypto integration creating an explosion of wealth couldn’t be further from the truth, with the game’s global launch actually underperforming compared to its limited Asian release the year prior.
Admittedly, it would be dishonest to discount the fact that the global version has had a decent launch, at least in the US- it’s made approximately 6.2 million USD in its first full month since release, putting it over the South Korean version of the game for that month.
That being said, what was a launch month for the game’s global release wasn’t so for the other versions of the game, who are instead MMOs already a year in, way past the point of being the zeitgeist.
Bigger Net, Smaller Fish
If you compared the first full month of earnings for Ni No Kuni Cross Worlds Global (June 2022), you’d see that it earned about 12.1 million USD. While a respectable number in its own right, it’s not much compared to the first full month of the game’s Asia release (July 2021). This saw the game rake in a whopping 28.9 million USD- with just South Korea alone eclipsing the entire Global version of Ni No Kuni Cross Worlds with 16 million USD in earnings.
There’s a few factors you can consider here- for one, the Asian release was in the so-called power user countries, so the laughably eclipsing spending power makes sense when you remember these regions basically have the bigger guns when it comes to spending.
That being said, it’s not like the global release only targeted small, impoverished countries. The SEA region, another region known for its power-spending, was also roped into the launch but barely accounts for the game’s revenue, with 3.1 million USD between Thailand and The Philippines.
From a purely numbers game, that’s not too bad. But you have to remember that Ni No Kuni Cross Worlds stands as the first major example of a game featuring crypto integration hitting the mass market.
Despite all the talk of a crypto-powered future, Ni No Kuni Cross Worlds Global earnings wasn’t any more lucrative for it. In fact, even a year after its launch, the non-crypto versions of the game are still keeping pace with its crypto-ridden counterpart (7.3 million USD to global’s 12.1 in June alone). And worse still, the repeated double downs actually took a hit to the game’s quality, with constant backlash due to poor game balance (affected by the crypto integration) and the influx of bots clogging up the servers.
The Point Of All This
With the crypto crowd ready to attempt their next big break-in into the gaming industry (now under the moniker of Web 3.0 gaming), it’s important to contextualize just what they’re promising.
Like I said earlier, Ni No Kuni Cross Worlds is a great case study for just how many of their promises don’t work- shoehorning in a play-to-earn model didn’t get them anywhere near the success of the original game’s release, and the amount of allowances the game had to make to get their precious fad in the game came at the cost of goodwill from users (and the game’s quality).
You’re looking at a trend that is at best profit-neutral, and even that comes with a non-negotiable case of being quality-negative, no matter the situation. You couldn’t even argue that one of the game’s benefits was no one playing it since it’s been proven that that just leads to an influx of bots to clog up your server queues.
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