Krafton, developer of the popular videogame PUBG, said it had signed a deal with Solana Labs to jointly develop blockchain and NFT-based games and services. The developer said it intended to leverage its game building capabilities in the web3 space.
The move marks growing the growing popularity of blockchain and play-to-earn (P2E) games, which has attracted interest from established developers in the crypto and videogame space.
Solana is the ninth-largest blockchain in the world by market capital, at nearly $30 billion. The blockchain allows developers to build highly scalable applications- a trait cited by Krafton as one of the motivators behind today’s deal.
South Korea-based Krafton had shot to success in 2017 on its wildly popular PUBG game, which is credited with popularizing the “battle royale” genre. The game is currently free to play, and features collectable cosmetics- a feature that is complementary to NFTs.
Krafton no stranger to web3
Krafton’s deal with Solana comes as an extension of the developer’s foray into web3 technology. The developer had foreshadowed its move into web3 earlier this year, and has since then invested in and collaborated with several firms in the space.
In February, Krafton said it had invested a combined $6.6 million in South Korean NFT marketplaces Seoul Auction Blue and XBYBLUE, and had also agreed to develop NFT projects with the two.
The company outlined plans to leverage NFT adoption in a planned massively multiplayer online role-playing game, along with the metaverse. It is building this metaverse through a collaboration with NAVER, operator of the metaverse ZEPETO.
P2E, Blockchain games attract investors
P2E games, which essentially reward players with tokens, have been growing in popularity this year, attracting major investors.
Earlier this week, FTX, the world’s third-largest crypto exchange, acquired P2E developer Good Luck Games to bolster its own gaming offerings. Good Luck Games is comprised of several veteran developers, and is currently working on a card-based auto battler called Storybook Brawl.
Established videogame developers including Zynga and Ubisoft have also expressed interest in moving into the space.