XLGames continues to march forward with the global release of ArcheWorld, the NFT and blockchain-linked version of ArcheAge that technically launched for some Asian regions last year. Readers will recall that we first reported on this one in February 2022 and have monitored pre-registration and “content” plans as the ArcheAge franchise is one of the biggest in the MMORPG genre.
That pre-registration drive continues specifically for North and South America along with the announcement of an April 20th release for the game itself in those regions. This pre-registration campaign primarily offers up 1,000 Archeum – the in-game material that can be exchanged for Blue Salt to snag NFTs – though it’s also giving out additional in-game items and land NFTs for friend referrals.
This “event” is also heralding ArcheWorld’s own crypto wallet called Face Wallet that’s described as being specially designed so that “users can […] sign up and participate in pre-registration events easily without any crypto knowledge,” which is definitely not something you should do. Please acquire said knowledge to actually inform your choices.
The press release additionally crows about the game’s “Asian” release six months ago; the company rather vaguely claims it “gained the trust of many users as a trustworthy project with its well-thought-out Tokenomics and its solid in-game content.” XLGames Founder Jake Song is even quoted as saying ArcheWorld “will do its best to break negative stereotypes people have of blockchain games.”
However, we point to a November interview from GameVu with XLGames CEO Choi Gwon-ho, who said that of the 100K people who linked wallets to ArcheWorld in Asian countries at that time (two months after launch), only a “small fraction” remained because “the game is too difficult,” which in turn leaves land NFTs mostly unused.
“I thought there would be more users and more servers than now, but in reality, that was not the case. It was expected that all the land would be contracted immediately, but only a little over half of the land was contracted. I think it was because the rent was too high. Above all, the price of ‘Blue Salt’ has risen a lot more than we thought. […] The share of PC games in Asian countries where ArcheWorld is released is not high. There would also be our faults and mistakes. […] As I’ve said before, we don’t think we can achieve great ‘commercial’ success with this game. But through our first blockchain game project, ArcheWorld, we want to create an opportunity for people to think about blockchain.”
Choi also promoted a Xangle analysis that suggested that in spite of the declining trading volume of the game’s NFT, the ArcheAge IP and interest from regions with high GDP (specifically North America, Europe, and Russia) could propel the game’s fortunes – which essentially explains why the company is doubling-down by launching in the west, where there are few restrictions on NFT trading. “ArcheWorld is receiving high interest in North America, Russia, and Europe, where ArcheAge was a hit, including Korea,” the analysts write. “This is different from web3 games, where subsistence users in Southeast Asian and South American countries with low GDP are the main users. The lower the proportion of users who use games as an economic means, the higher the sustainability of the game as the impact of their exit from the ecosystem is minimized.” This is what is known as “saying the quiet part out loud.”
As I said, we do not think that we can achieve great ‘commercial’ success with this game. But we hope to make people think again about crypto gaming and blockchain itself with ArcheWorld, our first blockchain game project. Technology itself is not important; it only supports.
— Martin Kwanho Choi (@MartinKwanho) November 1, 2022
As usual, here is further reading on why blockchain, crypto, and NFTs are solutions desperately seeking a problem: