Konami is apparently committed to breaking into the world of metaverse and web3 games, and now plans to launch an NFT platform to let players trade in-game items.
A new job listing explains the company is recruiting a wide range of talent for "for 'system construction' and 'service development' to provide new experiences such as web3 and metaverse."
"We have been conducting research and development to incorporate the latest technology into games and contents, and plan to launch a service where players can trade their in-game NFTs (digital items) through a unique distribution platform using blockchain," added the company in the posting.
The Silent Hill and Metal Gear Solid publisher claims the move will strengthen its structure and accelerate its business.
Outlining precisely how it will use NFTs, the company said its non-fungible tokens will appear as usable in-game items, but will also have functionality within fan communities and events. Broadly speaking, it claims its NFTs will help fans "interact with other services and communities to further expand the user experience."
The company added that the system it's currently developing is a "unique digital item distribution platform" that conforms to the Guidelines for Blockchain Games issued by the Computer Entertainment Supplier's Association, Japan Online Game Association, and the Mobile Content Forum.
Konami reiterated its plans to sell NFTs in a fiscal report published earlier this year, and said it wanted to let players claim ownership of its virtual items to "preserve content that has been loved by our customers as commemorative art." The studio made those comments shortly after hosting a Castlevania 35th Anniversary NFT auction.
Now, however, it seems the company is keen to push even deeper into the NFT business with a view to creating in-game items that have some semblance of functionality.
Other companies, such as Ubisoft, have previously adopted a similar approach – though it'd be fair to say their efforts yielded mixed results. For instance, Ubisoft launched an NFT platform called Quartz to let players buy and sell cosmetic virtual goods in Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Breakpoint for real-world cash.
Players, however, weren't exactly sold on the idea, and with Quartz struggling to make headway, Nicolas Pouard, VP at Ubisoft's Strategic Innovations Lab, suggested that players were simply slow on the uptake.
"I think gamers don't get what a digital secondary market can bring to them. For now, because of the current situation and context of NFTs, gamers really believe it's first destroying the planet, and second just a tool for speculation," said Pouard in an interview with Australian outlet Finder last year.
"But what we [at Ubisoft] are seeing first is the end game. The end game is about giving players the opportunity to resell their items once they're finished with them or they're finished playing the game itself. So, it's really, for them. It's really beneficial. But they don't get it for now."
Others like Bandai Namco and Square Enix are also experimenting with NFTs, but due to concerns about the environmental impact of NFTs and the speculative nature of buying and selling virtual items, many players and developers within the industry remain skeptical about their usage