Level-5 may have scaled back its western operations, but it's actually still releasing new titles in this part of the world.
Following on from a local launch of Fantasy Life Online for mobile last December, it's now released the free-to-download game Ni no Kuni: Cross Worlds for PC and smartphones with the help of the Korean developer Netmarble.
As stunning as its trailer is (featuring "actual gameplay footage" and referencing a collaboration with famous Japanese animation company Studio Ghibli), it seems this game isn't quite as innocent as it looks.
As highlighted by Kotaku, it's actually filled with "crypto nonsense":
"this is actually a gacha game that also has cryptocurrency b***s*** baked into it. Netmarble have their own cryptocurrency wallet called Marblex, and as this website helpfully points out, players are able to take in-game items, trade them for Netmarble’s Asterite or Territe Tokens (which are currencies you can trade on Marblex), then trade those for other cryptocurrencies."
And here's an image of the exchange process, taken directly from the game's website:
If that wasn't already enough, the front page of the website also mentions the "blockchain system" in place, and the road map for the game includes adding NFTs in Q4 2022...
"Ni no Kuni: Cross Worlds employs a gameplay-based blockchain system, giving players who enjoy Ni no Kuni: Cross Worlds the opportunity to play to earn tokens through gameplay.
"Players can acquire two types of tokens in the Ni no Kuni: Cross Worlds blockchain system, and our team will do our best to preserve the token values."
Level-5, as previously mentioned, has reportedly toned down its focus on the west. Its most recent release on the Switch was the Japan-only mech RPG, Megaton Musashi.
If all of this has somehow got you in the mood for Ni no Kuni, there are some excellent Ni no Kuni games you can try out on the Switch: Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch and Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom. Level-5 is also best-known for other series like Inazuma Eleven, Professor Layton and the Yo-kai Watch.
How do you feel about the Ni no Kuni series being transformed into a mobile and PC game like this? Leave your thoughts below.