Video games have evolved significantly since their initial release in the 1970s. Following the Pong days, the world experienced unprecedented internet growth in the 2000s. In this time period, gaming developers were introduced to new business models, such as free-to-play, a staple of Web 2.0. With a free-to-play model, users were given access to their favorite games for free, with in-game assets costing money. Even for those who don't consider themselves gamers, this evolution presented the world with a new reality of continuous revenue for video game companies and lower barriers to entry for players.

The major drawback with free-to-play is that few gamers are willing to spend money on these assets. After all, these purchases carry little, if any, value in the real world. Moreover, players don't even own the assets, making any investment a sunk cost into gameplay. For these reasons, Web 3.0 has emerged as a mutually beneficial solution for gamers and developers alike. Recognizing that this shift in business model is more than hype, many startups have released their own offerings.

The Netmarble Corporation has grown in popularity as a well-known mobile game developer and publisher in Korea since 2000. With many games under the belt already, including MARVEL Future Revolution and Lineage 2: Revolution, the company has since updated A3: Still Alive, the first of their offerings to implement a play-to-earn (P2E) ecosystem.

Under this model, players can take advantage of in-game goods, which can be freely utilized outside of the game. To enable this functionality, A3: Still Alive leverages close partnerships with the MARBLEX Wallet, MBX Token and Netmarble N2 to improve the quality of gameplay and guarantee the stability of the in-game token INETRIUM (ITU). The team shares that this project is designed to "break the barrier between game and reality."

A3: Still Alive is set up to encourage users to make this move from Web 2.0 to Web 3.0 by enabling players who join the game early with more chances to earn INETRIUM.

Where game meets reality

The A3: Still Alive ecosystem is set in an apocalyptic fantasy world, complete with swords and sorcery in a cross-genre mobile experience that pairs living worlds of open-world RPGs with combat in the form of Battle Royale. In this world, players will become acquainted with an always-open player and player-vs-player (PvP) environment, enabling them to fight against enemies with intense hack and slash combat. Each of these modes is rendered with 3D graphics that leverage Unity Engine.

To incorporate play-to-earn functionality, A3: Still Alive uses INETRIUM and Netmarble in-house currency known as MBX. The connection ensures that as players collect INETRIUM by gathering Inetrium Ore in the new Inetrion Dungeon (accessible at level 190), they can advance their gameplay while having the option to exchange these tokens back into MBX for use outside the game. It is worth noting that Netmarble, the publisher, and Netmarble N2, the developer, will not be selling INETRIUM to the public, ensuring that players are the ones that benefit from this provision.

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The game is currently available as a free digital download on the App Store and Google Play Store, although the in-app purchases may come with a cost. A3: Still Alive is also available for download via the Open Beta for Windows PC.

An economy built for stability

Over the past year, the Netmarble Corporation has reported success with its launch in Korea, Ni no Kuni: Cross Worlds is now preparing to expand its service to the global market. Seven Knights 2 and MARVEL Future Revolution have also successfully launched in 2021 and continued to provide stable service to global users. Now, the team is focusing its journey on the blockchain ecosystem, with A3: Still Alive leading the charge.

The next 12 months hold a crucial turning point for the project, which has made it their aim to keep the ITU ecosystem stable and healthy through regular updates in regions and growth features in connection with the coin. The team suggests several updates on Soul Runners, Relics and new classes are also underway.

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