Has Konami Chosen the Worst Time to Jump on the NFT Craze?

Has Konami Chosen the Worst Time to Jump on the NFT Craze?

Japanese video game giant Konami plans to launch a marketplace for trading in-game non-fungible tokens (NFTs). The move comes as the market for digital collectibles is down by every metric. 

In a Thursday post, the entertainment conglomerate revealed that it is looking to add new talent and will recruit a “wide range of talent 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,” it stated.

It is worth noting that this is not Konami’s first foray into NFTs. Earlier this year, the gaming giant celebrated the 35th anniversary of Castlevania by selling a collection of NFTs related to the franchise. The company earned over $162,000 from the NFT auction.

However, this time Konami might not get that lucky. Amid a rout in the global financial market, the market for NFTs has also taken a hit, plunging to record lows. 

NFT Market Down to Record Lows

The once-booming NFT market is down in almost every traceable metric. In sectors ranging from art to gaming, NFT trading volume across all sectors has plummeted by around 90% since last year, according to data from cryptocurrency websites The Block and CryptoSlam.

That’s a steep drop for an NFT industry that posted several $1bn trading weeks in recent years, as dealers, speculators, and collectors competed to obtain the coveted digital collectibles for profit, gain status and show off. 

Since the beginning of September, NFT trading volumes have averaged $35 million per week. Amid a weak stock market and high inflation, the market has shown no signs of recovery.

What the industry calls a crypto “winter” has settled in the once-hot market that saw the rise of Yuga Labs, Dapper Labs, and OpenSea, several billion-dollar companies. The NFT market struggles are yet another sign that blockchain-based digital collectibles are bull market luxuries rather than reliable, inflation-resistant investments.

NFT trading volume fell from $17 billion at the beginning of the year to just $466 million in September, a drop of 97%. The drop is in line with the broader market recession and global market slump, caused by the war in Europe, rising inflation, and poor central bank policies.

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