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Image courtesy of Amazon Game Studios

Consumers are grappling with inflation in this world. But in another world, it's deflation, Axios Closer's Courtenay Brown writes.

Driving the news: Amazon's massively multiplayer online game "New World" — recently out after a slew of delays — is dealing with a crisis in its player-driven economy, PlayerAuctions reports.

It comes down to this: The way players can get paid — completing quests, for instance — aren't offering enough coin to keep up with how much "New World" money is leaving circulation.

The result: Money is scarce, so its value is skyrocketing. Now players are opting to barter for goods rather than spend their oh-so-rare coins.

Prices for goods are plummeting, sparking fears that players won't be able to profit from their (now super cheap) produced goods.

The bottom line: It's killing the fantasy economy and may turn players off the game entirely.

  • There's no central bank to intervene, but game developers could step in.

Note from Axios Gaming's Stephen Totilo: The deflation troubles are impacting a game that is otherwise overperforming.

  • One measure of that: It was the 10th most-watched game on Twitch in September, despite launching on the 28th, and remains in the top 10 two weeks since launch, according to tracking service Stream Elements.

Go deeper

TSSAA investigates slur allegation

A letter from STEM Prep CEO Kristin McGraner to the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association. Image courtesy of STEM Prep

The Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association is investigating an allegation that a referee used the N-word against a 14-year-old player during a girls basketball game Wednesday night at Smyrna High School.

  • The leader of Nashville charter school STEM Preparatory Academy sent a letter saying the incident was a vivid illustration of "institutional racism" embedded in athletics and the TSSAA itself.
Updated 1 hour ago - Health

First North American Omicron cases identified in Canada

COVID-19 testing personnel at Toronto Pearson International Airport in September. Photo: Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images

The first two cases of the new Omicron variant have been detected in North America, the Canadian government announced Sunday evening.

Driving the news: The World Health Organization has named Omicron a "variant of concern," but cautioned earlier on Sunday that it is not yet clear whether it's more transmissible than other strains of COVID-19.

5 hours ago - Health

WHO: Not yet known whether Omicron leads to more severe disease

Photo illustration: Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The World Health Organization on Sunday said that it is not yet clear whether the newly discovered Omicron variant is more transmissible than other strains of the COVID-19 virus.

Why it matters: The agency's statement comes as the variant, discovered in South Africa, has already been detected in European and Asian countries.