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Legacy. Screenshot: 22 Cans/Gala Games

Plots of virtual land for veteran developer Peter Molyneux’s upcoming NFT-based game Legacy have sold for more than $15 million, based on a check of items marked “sold out” in the online marketplace for the forthcoming game.

Why it matters: A lot of the money in NFT gaming now is based on speculation.

  • NFT gaming companies like Legacy publisher Gala encourage virtual land purchases long before the games that contain that land launch.
  • That’s a particularly risky offering in this case, given Molyneux’s notoriety for overpromising and under-delivering.
  • Speaking of flying blind: Gala invited owners of its “founder’s nodes” to vote last week whether to allow Legacy and another game onto its platform, prior to the games or their creative teams being revealed. Gala assured voters that the then-secret game was “sure to be an instant hit" and the votes passed.

The big picture: The video game industry has long been built around hype for the future, as publishers incentivized players to pre-order games months in advance to secure exclusive rewards.

  • This approach with pre-release NFTs extends that dramatically, given players can bid just about anything on an item for a game no one has yet reviewed or played.
  • Another example of this: The creators of upcoming big-budget first-person shooter S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 said today that people will soon be able to bid on NFTs that will result in three people being depicted in their April 2022 game.

But it’s awfully hard to discern what any of these gaming NFTs should be worth.

  • Ubisoft’s first batch, a set of 2,000 gun skins distributed to players for free last week, has begun to show up on crypto marketplaces.
  • Asking prices for largely the same item on the marketplace Objkt range from $634 to $423,000.
  • The highest listed offer is $21.

Go deeper

Ina Fried, author of Login
Jan 12, 2022 - Technology

Popular word game Wordle attracts copycats

Screenshot: Axios

Wordle, the viral once-daily online word game, has started to attract copycats, including some that charge hefty subscription prices or sell items online.

Why it matters: The popular game has a simple premise, making it easy to duplicate. Also, it's web-based, and that leaves a gap in app stores that imitators are quickly filling.

Starbucks drops worker vaccine or test requirement after SCOTUS ruling

Photo: Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Starbucks has dropped plans to require that U.S. workers get the COVID vaccine or submit to weekly testing, the company announced Tuesday in a memo to employees.

Why it matters: The company's decision comes in response to the Supreme Court's ruling last week to block the Biden administration's COVID-19 vaccine-or-test requirement for large employers.

2 hours ago - World

Netanyahu plea talks enter crunch time

Netanyahu (right) meets with his lawyer ahead of a court hearing last February. Photo: Reuven Casto/Pool/AFP via Getty

Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel's opposition leader and former prime minister, is negotiating a possible plea deal over the corruption charges against him, but Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit appears to be toughening his terms.

Why it matters: Mandelblit leaves office on Jan. 31. Negotiations could continue beyond that point, but the next attorney general may be less interested in quickly reaching a deal.