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Legacy. Screenshot: Gala Games

Veteran game designers Will Wright (The Sims, Sim City) and Peter Molyneux (Black & White, Fable) announced plans to make new NFT-based games during a weekend showcase held by NFT gaming company Gala Games.

Why it matters: It’s part of an attempt to prove that NFT gaming is legit, trading on the reputations of two prominent men who haven’t made hits in many years.

  • While establishment game publishers have been talking about getting in on NFT gaming — and drawing fan blowback in the process — nearly every NFT game that has been released so far has come from indies and upstarts.
  • Molyneux said he’s working on a business simulator called Legacy, while Wright more loosely is pegged to create a game that will work around existing collectible Gala NFTs.
  • Gala also announced that veteran studio Certain Affinity is creating an NFT first-person shooter.

Reminder: In the context of gaming, NFTs are digital items that, through blockchain technology, are said to be unique, ostensibly owned by the player-purchaser and usable in games.

  • But skepticism around the sector is as plentiful as the millions of dollars being invested in it by venture capital firms.
  • Beyond questions of environmental impact are those about how NFTs help gameplay and what they can do that standard video game items can’t.

Between the lines: Gala heavily promotes the concept of NFTs as a means to being a virtual landlord and tries to stoke land rushes before its games are out.

  • It’s already selling virtual land in Legacy prior to its launch.
  • A new video promoting “play to earn” system’s in the company’s multiplayer game Spider Tanks encouraged players to “be a baron” or “be an emperor” to receive proceeds from matches others play on their virtual property.
  • A new Walking Dead game from the company similarly promotes the chance to buy land and profit while players take refuge on it.

Go deeper

Jan 10, 2022 - Axios Des Moines

Iowa's sports gambling explodes in popularity

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Iowans placed almost $1.25 billion in sports bets in the first six months of the current fiscal year, according to records published Friday by the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission (IRGC).

  • That surpasses the amount wagered in the entire previous fiscal year, averaging more than $6.8 million each day between July and December.

Why it matters: Much of the bets are placed online and critics like Tom Coates of Consumer Credit of Des Moines warn that the convenience is fueling addictions and social problems.

  • Efforts to expand Iowa's online gaming to casino games is underway.
  • Prairie Meadows is one of the only nonprofit casinos in the nation and its profits help pay county debt and assist dozens of nonprofits.

Scoop: Stephanie Ruhle to replace Brian Williams on MSNBC

Photo: Nathan Congleton/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images

MSNBC will soon announce plans to move morning anchor Stephanie Ruhle to the 11 pm ET hour that Brian Williams turned into an elite destination, two sources familiar with the move tell Axios.

Details: The 9 am ET hour, currently hosted by Ruhle, will become part of MSNBC's flagship morning show, "Morning Joe," which currently runs from 6 am to 9 am ET.

Oath Keepers leader denied bail on Capitol riot sedition charge

Oath Keepers co-founder Elmer Stewart Rhodes. Photo: Susan Walsh/AP

A federal judge ordered Oath Keepers leader Stewart Rhodes to remain jailed Wednesday until trial on charges stemming from the Capitol riot.

Why it matters: The judge said the most prominent far-right figure charged in the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection had access to weapons and his alleged "continued advocacy for violence against the federal government" gave credence to prosecutors' view that, if released, Rhodes could endanger others.