Metaverse Gaming Features Already Exist in Web2, Says Microsoft Gaming Boss

The entire concept of the Metaverse and Web3.0 might be new to outsiders, but gamers it has been living in this reality for years. 


Phil Spencer, the Chief Executive Officer of Microsoft Gaming, revealed this position in an interview with Bloomberg Studio 1.0, highlighting that gamers nowadays do not really understand the thrill of the metaverse “because the technologies proponents claim as novel are ones they have experienced in games for years.”

“It’s not at all surprising to me that gamers might look at metaverse and think… I already have an avatar of myself, I can already go into a shared world, and I can already have voice conversations,” he said.

Spencer reiterated how Microsoft has been very cautious when it comes to certain offshoots of the blockchain gaming ecosystem, such as Play-to-Earn (P2E). The tech giant is cautious as it does not want its platforms to be unduly monetized, although Spencer noted that some forms of monetization are already commonplace in the Web2.0 ecosystem.

“There have been gold farmers, people who literally just spend their time doing some menial task in a game to accrue some currency that they can then sell to some other rich player for real money, so that person doesn’t have to spend their time… But now you find games that are starting to build that into the economy of the game itself,” 

Microsoft’s reservations regarding monetizing NFTs and their underlying innovations have pushed its Mojang Studios, the startup behind the Minecraft game platform, to ban all forms of NFT and monetization-related activities, as announced back in July. 

The limitations Minecraft announced have pushed platforms like NFT Worlds to pull out from Minecraft as its primary gaming platform. In all, Microsoft still remains one of the major tech giants pursuing metaverse-related advancement as Web3.0 evolves.

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PlayStation Surveying Players on NFTs at EVO 2022

PlayStation may be eyeing a move into the non-fungible token (NFT) world as the gaming giant has been surveying its players about their interests in digital collectables.


As revealed by a Twitter user with the handle Snorlax Ownz, the gaming giant added a question bordering on the interests of EVO 2022 players with respect to digital collectables.


Per the screenshot shared above, PlayStation asked the EVO participants to give an insight into the digital collectables they collect the most. The listed options include Evo Branded, Favorite Music Artists, Favorite ESports Players/Teams, PlayStation Items, and Favorite Game Characters.


It is becoming commonplace amongst game developers and Guilds to integrate non-fungible tokens into their characters and merchandise build. In fact, there is a whole new push to integrate blockchain dynamics into decentralized finance, birthing Play-2-Earn (P2E) games such as Axie Infinity, The Sandbox, and other growing titles.


PlayStation provides the console that serves as the avenue by which most gaming enthusiasts access some of the most thrilling titles around. Should the speculations about the outfit consider adopting NFTs, it will mark a milestone that can arguably steer the new innovation to a whole new level.


While the likely disposition of PlayStation is yet to be determined, other gaming stakeholders are already making their stands known. Popular gaming studio Minecraft has openly said no to NFTs and blockchain technology in general. 


Per the position of the gaming giant, NFTs, with their inherently uncertain price hikes, are billed to unsettle its ecosystem. The key feature it prides itself on, inclusivity, may be removed altogether. 


While Minecraft said it will be keeping tabs on development in the setting of the digital collectable, other major platforms like Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) and Magic Eden have launched dedicated funds to help bootstrap gaming protocols. This shows the growing level of importance being accorded to NFT and blockchain-powered games across the board.

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Microsoft launches game to celebrate women in science — with Minecraft NFT rewards

Tech giant Microsoft and blockchain developer Enjin have teamed up to release a game celebrating women in science that rewards players with Minecraft-compatible non-fungible tokens.

“Azure Space Mystery” is an interactive, fictional online game designed to celebrate the International Day of Women and Girls in Science. Players work to save the International Space Station, and on completion they can claim a limited edition NFT.

During gameplay, players will also learn about prominent European female scientists including Mary Somerville, Caroline Herschel, and Raymonde de Laroche. The NFTs are compatible and transferable with the popular game Minecraft, which had 131 million monthly players as of October 2020.

Bryana Kortendick, Enjin’s VP of operations and communications, stated:

“Education is key to empowering the next generation of innovators. Enjin is proud to work alongside Microsoft to generate innovative opportunities for merging virtual worlds, bringing digital communities closer together and celebrating powerful women in science and tech.”

By logging into Minecraft’s MyMetaverse server and connecting with an Enjin wallet containing the NFTs, players can access a sequel Azure Space Mystery quest within Minecraft which can be completed to receive additional collectible NFTs.

While there is an infinite supply of the tokens available to be claimed by players, the NFTs will never be issued again after the Space Mystery promotion has ended.

Microsoft first announced it had teamed up with Enjin to create blockchain-powered “badge rewards” in 2019, with the Azure Heroes program delivering NFTs to roughly 6,400 unique recipients.