Microsoft might not like NFTs being used in its own products, but that isn’t stopping it from making yet another investment in a web3 company.
Its latest bet is on South Korean gaming firm Wemade, best known for its popular Legend of Mir series. The company raised $46 million from Microsoft, Shinhan Asset Management and Kiwoom Securities. Although Wemade dates back to the early 2000s, it has pivoted to web3 recently and launched both its mainnet and a stablecoin last month.
Microsoft dipped its toes into web3 earlier this year when it invested in blockchain software company Consensys. A job ad for a web3 and blockchain product manager also suggested it was trying to build up a team internally. In September, it took part in a funding round for decentralized data platform Space and Time.
But when it comes to web3 gaming, there's been opposition from within the company's own walls. In July, Minecraft creator Mojang Studios, which was purchased by Microsoft in 2014, said that it was opposed to NFTs because they would create a culture of unequal access in the game. It confirmed it doesn't permit blockchain technology integrations inside Minecraft client and server applications.
Microsoft’s gaming CEO Phil Spencer also expressed concerns about play-to-earn games and NFT integrations in an August interview with Bloomberg.
Wemade's own forays into web3 haven’t been completely smooth sailing either. Last week it ran into trouble with its new WEMIX stablecoin over a mismatch between the expected and actual distribution of the token and a lack of clear disclosure about the circulating supply.
As a result, the Digital Asset Exchange Association in South Korea issued an investment warning against the token. In a Medium post, Wemade said it would improve its system of disclosure and was trying to get the warning removed.