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The Winter Olympics gets a new video game … featuring NFTs

Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid developer nWay and the International Olympic Committee have teamed up to announce Olympic Games Jam: Beijing 2022. This free-to-play mobile game launches today, but before you get too excited, know that this competitive multiplayer game is based around NFTs that give players an in-game advantage and have proven to be controversial recently.

Olympic Games Jam: Beijing 2022 features several sports minigames based on Olympic events like Snowboard Cross, Ski Cross, Skeleton, Slopestyle, and Slalom. Players can make customizable avatars and compete against other players in a series of randomized events, getting a gold medal if they are the last one standing. The developer even plans on constantly updating the game with new sports, events, and modes.

While it seems like the kind of harmless Olympics minigame collection we’ve seen before, it’s actually a play-to-earn game meant to bolster nWay’s Olympic NFT digital pins.

Olympic Games Jam: Beijing 2022, an NFT-based mobile game, features a skiing minigame.

Before the game’s release, nWay sold Olympic NFT digital pins on its nWayPlay marketplace. Players can earn and then sell these pins by playing Olympic Games Jam: Beijing 2022. In-game, these NFT digital pins will give players access to better rewards and even extend power-ups that make the player go faster, control better, and resist hazards.

Those who spend the most money on pins will theoretically do the best in the minigames. This all makes Olympic Games Jam: Beijing 2022 seem like a pay-to-win game, which would be antithetical to the friendly and respectful competition that the Olympic Games represent. It also shows how challenging it could be for game developers to incorporate NFTs without hurting the experience of those who don’t want to use them.

Olympic Games Jam: Beijing 2022 launches today for iOS and Android. 

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