Even with the controversy Wemade and Wemix has a large backing.
Microsoft has not been a major proponent of web3 technology, especially not in its hardware or software offerings but the company is still making large investments into web3.
Recently Microsoft was part of a $46 million funding round that went to Wemade. The size of the investment has not been disclosed but is rumored to be in the millions. Wemade is best known for its blockchain game platform Wemix and NFT marketplace Wemarket.
Microsoft’s first major investment in a web3 company was to Consensys. The company has also opened up a job ad for a web3 and blockchain product manager. 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.
Wemade has a history dating back to the early 2000s but it recently switched to web3 and launched both a mainnet and stablecoin last month.
Within Microsoft, there have been heated exchanges and debates on whether the company should even go into web3. In July, Mojang Studios, the creator of the super popular game Minecraft, said it was opposed to NFTs due to the unequal access culture it would create within the game. The company also updated its community guidelines to restrict any projects with NFTs from using the platform. One platform that did just that was NFT Worlds which was dependent upon Minecraft as a basis for its virtual world.
Microsoft gaming CEO Phil Spencer also spoke on his concerns about play-to-earn gaming and NFT integrations in an interview with Bloomberg. In that interview he suggested that gamers are not interested in the metaverse because what is being offered are things gamers are already accustomed to:
“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,” -Spencer
He also spoke on how play-to-earn games have made a “workforce out of players for certain other players to monetize” alluding to the scholars and scholarship program of guilds built during Axie Infinity’s biggest rush, and claiming that it was pretty “exploitative.”
Wemade may have the approval of Microsoft despite the investment warnings put on the company by the Digital Asset Exchange Association of South Korea which placed an investment warning against the token.
An investment warning is the first step the Korean government can take short of a ban. The placement is due to Wemade’s stablecoin not being clearly described, meaning the expected and actual distribution of the token and circulating supply was vastly different. Wemade has since stated it would improve things and correct its system of disclosure in an attempt to get the warning removed.
The DAEA has placed investment warnings in the past, including one for Bithumb which was later lifted as the company made changes to its operations.
This investment could be seen as a way for Microsoft to keep its options open as the world of web3 technology rapidly changes and expands.