Online chess platform Immortal Game is no longer working on any NFTs or play-to-earn crypto elements for its game because such elements “encouraged heavy cheating” on the platform, the team announced in a Discord post last week.
Immortal Game, which was built on Ethereum scaling network Immutable X, will no longer accept its Checkmate token CMT, is getting rid of its NFT marketplace, will remove any references to crypto on its website, and will no longer reward tournament winners with crypto prizes. The changes took effect Monday, according to the post.
“After careful deliberation, we have decided to stop development on play-and-earn and NFT collectibles related features on Immortal Game,” pseudonymous Immortal developer known as “Luxo” wrote in the community’s Discord server. The announcement was also posted on the game’s website.
Despite raising $12 million last year from blockchain investors like TCG Crypto and Kraken Ventures, Immortal is ditching crypto. The platform has raised a total of $15.5 million in funding.
CMT’s price is down over 73% this year, with much of the losses coming from this quarter, according to CryptoRank data. Players were previously able to earn CMT by winning games on the platform. Immortal chess piece NFTs can still be used in the game, but only in “Immortal mode.”
The Immortal rep explained that the team initially created crypto elements for its platform out of a desire to reward its community—but found that cheaters exploiting the platform for money were ruining the fun.
“We found that by offering large amounts of cash with no limit barrier to entry, we encouraged heavy cheating on the platform and degraded the user experience for our legitimate player base who want a fair and safe place to play chess online,” the Immortal dev shared.
Players will now have to go to Immutable’s marketplace and website to manage or trade their Immortal Game NFTs, and any users with custodial wallets will have to transfer their assets to a self-custodied crypto wallet.
“The unintended consequence of offering money to players has increased the unfair practices, and we have decided that we cannot stand by and let this cheating happen any longer,” Luxo added. “While we’ll still explore Web3 and decentralized technologies, particularly for anti-cheat measures and community engagement, our primary drive is to advance our chess platform, ensuring a fair and enjoyable environment for all players.”
Cheating is a big problem across nearly all competitive games—but financial rewards can increase the incentive for players looking for a quick buck to cheat or install exploits that manipulate a game’s outcome in their favor.
Immortal isn’t the first studio to ditch its crypto plans, however. A Game7 report found that nearly 50 blockchain games have stopped development this year. Other Web3 games initially putting their NFT elements in the forefront have since taken a step back, offering crypto-free game versions to adhere to the Steam store’s restrictions.
Back in July, Neopets abandoned its NFT-powered gaming plans after getting funding from crypto investors, with its CEO previously telling Decrypt that its community on the whole doesn’t care about crypto. And in October, the fantasy MMORPG Gran Saga: Unlimited also stopped developing its NFT-powered game entirely.
The Immortal team did not immediately respond to Decrypt’s request for further comment.
Edited by Andrew Hayward