Outerverse publisher Freedom Games is warning of an NFT scam that's marketing a new cryptocurrency to videogame and NFT communities. The Outerverse Metaverse and Decentralized Platform is offering a token that it says will be earnable and usable in Outerverse—but Freedom Games and developer Tbjbu2 say the claim is "patently false."
"There is absolutely no NFT integration in the real Outerverse or with any other titles from Freedom Games," director of marketing Bryan Herren said in a statement. "Outerverse Metaverse & Decentralized Platform Gaming illegally uses the real game’s assets and the trademarked name. The con artists are selling an $OUTERVERSE token, claiming that it will be usable in the game itself."
There's no question that the NFT site is intentionally piggybacking on Outerverse: The logos are identical (except for the addition of "Metaverse & Decentralized Platform") and the background of the Outerverseswap website is identical to the header image on the Steam store page, but reversed. The $OUTERVERSE token name is kind of a giveaway, too.
And, like so many email scams that arrive every day, this one is further identifiable as a con through its less-than-pristine grammar. "$OUTERVERSE is developed Game Metaverse & DexSwap platform that connects gamers and enables trade token," the website says. "This gives $OUTERVERSE a real practical utility within the OUTERVERSE ecosystem. Embrace a platform where gamers and blockchain converge!"
The same message was shared on the Outerverseswap Twitter account, which also bears the Outerverse name:
$OUTERVERSE is developed Metaverse Game & DexSwap platform that connects gamers and enables them to buy and gaming NFTs.This gives $OUTERVERSE a real practical utility within the OUTERVERSE ecosystem. Embrace a platform where gamers and blockchain converge!January 16, 2022
At the same time, the $OUTERVERSE token does appear to be a "real" cryptocurrency, to the extent that it's listed on at least one crypto exchange, and you can apparently purchase it if you want. But in an email to PC Gamer, Herren repeated that it has nothing to do with Tbjbu2's game, which does not make use of blockchain technology in any way.
"This appears to just be an opportunistic appropriation of the game’s name and assets, presumably to profit off the uninformed," Herren said.
As for why Outerverse was targeted in this way, he speculated that the game title might conjure associations with "metaverse," a trendy topic among the tech set that scammers might hope will trigger the urge to buy without due diligence—or even a quick Google search.
"The game has also had a successful launch based on our projections and has maintained 'mostly positive' reviews since it debuted," Herren said. "The crafting game genre is also a popular one with a younger audience base, so scammers may have targeted us due to those similar titles."
Aside from warning people about the scam, Freedom Games said that it has contacted the company hosting the scam page to "encourage" its removal. So far there's been no movement on that front—in fact, the publisher says it's seen other complaints about fraudulent sites hosted by the same company with no action taken, "so we are not sure if it will be a priority for them."
"Freedom Games will continue to do everything within its power to protect the developers we support," Herren said. "Likewise, Freedom Games will always vigorously protect its copyright and trademarks, to safeguard our community to the best of our ability."