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Paradox Metaverse controversy: Why Youtubers alleged that it is a ‘scam’

Paradox Metaverse cover image

The Paradox Metaverse became a trending topic recently, ahead of its full launch later this year. After a mint earlier in 2022, and a roadmap to build interest in the new platform, it received a variety of scathing remarks that questions its legitimacy. Youtubers like Coffeezilla have questioned representatives from the company, enquiring whether it is a scam, while others, like iShowSpeed, endorsed the project.

To be clear, there is no direct evidence of whether it is a scam or not. But it has sparked a vibrant debate online, stoked by people who are investigating the company further. This article will go into detail on the events this week.

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What is Paradox Metaverse?

The Paradox Metaverse is an open-world action and adventure game created by London-based Paradox Studios, where players roam the world to explore, socialise, and combat one another. The story has flecks of science fiction and cyberpunk, as a city is overrun with an antagonistic force; the player takes part in Paradox City, and fights enemies with their wits and abilities.

Basically, players first buy an NFT character from the limited NFT collection. These NFTs will allow gamers to access missions, and once completed, they will be rewarded with the game’s native currency, “P-bucks.” Then, they can be swapped for $PARA, the in-game currency. The game reached popularity after a range of rap artists shared the title, and several crypto exchanges partnered up, such as Opensea, Uniswap, and Binance. Perhaps the most significant partnership was with Unreal Engine, which forms the backbone of the title. The title has become infamous as well, sparking debates on whether it is a scam or not.

More details on the Paradox Metaverse ecosystem. Photo credit: Paradox Studios.

Is Paradox Metaverse a scam?

While it sparked debate on its legitimacy as a games platform, the creators have said it is legitimate. When asked whether it is a get-rich-quick scheme by Coffeezilla, representatives of Paradox Studios said ‘of course it isn’t.’ Rather, the company said in a press release that they wish to ‘revamp the blockchain gaming market and has been working towards the development of the paradox metaverse.’ Importantly, there is no direct evidence that it is a scam.

The team is also passionate about the title, with a long-term vision of its journey. ‘Our team is committed to making the best gaming experience for users, wanting that to be in the story, graphics and mechanics of the game,’ said its whitepaper. Additionally, its website lays out a long-term plan, which will fully launch soon. (Then again, the whitepaper did misspell ‘blockchain’ at the time of writing, which does raise an eyebrow).

In my opinion, I would be cautious. Like with all blockchain-based projects, I recommend conducting extensive research before committing your finances to a new project.

The Immersive Wire has outreached to Paradox Studios for comment.

Coffeezilla confronting Paradox Studios on whether it is a get-rich-quick scheme. Video credit: The Drip.

How is iShowSpeed part of this?

iShowSpeed started promoting the game in mid-November, wearing Paradox Metaverse apparel and directing listeners to purchase $PARA on streams. It was clear that iShowSpeed partnered with the company to promote the game, though the length and depth of the relationship have not been disclosed.

In a later statement, iShowSpeed discussed the partnership and how it was a ‘mistake’ that he took part in the partnership. He commented that he is ‘not a scammer’ as well, as shown in this clip.

Dot Esports has done further reporting on this, and I highly recommend giving it a read if you want to read more about it.

How did Paradox respond to the allegations?

In response, the founder of Paradox Studios gave a comment on the situation. Amio Talio outlined what happened during the stream with iShowSpeed, and repeated that Paradox Metaverse is not a scam. He also emphasised that the company will continue in the long-run, and will continue building on its project over time. ‘We are here to stay, one way or another,’ he said.

Based on the contents of the video, it seems that Paradox Studios wishes to diffuse the situation and move on with its plan.

Since then the comments on the video have been turned off, and moistcr1tical released a video where he criticised Amio Talio’s wording and positioning. Coffeezilla has since followed up with a video which alleges that Amio Talio threatens smaller creators.

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Meditative with the VIVE Flow. Photo credit: Tom Ffiske

Tom Ffiske

Editor, Immersive Wire

Tom Ffiske is the Editor of the Immersive Wire, a weekly newsletter on the immersive industry.