In just two weeks, in-game NFTs have suddenly become a lightning rod in the gaming industry. Non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, are proprietary blockchain-verified game items, which is a novel concept in the gaming world. However, both game developers Y Players are already rejecting the concept, despite its nascent state. Many seem to view NFTs simply as a more pernicious version of loot boxes and micro-transactions, arguing that it is just a way for developers to get more money from their customers, rather than something that actually makes them games are more immersive or enjoyable.
The first signs of resistance come from the developers at Ubisoft, according to Kotaku. This is quite remarkable since the company was the first to walk out the door with a new platform that calls Quartz, which would allow players to purchase free NFT from in-game activities. Although the initial launch of Quartz was only in one game, Ghost Recon Wildlands, the players were so angry that Ubisoft ended up removing the launch video from YouTube, but still ended up launching the platform. As all of this was going on, Ubisoft employees were privately complaining about it on the company’s internal communication platform, with many wondering what problem the NFTs were solving and if Ubisoft would eventually enforce its inclusion in all company titles. Messages seen by Kotaku included: “I still don’t really understand the ‘problem’ being solved here,” wrote one employee. “Is it really worth the (extremely) negative publicity this will cause?” Another asked: “How can you look at private property, speculation, artificial scarcity and selfishness, and then say ‘yes, this is good, I want that, let’s put it into art’?” One helpless developer summed up the situation by saying, “I usually try to stay positive with our ads, but this one is disturbing.” So far, Ubisoft has not clarified its future plans for NFT in other games in its portfolio.
Another company that faced massive backlash was GSC Game World, which is creating STALKER 2: Heart of Chernobyl.. The developer recently announced the inclusion of NFT in their next title in a lengthy tweet, which was eventually removed, but saved by The edge. In the tweet, the developer wrote that they decided to include some “NPC faces” as the initial NFTs, and acknowledged, “some of you thought we’d go a bit far from here.” Despite going to great lengths to inform their audience that they had every intention of “doing NFT right,” the company eventually gave in to pressure online, advertising in a cheep they were removing NFTs from the game entirely.
At Microsoft, Phil Spencer, who is the company’s games director, recently told Axios They are still trying to wrap their collective heads around this new phenomenon. “What I would say at NFT today is that I think there is a lot of speculation and experimentation going on, and that some of the creatives that I see today feel more exploitative than those related to entertainment.” Microsoft is in a similar position to Valve Software in that it controls a game download platform and can choose which games are allowed and which are not. For its part, Valve has already banned NFT and blockchain-related games from Steam, but Spencer says they have yet to figure out where the line is drawn. Summing up his views, he noted: “I don’t think all NFT games need to be exploitative. I think we are on that journey of people who are discovering it. “
On the other side of the coin, news broke this week that Peter Molyneux’s new game Legacy sold over £ 40m worth of NFT ‘land’ for the yet-to-be blockchain-based business simulator. has been launched. People were able to purchase these virtual lands in the gaming universe using cryptocurrencies, and the lands allowed them to form business associations and invite other players to be their business partners. Given the amount of money involved here, for a game that has yet to be released, it seems like at least Some Not only are players not bothered by this type of novelty transaction, they are embracing it and eager to join the fray. It seems unlikely if that will be the case in other titles and genres given the resistance it has generated so far.