Do gamers really hate NFTs?

  • Not everyone is a fan of NFTs. The recent backlash that Ubisoft Entertainment received–and is still receiving–after it announced it was developing NFTs for its new Quartz NFT platform provides a cautionary tale. (Engadget) The French video game developer Ubisoft makes Assassin’s Creed, Far Cry, For Honor, Just Dance, Prince of Persia, Rabbids, Rayman, Tom Clancy’s, and Watch Dogs.
  • As WSJ Tech Reporter Sarah Needleman described this week, video game makers Ubisoft, Zynga, EA, and Playtika are eagerly exploring NFTs for their games.
  • However, the idea of adding NFTs to gaming worlds has sparked backlash.
  • Jason Schreier of Bloomberg analyzes the backlash to NFTs among gamers. It’s clear Schreier agrees with the backlash: “But I’ve never seen a gaming trend inspire as much vitriol as non-fungible tokens — unique strings of data that can (sort of) be used to prove digital ownership. They’ve generated a lot of hype among video game executives for unclear reasons, and fans have grown furious about it all.”
  • Schreier identifies several reasons for the backlash, but it appears the biggest reason is that NFTs will erode trust among gamers because they will be asked to pay for more things.
    • “Why do gamers hate NFTs so much? There are a lot of factors — the environmental impact associated with crypto mining, the frequent scams, the urge to never see a cartoon monkey again — but the biggest is that their mere presence in a video game is an erosion of trust.”
  • Even further, Schreier thinks the whole use of NFTs to enable players to “play to earn” money will make playing video games more like a chore, and no longer fun.
    • “Every game that uses NFTs, whether it was built from the ground up to be “play-to-earn” or it just grafted on blockchain later like Ubisoft Quartz, is designed around an economy where players can buy and sell digital items to one another. As a result, every player is incentivized not to have a good time but to make as much money as possible. Economy comes first; enjoyment and artistic value are often secondary.”
  • Schreier makes some compelling points. Do you think he’s right? Will NFTs destroy the whole fun of playing video games? Let us know.