Stock Groups

Cash grab or innovation? The video game world is divided over NFTs


One gamer plays Watch Dogs Legion with a PS4 controller.

Kenzo Tribouillard | AFP via Getty Images

Gamers tend to be skeptical.

As an example, 2017, Electronic ArtsFace huge backlashOver a decision by Star Wars Battlefront II to charge players for certain characters. These content is usually not accessible to players without them having to labor for many hours.

EA had to end the fight because of all the outcry. walked back its plansCritics described it as a “pay to win” model.

So what? UbisoftFrench publisher of video games,. dropped a videoIts foray into this month is exemplary non-fungible tokensThe reaction to the news was predictable, but it is fair to assume.

Quartz, a digital asset platform that allows players to own items in games such as helmets via NFTs. This is a way for the company to keep track of who has what on blockchain. This feature is now available in Ubisoft’s “Ghost Recon Breakpoint” game.

Gamers were outraged and labeled Quartz as a cash grab. Some people also voiced concerns about the environmental impactThere are many cryptocurrencies.

OperatorDrewski commented on the video: “To my mind, this is an egregious signal that you’re just maximizing the Ghost Recon franchise while sparing any effort towards the game itself.”

YouTube may have recently made it difficult for users to dislike videos. However, they were able to download software and find the trailer from Ubisoft. overwhelmingly dislikedWith only 1,600 Likes and over 40,000 Dislikes,

CNBC was told by an Ubisoft spokesperson that NFTs on Quartz were currently available for free and that Ubisoft does not take a cut from any secondary market sales.

According to the spokesperson, “Ubisoft Quartz was created as an experiment.”

Ubisoft’s NFTs “Digits”, which Ubisoft calls “cosmetic, in-game cosmetics that do not have any impact on gameplay,” added the spokesperson. In that sense they can be used as an option.

Ubisoft addressed environmental concerns by stating that it relies on Tezos, a cryptocurrency network with less energy consumption.

Ubisoft isn’t the only game company to jump on the NFT bandwagon.

Andrew Wilson, CEO of EA saysThis phenomenon is “important part of the industry’s future.” GSC Game World, a Ukrainian developer, wanted NFTs to be integrated into “STALKER 2,” but it has since been canceled. scrapped those plansAfter fans pushback.

There are two sides to the industry.

Ubisoft’s debacle emphasizes division in gaming over non-fungible tokens. For example, last month MicrosoftPhil Spencer, Xbox Chief of Xbox warned that some attempts to introduce NFTs into video games are not working.exploitive.”

“There are certainly some aspects of [NFTs]Geoff Keighley (host of The Game Awards) spoke to CNBC ahead of The Game Awards. annual awards ceremonyIt was held recently.

Keighley said that while he liked the idea that game creators could make revenue via royalties from NFT sales but that “the thing i hope doesn’t occur is games becoming a platform only for commerce.”

He said, “What I love most about gaming is their worlds and stories.” It’s not what I want. This is a little like microtransactions“That was the biggest drama of all for gamers.”

Many cryptocurrency startups are betting that NFTs will be a part of the future world. Axie Infinity, for example, is a blockchain-based game that lets users collect and breed creatures called “Axies” — kind of like “Pokémon” but with NFTs.

Blockchain: Why?

Robby Yung (CEO of Animoca Brands), an investor in Sky Mavis’ Axie Infinity creation, stated that gaming business models have changed in recent years.

Gaming is historically more expensive, which means you purchased cartridges, DVDs, or later downloadables. He said that you paid upfront for the games.

It has largely evolved to an economic model that allows for free-to play. You get the idea that although it is free to play, you will have virtual assets that can be used to upgrade and improve your game.

Yung claims that the NFT model is unique because gamers now have ownership rights to digital property they acquire within a gaming game. The assets can be taken out of the game by players and then exchanged elsewhere. The phenomenon reminded him of his childhood.

Yung stated that if you purchased cartridges for your gaming console but can’t afford the cost of a new one, then you could sell your older games to a second-hand store.

We don’t have a second-hand market for digital content these days. The blockchain allows that to be possible again. Content that you no longer want can be disposed of or not being used anymore.

It’s evident that NFTs are not for everyone, even though there is excitement about them and the potential application in gaming.

According to George Jijiashvili (principal analyst at Omdia), NFTs could one day be used in video games. However, they are still “in an embryonic stage” right now.

Jijiashvili stated that “Rushing to offer NFTs without thoroughly evaluating them could cause serious reputational damage.”