From Gen Z Corner, The Block Talk’s interns tackle topics from the perspective of young consumers.
On December 15 of last year, Game World, the developers for the widely-
And Game World isn’t the only gaming brand that had second thoughts about introducing NFTs. Just this year, Forbes reported that game publishing giant EA had backtracked on their major NFT projects. Another major publisher, Ubisoft, similarly experienced pushback from the gaming community after pursuing their own NFTs which are called digits. Digits are digital assets that can be used in Ubisoft’s games. They’re stored in Ubisoft Quartz, which is effectively a digital wallet. These NFTs can then be bought and sold on marketplaces using Tezos cryptocurrency on the XTZ blockchain. Ubisoft Quartz’s announcement video was so controversial for gamers that it initially garnered a 96% dislike on YouTube.
Why Are Some Gamers Anti-NFT?
One reason gamers are so adamantly against NFTs is because they see them as another way publishers can get away with giving them an ‘incomplete’ game. Many gamers have grown weary of microtransactions in games, which are seen as a way for developers to nickel-and-dime the consumer. Microtransactions are encouraged for downloadable content (DLCs for short), that include the sale of in-game content, expansions, character skins, digital art, and more. In other words, NFTs if they are minted on a blockchain.
Another concern is that NFTs will utilize lootbox mechanics. A lootbox is a container with undetermined contents from a pool of obtainable items. Like in a slot machine, getting your desired outcome is not guaranteed, but the prospect is addictive. Lootboxes have been widely-debated for their link to gambling addiction, and the implementation of lootboxes has been banned in some countries, including the Netherlands.
However, even though some gamers are opposed to the notion of in-game NFTs, the community has historically embraced the general concept. Steam, the biggest digital video game distribution platform has a community market where NFT-like digital assets for games are bought, sold and traded regularly, much like any NFT marketplace today. The main difference being that Steam is centralized, and it does not permit cryptocurrency purchases or use a blockchain of any kind.
Gamers, knowingly or not, have been using digital assets for close to a decade, though many are still feverishly against NFTs. There’s likely a path forward for NFTs in the context of games, but gamers and developers have a way to go to ensure mutual value. Surely, with the right set up or incentive, gamers, NFTs and the blockchain technology that enables them will be accepted as the norm and enjoyed within games.