Where Do Various Gaming Companies Stand on Web3 and NFTs?
With the Web3 space and NFT (Non Fungible Token) technology exploding in popularity, we have witnessed several companies expressing their interest in entering the Web3 ecosystem. Gaming companies are not an exception to this and various high-profile publishers and developers are announcing their entry into the NFT space, much to the public’s dismay.
While companies such as Ubisoft have announced NFT projects despite the backlash, other developers like Mojang, the creators behind Minecraft, have banned all NFTs and blockchain aspects. On 20th June, in a lengthy statement on its , Mojang announced the ban of blockchain mechanics in the Minecraft ecosystem. It said, “Blockchain technologies are not permitted to be integrated inside our Minecraft client and server applications nor may they be utilized to create NFTs associated with any in-game content, including worlds, skins, persona items, or other mods.”
Several studios have announced their foray into the NFT space, announcing plans to incorporate them alongside triple AAA titles but with the public showing little to no interest in these plans, a few developers have already backed out. Where do some of the biggest companies stand on entering the NFT space?
Ubisoft has created one of the longest-lasting legacies with some of the biggest gaming franchises under its belt including Far Cry, Assassins Creed, Tom Clancy titles, and more. Recently, the company has been in the spotlight for one major reason: Ubisoft Quartz.
Ubisoft Quartz is a digital platform for players to acquire Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) named Digits. These would be playable digital assets in their triple AAA titles. The first game to incorporate this was Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Breakpoint.
This was met with an overwhelmingly negative response with over 45 Thousand dislikes on the announcement . It became apparent that the criticism arose due to Ubisoft’s entry into an industry that is fairly new and susceptible to scams.
Amidst the low sales and backlash, Ubisoft addressed the media. In an interview with , it said, “Well, it was a reaction we were expecting. We know it’s not an easy concept to grasp. But Quartz is just a first step that should lead to something bigger. Something that will be more easily understood by our players.” It added that there is an inability to understand the benefits of NFTs but doubled down on its plans to include NFTs in their other AAA titles.
Square Enix is next in line with its announcement of NFT projects after partnering up with Enjin, a blockchain software that will hold Square Enix’s tokens on its Efinity Blockchain. The initial announcement came through Square Enix’s plans to release physical action figures that come along with a code for a digital NFT.
It will also have physical trading cards with a digital NFT component. Enjin that Square Enix’s IP Final Fantasy VII’s merchandise will be getting its own NFTs which can be acquired via action figures and trading cards. The action figures will be available in November 2023 and can be pre-ordered at the Square Enix Store.
Square Enix acknowledged that the entire ecosystem could be a bust or not exist by the time these figures are out for release. It has therefore added a ‘ section as a disclaimer on the action figure page of the website.
After the publication of its latest financial results, during a Q&A session, Nintendo was asked about its stance on the Metaverse and NFTs. According to analyst David Gibson and an official translated transcript of the answers by Video Games Chronicle, Nintendo announced that it does have an interest in the area and wanted to explore its potential.
“The Metaverse is attracting the attention of many companies around the world, and we believe that it has great potential. In addition, when the metaverse is mentioned in the media, software such as Animal Crossing is sometimes cited as an example, and in this sense, we are interested in it. On the other hand, it is not easy to define what kind of surprise and fun the metaverse can provide to customers. As a company that proposes entertainment, we have to think about how to provide fresh surprises and fun,” it stated.
It added that it may be able to consider a possibility if it finds a way to communicate the “Nintendo approach” to many people in an easy-to-understand manner. However, it believed that it was not the case at this time.
Konami was one of the studios that was behind popular games like Castlevania, and Silent Hill, and recently it lost its traction. But it has entered the NFT space, announcing the news of “Art preservation” which according to Konami’s financial report was an “effort to preserve content that has been loved by our customers as commemorative art." Konami first announced the release of Castlevania NFTs as part of the 35th anniversary of Castlevania. In January, it announced that it made over $160 Thousand USD, according to TheGamer.
Konami is still sticking to its guns as it announced that it will be continuing with the NFT drops according to its financial reports. This made it clear that Castlevania will not be the only IP that will be getting the NFT treatment.
"We will also be selling Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) in an effort to preserve content that has been loved by our customers as commemorative art."
However, this is all Konami has revealed about its NFT venture and there is no news on what form these NFTs would take.
Team 17, the publishers behind popular indie games such as Overcooked and the Escapist, announced a partnership with Reality Gaming Group on a project named MetaWorms. MetaWorms is an NFT art project based on Worms, the long-running tactical gaming series.
This news was promptly met by a negative outcry and led to Team 17 announcing the cancelation of the project in just 24 hours. It stated that it listened to its “Teamsters, development partners and games communities.”
Be it negative or positive engagement, most of the big names in the gaming industry have spoken about the NFT and Web3 space. It's no surprise that so many developers have shown interest in Web3 and NFTs because of the potential they hold. However, there is an evident gap between consumers, publishers, gamers, and the concept of NFTs and blockchain gaming. It will be interesting to see how all the stakeholders take on this trend in the coming months.
This story was written in partnership with Linx Games
Linx Games is a community-driven blockchain game distribution platform for gamers and developers to interact, socialize and exchange ideas.