Editor’s take: To be honest, most non-fungible token (NFT) transactions and ideas feel scammy to me. Many people do not fully understand what NFTs are and how they work and are shelling out ridiculous amounts of money for something that does not tangibly exist and is often not likely to increase in value.
It seems that an overwhelming majority of game developers are also against NFTs and their use as a monetization method in video games. According to the Game Developers Conference’s 2022 annual report, 70 percent of developers surveyed said their studios have no interest in implementing NFTs or cryptocurrency into their titles.
That statistic may not be damning in and of itself. However, the comments left by some of the respondents are more telling. Most said they were concerned about the environmental impact of implementing NFTs and cryptocurrency in games. Others feel that NFTs, in particular, open up the floodgates for scammy shovelware apps.
“I’d rather not endorse burning a rainforest down to confirm someone ‘owns’ a jpeg,” said one anonymous developer.
“How this hasn’t been identified as a pyramid scheme is beyond me,” another said, referring to the current trend of NFT exchanges.
— Official_GDC (@Official_GDC) January 20, 2022
Some people are ready to quit their jobs if their studios begin selling in-game NFTs.
“Burn ’em to the ground. Ban everyone involved in them,” said an NFT worker vehemently against the whole idea. “I work at an NFT company currently and am quitting to get away from it.”
The handful of developers who commented that they favored blockchain games seemed to think that non-fungible tokens in gaming are inevitable.
“It’s the wave of the future,” responded one eager developer.
It is unclear NFTs will ever really be a thing in gaming. Ubisoft tried bringing NFT cosmetic items to Ghost Recon, but players aren’t buying them. Stalker developer GSC Game World announced plans to incorporate NFTs into the upcoming sequel but quickly backpedaled after harsh backlash from fans.
Developers are not the only ones in the industry against the faddish trend. Valve instituted a ban against all blockchain games on Steam. This restriction would include titles implementing a cryptocurrency or NFT economy.