“If it smells like money, Konami’s going to be there in a heartbeat!”.
As NFTs continue their insidious creep across the games industry, PlatinumGames – the studio behind the likes of Bayonetta, Nier: Automata, and the imminent Babylon’s Fall – has shared its own perspective on the issue, calling the spread of the controversial tech “frustrating”, given it offers “no positive impact on the creators or the users in any sense.”
Platinum’s CEO Atsushi Inaba and vice president Hideki Kamiya discussed NFTs and blockchain technology as part of an extensive chat with VGC, revealing that despite growing interest in the tech among gaming publishers, the studio hasn’t “really been thinking about that.”
“I understand it’s a hot topic right now and it’s really starting to gain momentum,” Inaba told VGC, “but the way that it’s gained momentum has been focused on profitability for the company, but with no positive impact on the creators or the users in any sense. So that’s frustrating to see happening.”
“The people who are trying to promote NFTs and partner with gaming companies, their conversations seem extremely one-sided,” Inaba continued. “‘Hey, you’re going to make money!’. But how does it benefit the user or the creator? If I want to spend my time on something, I want it to benefit making good games.”
It’s a stance shared by Kamiya, who says he has “zero interest” in NFTs. “I consider myself a user at heart, more than a businessman,” he explained. “It doesn’t have any benefit for users at the moment. In the future, if it’s expanded in a way that has a positive side for users, then maybe I’ll start to be interested in what they do with it. But I’m not seeing that at the moment.” Asked if he was surprised by how quickly the likes of Konami had jumped on the NFT bandwagon, Kamiya added, “Not really. If it smells like money, Konami’s going to be there in a heartbeat!”.
While players and many developers continue to view NFTs and blockchain with suspicion, if not outright hostility, publishers across the industry remain insistent in their efforts to foist the environmentally damaging and functionally unconvincing technology on the public.
Konami, Atari, Ubisoft, Zynga, PUBG creator Krafton, and more have all announced big initiatives focused on blockchain and NFTs, while others – including Team 17 and Stalker 2 developer GSC Game World – have been forced into embarrassing U-turns following immediate, and entirely predictable, fan backlash at their gung-ho NFT plans. Some publishers, including EA and Sega, have seemingly backtracked from earlier NFT enthusiasm in recent months as consumer pushback continues to grow, but it’s clear the NFT craze is far from over.