EA thinks NFTs and play-to-earn are ‘the future of our industry’

If you thought microtransactions were bad, both Ubisoft and EA are getting very excited about blockchain games and NFTs.

It is impossible to explain what a NFT (non-fungible token) is because nothing about the concept makes any sense. The idea is that it’s a way to prove ownership of digital content, with the original examples being artwork that could be bought and sold like physical objects… which obviously makes no sense given it’s digital and anyone can copy it for themselves.

With games it’s a little more sensible, in that you can’t just right click on an image and save it to your PC, but, really, it’s just an excuse for publishers to charge you even more for cosmetic items because they can pretend they’re rare or unique.

Last month, Ubisoft also talked about ‘play-to-earn’ games where you’re rewarded with cryptocurrency for playing a game, and now EA has revealed how excited it is about the prospect.

‘I think that in the context of the games we create and the live services that we offer, collectible digital content is going to play a meaningful part in our future, said CEO Andrew Wilson in an earnings call.

‘I think we’re in a really good position, and we should expect us to kind of think more innovatively and creatively about that on a go-forward basis.’

Wilson also called NFT and play-to-earn games ‘the future of our industry’, which is a fairly terrifying thought given how that will further skew a publisher’s priorities away from just making a good game – not to mention the environmental cost of cryptocurrency technology and the fact that buying and selling NFTs is completely unregulated.

Thankfully, not all games companies are as excited about the concept as EA and Ubisoft, with Valve already having banned both NFTs and cryptocurrency from Steam (although Epic Games has not).

The IGDA (International Game Developers Association) has also called on the industry to halt the use of NFTs, although purely on environmental grounds – with the suggestion that developers use PoS (proof of stake) technology instead.

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