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15 Jan, 2022 05:09 HomeGames & Culture NFTs, play-to-earn games, and why everyone hates them Some video game developers want NFTs in their games, others are swearing off putting them in theirs
Gamers are up in arms against NFTs appearing in their favorite titles, while some developers keep pushing for it. So why do people think it’s a bad idea?
What are NFTs? NFT, for those who still don’t get it (and can’t be blamed for it), stands for Non-Fungible Token, which basically means it’s a unique digital asset that can belong to only one person at a single time. Essentially, it’s just a line of code, stored on a blockchain, similar to a crypto coin, saying that something belongs to you. But, unlike with cryptocurrency, NFTs are attached to a piece of digital media – be it a piece of music, a video, an image, an item in a video game, or any other sort of digital asset. The whole concept essentially revolves around ownership.
The idea can be compared to art collecting. Say a certain renowned artist produces a painting, which then goes to auction. Somebody buys it and becomes the sole owner of the original piece. The value of the piece is derived from the fact that it is the original. And while anybody can go ahead and reproduce it, and even make it virtually indistinguishable from the original, it will still lack the signature of the author, making it much less valuable.
But an NFT doesn’t necessarily even have to be one-of-a-kind. It could also be one of many copies, like trading cards, with the blockchain ensuring that only a fixed number of these official items exist.
How do they fit into video games? The video game industry has been the latest to take interest in the growing NFT technology and it’s no surprise. Unique virtual in-game items have existed in video games for a while now, be it rare weapons and gear in massive online multiplayer games or limited edition cosmetic items.
Players have proven to be willing to pay for these items, be it for the in-game power they provide or for the mere purpose of collecting them or showing off to friends. So developers now see the concept of NFTs as not that far off from the exclusive assets that players can already obtain in games, and in some cases trade for real-world money or other valuable items.
Therefore, some established video game developers are now looking to introduce NFT items into popular video games, hoping players will rush to buy them for their exclusivity and potential profit down the road.
Who has tried it already? So far, several major video game publishers, including Square Enix, Ubisoft, and EA, have announced they would be taking the plunge into NFTs in their future projects. Ubisoft has already introduced several NFTs into its ‘Ghost Recon Breakpoint’ game. Called ‘Digits,’ these items include helmets, guns and other various gear branded with a unique serial number.