Xbox’s Phil Spencer is skeptical of NFTs in games
Although it appears that a large number of video game publishers are rushing to at least Claim they are interested in NFTs as a new source of income, at least one top executive is a bit skeptical. It would be Phil Spencer from Xbox, who spoke to Axios about NFTs and blockchain when it comes to video games, and why it doesn’t dip Xbox like Ubisoft or EA, who have shown interest.
“What I would say today on NFT is that I think there’s a lot of speculation and experimentation going on, and some of the creatives I see today feel more exploitative than on entertainment. “
Spencer goes on to say he doesn’t think all NFT games are exploitative, but he’s cautious about something like this appearing in the Xbox ecosystem, given how nascent this scene is. It’s a different language than what we’ve seen in other game publishers. EA recently called NFTs and blockchain the “future of the industry,” where the company is already making billions on Ultimate Team collectibles, so turning them into potentially even more profitable NFTs seems like an obvious potential step for them. them. Ubisoft said similar things, a company that has never seen a potential new gaming platform that it doesn’t like.
The most important player in the gaming space to take a stand against blockchain and NFT games has been Steam, which banned them from the platform, while rival Epic Games has said it is open to concept in his store.
There seems to be a pretty sharp divide between supporters of NFT games, which are sometimes touted as a way for gamers to make sustainable money while playing, while critics say they are often exploited and fueled by the speculation, potentially resulting in unsustainability that could cost players, or businesses, a lot of money if the trend is reversed.
One of the main issues with NFTs in games is portraying the idea as something really new to the industry in the first place. The scarcity of digital items and the real money markets for gaming items are already a thing, and have been for decades. The idea of ’decentralized’ ownership is meant to add some sort of next level of security, but it’s unclear whether the concept can be fully reliable (see many NFT scams over the past year) or whether the potential environmental impact of involving blockchain is worth it all.
NFT games are a booming industry, but still very, very small. Often, supporters compare the scene to the early days of the mobile gaming industry, which eventually exploded into the biggest chunk of gaming overall. And yet I think mobile has seen a clear hole in the market and filled it, while NFTs seem to only add extra steps and extra risk to concepts that have been around in the game for a very long time. .
It’s too early to tell what happens to the NFT gaming scene, but I agree with Spencer that it’s wise to be skeptical and watch out for its exploitation potential.