Walk-to-earn, play-to-earn… it seems like these crypto trends have similarities with projects nobody feels like talking about today.
Cryptocurrencies are being adopted by more companies, while others decide not to use them due to the problems and few regulations that characterize them.
More and more companies and celebrities decide to move to the video games of the future. Currently the world of gaming is going through many changes, such as the labor paradigm, the growth of services and companies and the adaptation of new technologies to the field. It is within this last point that NFTs and play-to-earn video games have had great growth, generating controversy in return.
In itself, an NFT is a “Non-Fungible Token”. Translated, a non-fungible currency (thing/property that is consumed with use. It comes from the Latin word fungi, which can be translated as “spend”; on the other hand, the suffix -ble refers to things that with use become consume). Which consists of a piece / digital image that is sold at prices set in cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin and Etheruem are the most popular and the most used.
The most innovative feature of these tokens is that when you acquire them, no one will have an identical copy of yours. What do I mean? With the technology called “blockchain” the information and the number of the copy of the NFT that one bought are stored in a database. Making it impossible for two or more people to have the same Token number at the same time.
This is where play to earn video games come into play. Where these are designed so that you can win cryptocurrencies and different NFTs, while you play. This caused several questions to be raised about the use of the games. Among them if they should be used to generate income. Many fans have assured that these are the video games of the future
And this is where another of the problems with NFTs arises, as their commercial value is included. A lot of interest caused by this new trend was its possible resale. Because there is a market where they are listed based on an average value that increases or decreases. Generally its price is influenced by the value of cryptocurrencies.
Finding an asset that could increase in price, many companies began submitting projects for its use. Even game developers were looking to implement them on their IPs. This meant that, little by little, detractors and defenders of NFTs in video games began to emerge.
The detractors of NFTs in video games
One of the first decisions that was made within gaming, against cryptocurrencies and NFTs, was by Steam. From the store they consider that these new technologies were not created for the benefit of the player or their enjoyment. That is why they sent a statement to several developers clarifying their position. They will not accept any IP that contains these characteristics. The first of the titles blocked by the company was Age of Rust.
What they seek to avoid from Steam is that the games are transformed into “play to earn” experiences. What they refer to is titles in which one can generate money by playing. For later with this, to be able to make purchases within the same video game or continue investing within it.
The case of Xbox and Microsoft and their point of view on play to earn video games
In turn, Gabe Newell’s company is not the only one that gave its opinion on the matter. Currently, Xbox is on a stage of popularity and power, being an important part of the industry, thanks to what is now Xbox Game Pass. So much so, that Phil Spencer, CEO of Xbox Studios, said what he thinks of this technology. “I think there is a lot of speculation and experimentation, and some of the creative that I see seems more like speculation than entertainment. I don’t think all NFT games need to be speculation. I think we are in that group of people who are discovering it, “explained Spencer for the Axios medium.
Although he did not rule out the possibility that Xbox or Microsoft use them in the future. Since, it highlights that they are still being discovered. Therefore, greater regulations, such as controls on non-fungible tokens, could cause them to reach the company. In other words, perhaps in the future, if it suits the company and the appropriate measures exist, play to earn video games will be adopted.
It even happened to The Last of Us
Despite the fact that the majority presented a negative view, many regretted accepting this new technology. This was the case with Troy Baker (Joel’s voice actor in The Last of Us) who was one of the first to Repent. At the beginning of the year he had announced his collaboration with VoiceVerseNFT. A project in which the assets would be accompanied by audio.
Baker had tweeted “you can create or you can hate”, clearly alluding to all those people who are against this new technology. However, his fans spoke out against it through Twitter. Making that, shortly after, the voice actor dismissed his collaboration with the NFT. “After careful consideration, I have decided not to continue the association with VoiceVerseNFT. Intentions aside, I heard you and I apologize for accusing someone of ‘hating’ simply for not agreeing with me.”
Konami and Square-Enix defend the future of play to earn video games
On the other hand, Konami has already implemented this “trend” with its Castlevania saga. Putting NFT up for auction to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the video game. The company’s rationale is that they use fan-made art, then transform it into non-fungible tokens. Clearly, paying them and recognizing their work. However, they do not seem to want to stop these practices.
Then there is Square Enix, who despite receiving multiple criticisms from their fans, did not back down on their ideas. The implementation of play to earn games that are related to NFTs and cryptocurrencies is a plan to follow. So much so that after the sale of the studios responsible for Tomb Raider, Deus Ex and Thief, they ensured that the money that came in (300 million dollars) would be invested in NFT and the metaverse.
The companies sold in question were Crystal Dynamics, Eidos-Montreal and Square Enix Montreal.
What is the future of NFTs and play to earn video games?
“The future of video games is NFTs and cryptocurrencies” is a speech that is presented a lot in gaming by certain sectors and companies. Although, not everything new and futuristic has to be good or it will come to stay. Less when the economic values of a few are focused on others. Thus making a space where you can enjoy a game, an area of speculation and circulation of money. Causing losses, scams and / or theft to many people if the correct controls are not implemented.
Therefore, although the panorama seems discouraging due to the great massiveness of play to earn and NFTs, changes can be seen and a struggle not to install a paradigm that appears ostentatious from the first glance. The important thing about this problem is that the players have the last word. Even though hasty decisions are made, a response is always generated from the receivers. Making that, in the worst cases, things begin to change.