Update: Blizzard president Mike Ybarra says nobody at the company is “doing NFTs.”
Ybarra clarified Blizzard’s plans on Twitter (opens in new tab) in response to reports on a survey sent by the company in part to gauge audience interest in “emerging and future trends” including cryptocurrencies and NFTs.
This sparked concerns over the possibility of play-to-earn models and other blockchain-powered systems coming to current or future Blizzard games. Ybarra bluntly shut down these concerns, but stopped short of confirming the purpose and contents of the survey.
In a separate statement sent to GamesRadar+, Blizzard affirmed that:
“The company conducts surveys regularly on a wide range of emerging topics to better learn about the interests of our players, regardless of our involvement in such trends.”
Activision Blizzard has issued a survey to some of its players asking for their opinions about blockchain and NFT technology in games.
The YouGov survey, seemingly sent to select Activision/Blizzard fans over the weekend, is seeking to gauge the interest of players in a range of “emerging and future trends in gaming”, from cloud gaming, cross-play, and VR, to metaverse gaming experiences, play-to-earn gaming – wherein players can earn cryptocurrency – and NFTs (thanks, GameRant (opens in new tab)).
So it seems Blizzard/Activision is trying to see if players are interested in crypto and n.f*t in games. I got a survey from them and it is on the survey. I said very disinterested to them. pic.twitter.com/dIT4bVokDKApril 16, 2022
Although there has been an influx of gaming giants trialing controversial blockchain tech and NFTs in recent months – including Konami, Team17, and Ubisoft – some companies are now reconsidering their approaches. GSC Game World – developer of the upcoming Stalker sequel, Stalker 2: Heart of Chernobyl – u-turned on a decision to introduce NFTs into the highly-anticipated game (opens in new tab) at the end of last year, whilst Sega is reconsidering plans to jump on the NFT bandwagon (opens in new tab) until it is certain “what will be accepted and what will not be by the users”.
In an interview earlier this year, Sega CEO Haruki Satomi said the publisher would have to “carefully assess” the future of NFTs in its products following “negative reactions” from players and said, “if it is perceived as simple money-making, I would like to make a decision not to proceed”.
ICYMI, after suffering a hack topping $600 million in stolen cryptocurrency, NFT game Axie Infinity is now dealing with a loss of “play-to-earn” workers which, as Austin so wonderfully encapsulated earlier this week, has essentially “left the digital equivalent of landlords with a shortage of renters”.
Valve has banned all NFT games from Steam (opens in new tab), but the Epic Games Store is still welcoming blockchain tech.