With NFTs growing in popularity many in the video game industry are jumping on board. NFTs are, “basically a unique digital asset”, Jessica Wong of Forbes writes. However, that might not help us understand what these “non-fungible tokens” are. Per Wong, the significance lies in the “non-fungible” part of NFTs. “Fungible tokens are not unique. Also, fungible tokens are divisible. non-fungible tokens may be used to represent any asset”. So what are some examples of NFTs? Well, Investopedia outlines that, “examples of NFTs include in-game items like avatars, digital and non-digital collectibles, domain names, and event tickets”. Dabbling with said “in-game items” and more is precisley what several note-worthy game companies have been discussing. But if NFTs still do not make sense, watch the video below for a better explanation.
The list of companies in the news for their relationship with NFTs is long. Names like EA and Square Enix have expressed the potential effect and significance of these tokens. The likes of Konami and GSC Game World have made attempts to get into the NFT space already. Conversely, the indie game marketplace Itch.io, the developers at Team17, and Sega have been on the hesitant or no side of the NFT teeter-tot.
Platinum Games and Nintendo are two additional companies who have recently remarked on their respective perspectives about NFTs. The Bayonetta developer expressed briefly in their latest interview with Video Games Chronicle that, “We haven’t really been thinking about that”. A short and sweet statement, but Atsushi Inaba, the new president and CEO of Platinum Games went on to explain. Inaba elaborated by saying, “I understand it’s a hot topic right now and it’s really starting to gain momentum, but the way that it’s gained momentum has been focused on profitability for the company, but with no positive impact on the creators or the users in any sense. So that’s frustrating to see happening. The people who are trying to promote NFTs and partner with gaming companies, their conversations seem extremely one-sided. ‘Hey, you’re going to make money!’ But how does it benefit the user or the creator? If I want to spend my time on something, I want it to benefit making good games. As content gets more and more digital, I do think that NFT as a concept will gain more importance, but I think that the early adopters are just seeing it as a way to profit as much as possible. That’s not something I’m interested in being part of, to be honest.
Hideki Kamiya, Platinum Games’ new vice president, stated quite plainly that, “Honestly, I have zero interest in this subject”. He went on to echo Inaba’s feelings about NFTs by saying,
I think what Inaba-san just said really resonated with me because I consider myself a user at heart…It doesn’t have any benefit for users at the moment.
Nintendo on the other hand has been in the news lately after their livestream detailing upcoming releases. Not a word was mentioned concerning NFTs. However, Shuntaro Furukawa, the Representative Director and President, recently spoke at the company’s Nine Months Financial Results Briefing. Furukawa answered just one question about non-fungible tokens and the metaverse at large. He was quoted as saying, “The metaverse has captured the attention of many companies around the world, and it has great potential. As a company that provides entertainment, our main emphasis is on ways to deliver fresh surprises and fun to our consumers. We might consider something if we can find a way to convey a “Nintendo approach” to the metaverse that many people can readily understand, but we do not think that is the situation at the present time”.