Team17 announces their newest business venture as they plan to make “environmentally friendly” NFTs for their Worms game series. Team17 revealed their plans to create digital NFT collectibles for their Worms series, called MetaWorms. Team17 will be collaborating with NFT development studio Reality Gaming Group, which will sell “environmentally friendly” MetaWorms NFTs. According to Eurogamer, Reality Gaming Group claims that they use their own “side-chain” of the “Ethereum mainnet,” which they boast will reduce the amount of energy used to make NFTs.
So far, Team17 has not released much information regarding MetaWorms. However, a website for MetaWorms has already been made, which includes a rotating image of the worm shown below, and a Discord server has been created. Team17 also plans to donate some of the proceeds to ReReed Farms, an organization in Canada that uses worms to improve soil quality instead of using fertilizers.
Since Team17 is a UK-based indie developer and umbrella publisher, this causes a problem as Team17’s decision affects all the indie game studios that have games associated with them. The good news is that “Team17 has no plans to introduce NFTs or play-to-earn NFT mechanics into any of its indie games label titles,” according to a statement shared with Eurogamer.
Eurogamer also reported that many teams working within Team17 were unaware of the company’s plan to create Worms NFTs until it was publicly made known today. Additionally, others within Team17 were aware of the deal after the company had already finished it and shared their disapproval, but Team17 continued with their plans regardless.
Aggro Crab, an indie game studio based in Seattle, recently made a statement regarding Team17’s decision and announced that they will no longer be working with Team17 in future projects. Aggro Crab first worked with Team17 for their game Going Under, which was published by Team17 in September 2020. In their statement shown below, Aggro Crab also asked people not to “harass employees at Team17 of the devs under their umbrella, as this decision seems to have taken everyone off guard and likely came from the very top.”
— AGGRO CRAB (@AggroCrabGames) January 31, 2022
As NFTs are becoming more common and associated more with AAA games and their development studios, Team17’s announcement comes as a surprise to the indie game community. It also brings up the question of whether or not more indie game studios will follow suit.