The topic of NFTs in gaming has been a hot one for quite some time now, with companies like Konami, Square Enix and Ubisoft all committing time and resources to the technology. However, there's been a massive backlash against NFTs and blockchain tech within the industry, so much so that Team17, Sega and EA have all scaled back their interest, in varying degrees.
Speaking to VGC in an excellent interview that's well worth a read, PlatinumGames' Atsushi Inaba and Hideki Kamiya were quizzed on the subject, and it should come as some relief that neither is interested in pursuing it:
NFT and blockchain have become a popular trend among corporations. What’s Platinum’s interest, if any?
Inaba: We haven’t really been thinking about that. 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.
Were you surprised to see Konami get involved in NFTs so quickly?
Kamiya: Not really. If it smells like money, Konami’s going to be there in a heartbeat!
Honestly, I have zero interest in this subject. I think what Inaba-san just said really resonated with me because I consider myself a user at heart, more than a businessman. It doesn’t have any benefit for users at the moment. In the future, if it’s expanded in a way that has a positive side for users, then maybe I’ll start to be interested in what they do with it. But I’m not seeing that at the moment.
If Konami’s interested in money, surely Metal Gear Rising 2 could be a decent earner?
Inaba: Well, you’d have to ask them, I guess!