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Crypto and blockchain are quite unpopular in the gaming space. Whenever a company mentions that they are exploring NFTs in their games, they usually get an immediate backlash. With the current trends and sentiments, cryptocurrencies apparently have a long way to go before they are widely accepted. In the “How to talk about NFTs without everyone getting mad at you” discussion during this year’s GamesBeat Summit Next 2022, our panelists discuss how to navigate the path to acceptance.
Moderator Mattie Fairchild, Senior Director of Cryptocurrency Marketing and Developer Relations at Manticore Games, asks, “How do you navigate that path? Brooks, you talked about breaking down power structures, that sounds threatening, it sounds like people are really angry with you”.
“Well, it is,” responded Brooks Brown, CEO of Consortium9. “It’s one of the reasons why I think a lot of the play so far within crypto has basically not been about using it as it is, but about finding ways to hyper-monetize an audience within a very small group, monetizing them as much as possible. The joke is that I am here on stage talking about crypto and NFTs. Dean, who invited me to come speak, the first time he heard me talk about it, I was the person asking why in a sarcastic and sardonic way and a lot of people didn’t give a shit.”
“That shift in me has been about understanding the underlying technology, breaking it down and moving it,” Brown continued. “And as we start to talk about where we can move with it, the power that we can give players and how we can configure it, the important part is also understanding how those things line up in the machine that we’re building. Crypto is not something that builds a complete machine. Crypto is a piece of a larger machine.”
The value does not have to be monetary
Gamers have, for the most part, rejected any and all NFT additions to popular games. As Brooks Brown mentioned earlier, many of the current NFT offerings are there to monetize a group of players. Just like having a collectible, the hope is that your NFT will increase in value monetarily. Outside of the cryptocurrency world, however, gamers aren’t all that interested in a fancy bauble. Players want something they can use.
“Brooks and I are in the same boat here,” said James Wing, director of business development for NC Partners. “Where NCSoft is in this process right now is figuring out what exactly is possible. Just like we’ve done with any other technology like AI, free to play, a lot of other things, and then we figured out how this brings value back to the player. If you take something fun and then turn it into money, it won’t necessarily be a better experience for the player. I mean, there are some games that talk about it, and that could be a separate conversation. But right now we’re at the blockchain stage of figuring out, okay, how exactly is this going to work, and why, and how is it going to change and improve the emotional reaction that a player has to the content?
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