The topic of NFTs and blockchain content in general has been a hot topic for many players for some time. While one half doesn’t even know what exactly is meant by these terms, the other half discusses heatedly whether the virtual one-offs h ave lost something in games or whether this market, which is often difficult to see through, should be turned off directly.
Now, of all people, EA is entering this minefield. The publisher has been struggling with one for years anyway
suboptimalen Image among the players, and the recent statements by CEO Andrew Wilson are unlikely to calm the mind.
Myth or Truth?
How Bad is Electronic Arts Really?
NFTs in Ultimate Team soon?
There was a lot of excitement after Steam recently announced that it would be kicking all games with blockchain content such as NFTs from the platform. Competitor Epic used this opportunity to advertise its own games store and welcomed such games.
What the heck are NFTs?
The name NFT is a non-fungible token, i.e. a non-exchangeable virtual object. It can be anything, like clothes for a character or digital trading cards.
The two most important properties of an NFT: It has a clearly identifiable owner and a varying value. So if, for example, you have two exactly the same trading cards, they can still have different values in the virtual market.
Electronic Arts also keeps a very close eye on the market for virtual goods, which are often acquired in some form for real money. Andrew Wilson has now recorded this in an investor call, which in excerpts from PC Gamer and PCGamesN has been published.
When asked how he felt about NFTs in video games, the CEO replied:
I think it will be an important part of the future of our industry. But it’s too early to find out how that will work. I have a good feeling about our position on this. As a company, we’ve always been leaders in creating digital content that has real collectible value as part of our live services. […] In the context of the games we create and the live services we offer, collectable content will play a meaningful role in our future.
During the course of the conversation, he was specifically asked about FIFA’s Ultimate Team mode, as the game is famous for its in-game microtransactions involving new football players. Here, too, he is very informative when he says:
Collectible content in games like FIFA, Madden and NHL is based on real added value during a traditional sports season. I think your question is, “When we think of NFTs and other digital ecosystems, is there an opportunity to expand that value over time?” I think the short answer to that is “yes”.
NFT, Blockchain, WTF? If you only understand train station and want to learn more about the topic of crypto currencies in general, we recommend reading our report on this topic:
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How are these statements to be classified?
Of course, it remains to be seen which plans EA is pursuing with NFTs. It would be conceivable, for example, that one would like to offer players the opportunity to real unique items in the form of special cards to acquire. Another option would be too player-created contentthat could be acquired by others for which EA requires a share in the turnover.
It wouldn’t be the first crazy or at least ambitious idea that EA came up with. Michi Obermeier explains to you in his expert voice what the publisher has been up against in the course of its long history and for which game pearls we are still indebted to him today:
EA History: 1982 – 2018 – Video: From the game box to the hated loot box
At the end of the day, this is all guesswork, and we won’t really get any smarter until the future editions of EA Sports’ sports series come out.
A look at the job advertisements However, of the company makes it clear that internally at EA they actually deal intensively with NFTs and other blockchain content, because there they write:
We’re setting the pace for EA’s investments in gaming subscriptions, our PC store and platform, competitive gaming (including FIFA, Apex Legends, and Madden NFL), as well as new businesses like fantasy sports, blockchain, NFTs, and more.
Just wait and see: One should not yet fear the downfall of the West, let alone prejudice EA, before the company itself has not commented on its plans in detail.
Nevertheless, we would of course like to hear from you what you think about the topic of NFTs in games. Do you fear that publishers are creating a new source of money for themselves at the expense of the gaming experience, or do you maybe even see potential for unique content that offers real added value? Write us your – please factual – opinion in the comments!