Vitalik Buterin, the 28-year-old co-founder of Ethereum, believes that NFT games haven’t been successful mainly because they care more about monetization than fun. At this point, NFT games are like that cousin in the family who flaunts a lot of cash but no one really wants to talk about. It’s a trend that many gamers just want to go away, despite Ubisoft saying that integrating NFTs is still in a “testing phase.”
Play-to-earn games just need to be fun, apparently
In an interview with Wired, Buterin explains the reason why Axie Infinity, which was hacked in June this year to the tune of approximately $600 million, hasn’t able to recover since:
The reason for that in my view is that the people who designed these first-generation NFT games approached it with the attitude that the financialization aspect by itself was enough to make the game fun. But that’s clearly not enough, and a successful NFT or play-to-earn game itself needs to be fun even without the monetization aspect. Whoever figures out how to make a blockchain game that is a fun game first, those are the kinds of projects that are going to win.
Ever since the overwhelmingly negative reaction to Ubisoft Quartz, the gaming industry at large has turned away from NFT gaming. In July, Sony needed to make it clear that the digital collectibles in its upcoming PlayStation Stars rewards program are “definitely not NFTs.” That said, it caught some side-eye criticism for including a question about NFTs and digital collectibles in a survey at EVO 2022.
Meanwhile, Minecraft has banned NFTs and blockchain technologies altogether so that it remains a safe environment, and Kojima Productions NFTs aren’t happening (at least for now).