Source: Yahoo Entertainment
Video game publisher EA said in a company call with investors that NFT-based gaming is “an important part of the future” of the gaming industry.
NFTs (or non-fungible tokens) have risen in popularity in art, music, and entertainment. It is a way to buy and sell digital-only art and collectible items. While there’s still a lot of drawbacks with NFTs, we’re starting to see that it could become the next big thing in gaming.
In a recent investors call, EA CEO Andrew Wilson mentioned that there’s already a lot of conversation about play-to-earn models or NFTs in gaming. However, it being new is something that a lot of companies are still trying to figure out. He mentioned elsewhere in the call that “FIFA” players, at least, were interested in NFTs. He said that “they want more modalities to play inside the game, which go beyond just straight 11-on-11 football.” Simply put, many [players] are looking forward to more digital experiences outside the game, such as esports and NFTs that they want EA to move towards.
“As a company, we have been leaders in the creation of digital content that has real collectible value in the embedding of that content as part of live services,” he continued. “What we know about collection over time is that collectibility is far more valuable to the collector where the collected item has utility. And I think that in the context of the games that we create and the live services that we offer, collectible digital content is going to play a meaningful part in our future.”
Wilson then discussed that NFT will most likely be incorporated in their FIFA Ultimate Team, a game mode where players collect cards from loot box-style systems. The vision also spans across games, such as NFTs for cosmetics in Apex Legends.
At the moment, there is still a mixed reaction on NFT and crypto elements in games and in general. NFTs and cryptocurrencies are currently a largely unregulated entity often exploited for scam purposes and have been accused of having huge detrimental effects on the environment due to the energy consumed during the electronic mining of currency. While companies like Steam have chosen to ban blockchain games, there are those pushing past the status quo, such as Ubisoft, who have plans to create blockchain games with play-to-earn features. While people are already expecting EA to go into NFTs really quickly, Wilson mentioned that “it’s still really early to kind of figure out how it’s going to work” and it came with “a lot of hype.”
Whether NFTs can “become part of the future of EA” and the gaming industry, Wilson mentioned that they are all about constantly evolving the experience of their players and continuously looking for ways to add value to their players.
Going beyond revolutionizing fine art collecting, NFTs are here to challenge the way we buy and sell in music, art, entertainment, and now, in gaming.