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Crypto and blockchain are quite unpopular in the gaming space. Whenever a company mentions it is exploring NFTs in its games, it usually receives immediate negative backlash. With current trends and sentiments, crypto seemingly has a long way to go before it is widely accepted. In the “How to Talk About NFTs Without Getting Everyone Mad at You” discussion during this years GamesBeat Summit Next 2022, our panelists discuss how to navigate the road to acceptance.
Moderator Mattie Fairchild, senior director of crypto marketing and developer relations at Manticore Games, asks “How do you navigate that road? Brooks, you talked about breaking down power structures, that sounds threatening, that sounds like people are really mad at you.”
“Well, it is,” replied Brooks Brown, CEO of Consortium9. “It’s one of the reasons that I think a great deal of the plays so far within crypto have basically not been about utilizing it as it is, but instead finding ways to hyper-monetize an audience within a very small group — monetizing them as heavily as possible. The joke of it is that I’m on stage here talking about crypto and NFTs. Dean, who invited me to come talk, the first time he ever heard me talk about it, I was the person asking why sarcastically and sardonically and giving a ton of people shit.”
“That shift in me has been about understanding the technology underneath it, breaking it down and moving,” continued Brown. “And as we start talking about where we can move with it, the power we can give players and how we can set it up, the important part is also understanding how those things line up in the machine we’re building. Crypto is not a thing that builds a whole machine. Crypto is a piece of a larger machine.”
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Value does not have to be monetary
Players have, mostly, rejected any and all NFT additions to popular games. As mentioned earlier by Brooks Brown, a lot of current NFT offerings are there to monetize a group of players. Much like owning a collectible, the hope is that your NFT will increase in value monetarily. However, outside of the crypto world, gamers aren’t that interested in a fancy bauble. Players want something they can use.
“Brooks and I are in the same boat here,” said James Wing, business development principle with NC Partners. “Where NCSoft is in this process right now, is figuring out what’s exactly possible. Just like we’ve done with every other technology like AI, free to play, many other things, and then figuring out how does this return value to the player. If you take a fun thing and then just make it about money, it’s not necessarily going to be a better experience for the player. I mean, there’s some games that talk about that, and that might be a separate conversation. But right now we’re at the stage of blockchain of figuring out, okay, how is this going to work exactly, and why, and how is it going to change and improve the emotional reaction that a player has with the content?”
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