Crypto Enthusiasts Meet Their Match: Angry Gamers


So far, 10,000 digital wallets — tools that allow people to store their crypto assets — are connected to the Quartz platform, although Ubisoft has minted just 3,000 NFTs in the first batch, Mr Pouard said. That suggested a hunger for more NFTs in the future, he said.

Ubisoft ultimately plans to reduce sales of future NFTs, Mr Pouard added. “We are moving from a business model focused on just a game to a business model focused on an ecosystem where every player can be a stakeholder,” he said.

Zynga, which is expected to be acquired by Take-Two, hired Mr. Wolf, a gaming industry veteran, to lead a crypto effort in November. The goal was to create new games on the blockchain, making it easy for players to acquire, own and sell NFTs, Mr. Wolf said. He gave little detail on how the effort would work, including whether the NFTs could be ported between Zynga games.

“We’re still developing all that,” he said.

Other gaming companies have dived into NFTs, emulating how crypto can generate new wealth for users. This month, Square Enix president Yosuke Matsuda wrote in an open letter that creating blockchain games would allow players to make money. That would become “an important strategic theme” for the company, he said.

But as the number of NFT announcements from game studios piled up, players became more and more annoyed. After users protested Sega Sammy’s crypto plans, one of its executives said in a management meeting last month, “If it’s seen as easy money making, I’d be happy to make a decision not to move forward.” (The effort continues.)

Other game companies have taken a stand against crypto. Phil Spencer, the head of Microsoft’s Xbox, told Axios in November that some games aimed at making money through NFTs seemed “exploitative” and he would avoid putting them on the Xbox store. Microsoft declined to comment.

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