Sega cites fan reaction in surprisingly cautious approach to gaming NFTs

Sega thinks long and hard about whether it wants NFTs to be part of its branding.
Enlarge / Sega thinks long and hard about whether it wants NFTs to be part of its branding.

Non-fungible tokens have become the hottest concept among big budget game publishers these days. While Ubisoft is the only reputable publisher so far to deploy NFT elements in the game, everyone from Square Enix to EA and Take-Two has expressed varying levels of enthusiasm for the idea. Even aging gaming brands like Konami and Atari have used NFTs as a way to quickly cash in on artificially rare digital collectibles.

So it was somewhat noticeable when Sega used a recent management Q&A take a much more skeptical stance on the industry’s NFT mania.

To be clear, Sega isn’t completely berating the idea of ​​NFTs in its games. The company said it “would like to try a variety of experiments, and we have already started many different studies and considerations” in space, including so-called “play to win” games.

In much the same breath, however, Sega acknowledged that “there are users who show negative reactions at this point” to the use of NFTs in games. Citing unspecified “negatives”, Sega said directly that it will “need to carefully assess … what will be accepted and what will not by users.”

As the business takes off, Sega includes a surprising amount of information about the level of grassroots anger that many gamers have expressed about the idea that game companies are building NFTs into. their products. STALKER 2: Heart of Chernobyl Developer GSC Game World has canceled plans to sell a wide range of in-game NFTs after just a day of fan outcry following its announcement. And the gaming chat platform Discord quickly moved away from mere suspicion of NFT integration in November, saying that “for now, we’re focused on protecting users from spam, scams and fraud. . Web3 has a lot of good but also a lot of problems that we need to work on at our scale. ”

Rather than just suffer fan reaction after the fact, Sega seems to be considering carefully whether it’s worth pushing the concept to a largely reluctant audience in the first place. And even though Sega finds profit potential through the deployment of NFT, the company says it believes those profits might not be worth the public image blow that comes with it.

“We will examine this further if [NFTs contribute] to our mission ‘Create Permanently, Captivate Forever’, “Sega said in the Q&A.” But if this is seen as just a lucrative business, I’d like to make the decision not to continue. “


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