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Blizzard is polling interest in NFTs and ‘play to earn’ games
UPDATE: President claims Blizzard won’t launch NFTs
Overwatch and Warcraft studio Blizzard is polling its players on their interest in NFTs and ‘play to earn’ cryptocurrency games.
As spotted by GameRant, several players were asked to complete a YouGov survey this weekend that mentioned the polarising technologies.
One section of the survey asked participants how interested they would be if crypto and NFTs were introduced to Activision Blizzard products, along with more conventional features such as cross-play, VR and subscription services.
UPDATE: Responding to this story, Blizzard president Mike Ybarra has claimed the company won’t launch NFTs.
ORIGINAL STORY CONTINUES: Activision Blizzard is yet to officially enter the NFT space. The company is set to be acquired by Microsoft, which framed the $70bn deal as providing the “building blocks for the metaverse”.
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NFTs are unique non-interchangeable units of data stored on a blockchain (a form of digital ledger), which effectively allow users to own, buy and sell digital items such as in-game items or artwork.
Numerous game companies have already started selling digital items as NFTs, including Konami and Atari, though this has attracted criticism from some due to the format’s high carbon footprint and what many perceive to be cynical implementation.
According to the Game Developers Conference’s annual State of the Game Industry Report, which asked over 2700 game developers about their work, the majority of those surveyed have no interest in NFTs.
One of the questions in the survery, which was published in January, asked: “What is your studio’s interest in non-fungible tokens (NFTs)?”
70% of respondents replied “not interested”, while 21% said “somewhat interested” and 7% said “very interested”. Only 1% answered that they were already developing them.
One of Blizzard’s own senior designers has even publicly criticised the trend. Jorge Murillo tweeted in January: “… as a dev on the @PlayOverwatch team, I am strongly against NFTs and will fight to make sure they aren’t integrated into our game.”