Are game developers interested in incorporating NFTs into their games? According to the annual GDC consultation (2700 respondents), 70% of developers say no because of economic and ecological issues.
As we’ve seen over the past few months, many studios are showing interest in NFTs – tokens based on blockchain technologies that can both certify ownership of digital content and monetize it. Ubisoft has already deployed its dedicated platform, NCsoft, Coms2uS or Citadel Studios are interested in it, Square-Enix or Sega are preparing it…
However, in a consultation addressed to developers on the sidelines of the next Game Developers Conference (to be held from March 21 to 25 in San Francisco), a large majority of the 2,700 industry professionals who responded to the consultation said they were hostile to NFT. According to the survey, 72% said they do not want to integrate crypto-currencies into their monetization tools and 70% said the same about NFTs.
To explain these choices, developers mention the economic risk that technologies based on blockchain represent (the games concerned are sometimes scams) or the environmental issues they represent. The organizers of the GDC share some comments from developers. For some, it is a technology still mostly used for speculative purposes (those who are “interested in it do it to make money in gambling mechanics, and there is not yet enough public interest to make it a real currency”), while others emphasize the energy consumption of the technology (“I prefer not to be responsible for the destruction of a rainforest just to certify the ownership of a .jpg file”).
We can bet that the issues raised by NFTs could make relevant conference topics for future GDCs.
The convention for game industry professionals has already identified other topics for its upcoming discussions: 38% of developers note that their company has initiated discussions to prevent toxic risks in the workplace (even though 62% of studios have not changed anything), and this is a topic of growing interest within studios. Similarly, 55% of developers surveyed believe that employees in the industry should be unionized. Only 18% believe this will happen, but according to GDC, the numbers are higher than they have been in a decade of GDC consultations.
GDC also notes that accessibility issues in games are also increasingly being addressed (especially to make it easier for disabled gamers to play): 39% of developers now say they are incorporating these issues into their game design (compared to only 36% who are not).