Sunday November 27, 2022

Many game developers hate NFTs, too

NFTs have been a contentious topic within the videogame industry in recent years. Ubisoft’s NFT plans were not well received by fans, and there was a lot of outcry in S.T.A.L.K.E.R. about NFTs. 2: Heart of Chernobyl received so much criticism that the developers decided to cancel it. According to the Game Developers Conference annual poll, many game developers also have strong opinions about the new technology. The survey found that some respondents called it “the future of gaming” when asked about their feelings on the possibility of NFTs or cryptocurrency in games. “However, the vast majority of respondents opposed both practices, noting their potential for fraud, overall monetization concerns and the environmental impact.
Many developers gave scathing quotes. One wrote, “I don’t understand how this hasn’t been identified as an pyramid scheme.” Another said, “I would not endorse burning down a rainforest to confirm someone owns’ a Jpeg.” “Burn them to the ground. They should be banned from all hands. “I work for an NFT company and want to get out of it,” said another.
Not all responses were so negative. One positive response called cryptocurrency/NFTs “the wave for the future.” According to the survey data, 70% of respondents said that their studio was not interested in NFTs. This could indicate that there won’t be many gaming NFTs in the future.
The survey also revealed growing support for unionization within the industry. This topic has been brought up as workers protest Activision Blizzard’s actions and Vodeo Games’s first-ever North American certified video game studio union. Fivety-five percent of respondents believed that game industry workers should be unionized — a record high in the GDC’s ten year survey, and up from 51 per cent in 2021. 23 percent also said that talks about unionizing had taken place where they work. Only 18% of respondents believe the industry will actually unionize, but 36% said their companies support union talks.
According to the survey, studios still have a lot of work to do in combating toxicity. Only 38 percent of respondents stated that their companies had “reach out to them to have a discussion about how misconduct or toxicity are handled in this industry,” while 62 percent said they did not. Some respondents were harsh in their criticisms of companies’ responses, calling them “tepid lip service” and “woefully inept,” among others. Despite some positive comments about the company’s actions, the survey data shows that developers feel there is more work to be done.
GDC released the survey two months before the GDC 2022 conference. Despite the recent rise in COVID-19 cases the event will still take place in person at the Moscone Centre in San Francisco, from March 21st through the 25th.
“We’re committed in having an event in person so long as it’s safely and as long we’re allowed to do so,” Katie Stern (VP of media and entertainment, Informa Tech), told The Verge in a interview. Participants must have been vaccinated, and have had a booster shot if they received an initial complete vaccination on or before September 14, 2021. Participants will also need to wear a mask.
Stern stated that GDC expects 15,000 to 17,000 attendees. This is down from the 29,000 who attended the GDC show in person in 2019. The DICE Summit will still take place in February, but E3 will not be an in-person conference.

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