In an Electronic Arts earning call on Tuesday, CEO Andrew Wilson commented on NFTs and their place in gaming. Wilson was ambivalent towards NFTs, saying that Electronic Arts would continue to “evaluate [non-fungible tokens] over time,” but that the company was not focused on them as a priority.
NFTs have been a controversial new element of some gaming economies, and big publishers have started to implement the technology into their games. An NFT is a unique token on the Ethereum blockchain; this token is meant to correspond to the supposed ownership of a digital item. So far, NFTs have been implemented in games like Ubisoft’s Ghost Recon Breakpoint.
The reaction to these promotions so far has been largely negative. GSC Game World, the developers of STALKER 2: Heart of Chernobyl, briefly announced NFTs for the game before a wave of outrage forced them to immediately rescind the announcement. Worms publisher Team17 also announced and then immediately cancelled a NFT project after backlash from studios like Playtonic and Aggro Crab, which wrote: “We believe NFTs cannot be environmentally friendly, or useful, and are just an overall fucking grift.”
On the earnings call, Wilson talked about the idea of “collectability” in relation to NFTs: “The way I look at this is, collectability is really built on four key metrics. That’s around high-quality content, it’s around scarcity, it’s around proof of authenticity, and it’s around a group of people that find value in that content.”
Then Wilson went on to say that “collectability will continue to be an important part of our industry and the games and the experiences that we offer our players,” but he did not commit to any plans involving NFTs.
“Whether that’s part of NFTs and the blockchain, well, that remains to be seen,” Wilson said. “I think the way we think about it is, we want to deliver the best possible player experience we can. And so we’ll evaluate that over time, but right now, it’s not something that we’re driving hard against.”