Every year, ahead of the actual Game Developers Conference, the show’s organisers run an industry survey, polling creators around the world on what’s happening and what could be happening in the games business. With 2022 promising to be a tumultuous 12 months, this year’s results are perhaps a bit more interesting than the norm.
The brainworm-driven craze for all things blockchain, cryptocurrency and NFT has players (and developers) rightly afraid of what kind of fresh hells await us over the next few years, as dollar-chasing executives across the industry seem increasingly convinced there is something of value in the tech.
Those responsible for actually making games, though, are less enthusiastic. The Game Developers Conference published its State Of The Game Industry 2022 survey’s findings last week, and of note is a section on cryptocurrencies and NFTs. In big-picture terms, get a load of these numbers:
That is “No Fucking Thanks” expressed in visual terms. To go with the numbers, though, GDC also asked respondents for their thoughts, and published a range of them anonymously. First up is this cult member:
It’s the wave of the future.
Thank you. Following them, though, are responses like:
How this hasn’t been identified as a pyramid scheme is beyond me.
Burn ‘em to the ground. Ban everyone involved in them. I work at an NFT company currently and am quitting to get away from it.
They’re going to drive a wedge right in the heart of this industry. It’s going to become really clear what folks’ motivations are, and it’s not going to be pretty.
Why do we need them? What benefit does it have putting these systems into our games? Who is using these things? It feels like a very small audience. And also, these technologies are still not using sustainable energy and are a target for money laundering. As a developer I feel deeply uncomfortable that there is a push for these. It feels entirely fueled by greed for more money because we read stories about crypto millionaires, when in reality all of it is extremely unstable and unethical.
These are of course promising signs, especially for smaller studios and indie outfits. But what’s important here isn’t what people think about crypto and NFTs now, but what this level of resistance will look like when executives from companies like Ubisoft and EA start asking their developers to implement the technology in the games they make for a living. That’s when the “drive a wedge right in the heart of this industry” comment is going to start feeling very real.