Let’s just get the easy, obvious joke out of the way now: Reggie’s body is ready for the blockchain. Very funny, moving on…But yes, apparently the former Nintendo of America COO and president is a fan of blockchain technology and play-to-own games, with the caveat that it “makes sense for the player.”
At last month’s SXSW festival in Austin, Texas, Reggie Fils-Aimé spoke about his career, time with Nintendo, and things he’s done since retiring in 2019. And as spotted by Nintendo Life, he also spent some time talking about blockchain technology and its future in games.
When asked about his thoughts on the current rise of NFTs, cryptocurrencies, and blockchain technology, Fils-Aimé shared that he’s a “believer” in the tech and likes where it’s headed, calling it a “compelling” technology. He further explained that it could be used to help power “play-to-own” experiences in games, letting players sell digital items they have earned or created in a video game.
“I’m also a believer in the concept of ‘play-to-own’ within video games,” said Fils-Aimé. “And I say this as a player where I may have invested 50 hours in a game, a hundred hours in a game…There’s some games I’ve invested 300 hours in a game. And when I’m ready to move on to something else, wouldn’t it be great to monetize what I’ve built?”
Fils-Aimé then offered an example, suggesting that many folks would be interested in buying his Animal Crossing: New Horizons island and how he would like to be able to “monetize that.”
“Blockchain technology embedded in the code and in the development would enable me to do that,” he said. “So I’m a believer in the technology and where it’s headed.”
Possibly sensing that his interest in blockchain tech could be seen as a bad look, Fils-Aimé quickly added that any type of blockchain-like technology would need to “make sense for the player.”
“It can’t just be an approach by the developer that [finds] it’s ‘interesting’ or it’s a way for them as a ‘development entity’ to make more money, he said. “In the end, it’s got to be good for the player. But I see an opportunity.”
While Fils-Aimé may see an opportunity in selling his Animal Crossing island via the blockchain, the ability for players to sell digital items to other players in video games has existed long before the blockchain or NFTs. Even if there weren’t environmental issues with blockchain tech or if it wasn’t often connected to scams, rug pulls, and other questionable situations, the simple reality is: NFTs and blockchains don’t need to be included in video games for companies to provide players with the ability to sell or buy in-game digital goods. It’s also very unlikely that Nintendo, Fils-Aimé’s former employer, would ever allow blockchain technology to be in any game released on the Switch or future Nintendo consoles.
Sorry, Regginator. But, hey, he could always just sell a worthless NFT of his Animal Crossing island if he really wants to monetize his time spent playing a video game using a terrible technology that is hated by most gamers.