AVN 64.74 Decreased By ▼ -0.26 (-0.4%)
BAFL 31.23 Increased By ▲ 0.08 (0.26%)
BOP 4.82 Increased By ▲ 0.11 (2.34%)
CNERGY 3.86 Decreased By ▼ -0.02 (-0.52%)
DFML 14.11 Increased By ▲ 0.41 (2.99%)
DGKC 41.69 Increased By ▲ 0.42 (1.02%)
EPCL 46.36 Decreased By ▼ -0.33 (-0.71%)
FCCL 11.41 Decreased By ▼ -0.01 (-0.09%)
FFL 5.06 Increased By ▲ 0.02 (0.4%)
FLYNG 5.78 Decreased By ▼ -0.04 (-0.69%)
GGL 9.92 Decreased By ▼ -0.03 (-0.3%)
HUBC 64.23 Increased By ▲ 0.13 (0.2%)
HUMNL 5.61 Decreased By ▼ -0.04 (-0.71%)
KAPCO 27.84 Increased By ▲ 0.04 (0.14%)
KEL 2.15 Increased By ▲ 0.02 (0.94%)
LOTCHEM 24.52 Increased By ▲ 0.22 (0.91%)
MLCF 21.75 Increased By ▲ 0.35 (1.64%)
NETSOL 84.19 Decreased By ▼ -0.01 (-0.01%)
OGDC 87.30 Decreased By ▼ -0.64 (-0.73%)
PAEL 10.95 Increased By ▲ 0.05 (0.46%)
PIBTL 4.24 Increased By ▲ 0.06 (1.44%)
PPL 76.63 Decreased By ▼ -1.07 (-1.38%)
PRL 13.69 Increased By ▲ 0.07 (0.51%)
SILK 0.90 Increased By ▲ 0.01 (1.12%)
SNGP 41.52 Decreased By ▼ -0.41 (-0.98%)
TELE 5.95 Increased By ▲ 0.08 (1.36%)
TPLP 15.77 Decreased By ▼ -0.01 (-0.06%)
TRG 111.25 Decreased By ▼ -1.05 (-0.93%)
UNITY 13.92 Decreased By ▼ -0.03 (-0.22%)
WTL 1.14 Increased By ▲ 0.01 (0.88%)
BR100 4,046 Decreased By -1.8 (-0.05%)
BR30 14,434 Decreased By -33.1 (-0.23%)
KSE100 40,620 Decreased By -53.1 (-0.13%)
KSE30 15,170 Decreased By -20 (-0.13%)
Follow us

PARIS: When video game designer Mark Venturelli was asked to speak at Brazil's biggest gaming festival, he submitted a generic-sounding title for his presentation - 'The Future of Game Design' - but that was not the talk he gave.

Instead, he launched into a 30-minute diatribe against the blockchain technology that underpins cryptocurrencies and the games it has spawned, mostly very basic smartphone apps that lure players with the promise of earning money.

"Everything that is done in this space right now is just bad -- actually it's terrible," he told AFP.

He is genuinely worried for the industry he loves, particularly because big gaming studios are also sniffing around the technology.

To use rather than collect, the second coming of NFTs

To crypto enthusiasts, blockchain will allow players to grab back some of the money they spend on games and make for higher-stakes enjoyment.

Critics say the opposite is true - game makers will capture more profits while sidestepping laws on gambling and trading, and the profit motive will kill all enjoyment.

The battle lines are drawn for what could be a long confrontation over an industry worth some $300 billion a year, according to Accenture.

Gamers like Venturelli might feel that they have triumphed in the early sorties.

Cryptocurrencies have crashed recently and dragged down the in-game tokens that had initially attracted players.

"Nobody is playing blockchain games right now," Mihai Vicol of Newzoo told AFP, saying between 90 and 95 percent of games had been affected by the crash.

Cryptoverse: NFT bubble gets that shrinking feeling

Ubisoft, one of the world's biggest gaming firms, last year tried to introduce a marketplace to one of its hit games for trading NFTs, the digital tokens that act as receipts for anything from art to video game avatars.

But gamers' forums, many already scattered with anti-crypto sentiment, lit up in opposition.

Even French trade union IT Solidarity got involved, labelling blockchain "useless, costly, ecologically mortifying tech" -- a reference to the long-held criticism that blockchain networks are hugely power hungry.

Ubisoft quickly ditched the NFT marketplace in Tom Clancy Ghost Recon Breakpoint.

Last month, Minecraft, a world-building game hugely popular with children and teenagers, announced it would not allow blockchain technology.

The firm criticised the "speculative pricing and investment mentality" around NFTs and said introducing them would be "inconsistent with the long-term joy and success of our players".

The wider sector also has a serious image problem after a spectacular theft earlier this year of almost $600 million from Axie Infinity, a blockchain game popular in the Philippines.

Analyst firm NonFungible last week revealed that the NFT gaming sector crashed in the second quarter of this year with the number of sales plunging 22 percent.

All of this points to a bleak time for crypto enthusiasts, but blockchain entrepreneurs are not giving up.

Sekip Can Gokalp, whose firms Infinite Arcade and Coda help developers introduce blockchain to their games, argues it is still "very early days".

He told AFP some of the attention-grabbing play-to-earn games had been "misguided" and he was convinced the technology still had the potential to "revolutionise" gaming.

Reports of a culture clash between gamers and crypto fans, he said, were overplayed and his research suggested there was substantial overlap between the two communities.

Gokalp can take heart from recent announcements by gaming giants such as Sega and Roblox, a popular platform mostly used by children, indicating they are still exploring blockchain.

And Ubisoft, despite abandoning its most high-profile blockchain effort, still has several crypto-related projects on the go.

Among the many benefits trumpeted by crypto enthusiasts are that the blockchain allows players to take items from one game to another, gives them ownership of those items and stores their progress across platforms.

Vicol, though, reckons blockchain gaming needs to find other selling points to succeed.

"It could be the future," he said, "but it's going to be different to how people envisage it today".

Brazilian Venturelli, whose games include the award-winning Relic Hunters, used his talk at the BIG Festival in Sao Paulo to dismiss all the benefits trumpeted by crypto fans as either unworkable, undesirable or already available.

And he told AFP that play-to-earn games risked real-world damage in Latin America - a particular target for the industry -- by enticing young people away from occupations that bring benefits to society.

He said many people he knows, including venture capitalists and the heads of billion-dollar corporations, shared his point of view.

"They came to congratulate me on my talk," he said.

But with new blockchain games emerging every day, he accepts that the battle is far from over.

Comments

Comments are closed.

Space invaders: how video gamers are resisting a crypto onslaught

'Higher than expectations': Pakistan's headline inflation clocks in at 27.6% in January

Rupee sustains losses, settles at 268.83 against US dollar

Fawad Chaudhry released from Adiala jail

Imran says governor KP's letter to ECP regarding delay in polls raises 'suspicions’

Cannot rule out internal assistance for Peshawar bombing: police

Peshawar attack: ‘Who brought the terrorists back?’, asks PM Shehbaz

Hyundai-Nishat jacks up car prices by up to Rs500,000 in Pakistan

Maryam Nawaz says PML-N will clean sweep upcoming elections

PSX sees range-bound session, KSE-100 falls 0.13%

US, India partnership targets arms and AI to compete with China