GSC Game World, a Ukrainian game development company behind the S.T.A.L.K.E.R and Cossacks titles, had decided to implement optional non-fungible tokens (NFTs) in their forthcoming S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 release.
Within hours, fans took to Twitter to chastise GSC’s inclusion of NFTs, causing the small developer to pull NFTs from the game — suggesting that, while venture capitalists are still pouring funds into blockchain-based gaming endeavors, the general public isn’t so open to embracing the new technology application.
In a statement emailed to The Block before GSC officially announced their inclusion of NFTs, GSC Game World CEO Evgeniy Grygorovych said:
“Considering the global trends in gaming, we can do more than just offer an immersive game experience. Our players can get a deeper presence in the game, and we will give them this opportunity by presenting the first AAA game with a unique meta experience.”
As described in the prior emailed statement, the NFTS would have been a part of the “S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Metaverse” launch. Users could have registered for in-game item drops starting in December, with the drop auction occurring in January.
Included in the drop would be a new feature called “metahumans” in the game, or a non-player character that resembled the NFT’s owner would have been created by photogrammetry technology. A second drop of “high secretive genesis packs” would have occurred in February. A Los Angeles-based NFT trading platform called DMarket would have facilitated the NFT trades.
GSC intended for the NFTs to be optional to players and offer no in-game benefits to those who didn’t want to purchase one.
However, fans of the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. franchise did not like the game developers offering NFTs. Some of the responses to the official S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Metaverse post include:
GSC clarified in a later post its intention with NFTs, but then deleted it soon after.
This is not the first time fan backlash caused project developers to scrap NFT inclusion. In October of 2021, five prominent young adult authors announced the creation of an NFT-based storytelling platform called Realm of Ruin, slated to launch on November 8. Users could create NFTs of their characters and write a backstory for them in what would have essentially been an MMORPG-esque story. However, intense backlash from fans caused the project developers to shut down the project altogether.
And yet, the fan backlash begs the question: as blockchain-based gaming startups like Mythical Games and Forte raise millions of dollars, who will embrace these games? And how can blockchain-based gaming companies sell to potentially resistant players?
GSC decided that they will avoid using NFTs in its forthcoming game.
When reached, GSC declined an interview request regarding the fan backlash toward NFTs.
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