Electronic Arts (EA) appears to be paving the way for NFT and “play-to-earn” games to become the norm as the CEO of the company, Andrew Wilson, has already described them to be “the future of our industry” when asked about the topic on a company’s earnings call recently.
Although he mentioned that “it’s still early to figure out how that’s going to work”, Wilson revealed that he believed that they would have a “meaningful part in our future” moving forward whilst also highlighting that he believes the company is in a really good position that will allow them to move forward and push on with the innovative processes.
“I think that in the context of the games we create and the live services that we offer, collectible digital content is going to play a meaningful part in our future,” he said whilst on the call. “So, it’s still early to tell, but I think we’re in a really good position, and we should expect us to kind of think more innovatively and creatively about that on a go-forward basis.”
EA yet to make an official move but encouraging signs are available
Whilst there is plenty to get excited about, EA has yet to officially make the step into the NFT and “play-to-earn” sphere, whilst also remaining out of the blockchain space that has shown consistent growth in the recent past. A “play-to-earn” game is a type of game that would require players to pay an up-front cost through cryptocurrency in order to play the game but be rewarded with the opportunity to collect items that can then be sold to other players once its value increases, thus allowing individuals to profit.
Indeed, whilst the video game market appears to be slowly coming around to the idea that the NFT market could – and should – be a market to tap into and explore, the iGaming sector has already made strides. Evolution Gaming’s Red Tiger Gaming developer has already introduced an NFT-based slot to the market that could be soon available at gambling platforms along with the already popular and trusted crypto slots, thus highlighting a demand that the video game industry could perhaps look to enter and exploit.
It would seem as though EA is looking to take a leap of faith into the NFT and “play-to-earn” market, though, as recent company job listings have suggested that they are considering it strongly. Vacancies have started to be listed, with the posting of a role that would see someone be employed as a senior director of the company’s competitive gaming brand stating: “We set the pace for EA’s investment in gaming subscriptions, our PC storefront and platform, competitive gaming (including FIFA, Apex Legends, and Madden NFL), as well as new business opportunities, including fantasy sports, blockchain and NFTs, and more.”
Other game providers are interested but issues to be aware of EA is not the only game provider to have announced that they have plans to try and develop blockchain games in the near future, though. Ubisoft is another top developer that has thought positively about a potential move, with CEO Yves Guillemot having called blockchain games a “revolution” for the industry whilst on the company’s own earnings call. He also added: “We want to be one of the key players there.”
Nonetheless, if the developers were to try and enter the market and provide their own blockchain-based titles for players to enjoy, there would have to be some work undertaken to ensure that they do not encounter any of the issues that have been experienced recently. Unfortunately, NFT and blockchain games have been a source of controversy in recent months, with a number of drawbacks having been experienced. For instance, Steam – one of the biggest gaming platforms available – has already banned blockchain games from being published on their platform, whilst Epic Games has decided to embrace them. In addition, there is going to be some negative press around the sector at the moment after a high-profile scam featuring the hit Netflix series “Squid Game” inspired an alleged blockchain game, however it was canceled as soon as the creators managed to pocket over $3 million in crypto without anyone being too sure whether the game was real or not.