Game publisher Electronic Arts (EA) told investors that collectible NFTs are “an important part of the future of our industry.”
NFTs have become popular in recent months as a way to buy and sell digital-only art and collectibles.
EA makes the Fifa football series, which uses “packs of cards” to “collect” players in its Ultimate Team mode.
CEO Andrew Wilson told investors he believes FIFA players want to see NFT in the franchise.
“[Players] they want more modes of play within the game that go beyond just 11v11 football, ”he said in a call about earnings.
“They want more digital experiences outside of the game: eSports, NFT, wider sports consumption and they want us to move very, very quickly.”
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But he also said the NFT ideas were “still very, very early” and came with “a lot of hype”.
“It is still early to understand how this will work,” he warned.
‘Disruptive’ and controversial
The introduction of NFT into games is sometimes presented as an idea called “play to earn,” based on the idea that unique digital items can increase in value over time and be sold later for profit.
But the idea is controversial among gamers.
Leading PC gaming platform Steam has banned blockchain- and NFT-based games from its platform, while its rival Epic does not.
Some game designers believe the concept is bad for games overall, but other studies – including the main Ubisoft player – apparently they are embracing the idea.
Ampere’s gaming industry analyst Piers Harding-Rolls said NFT and blockchain games “are disruptive new forces in the gaming industry.”
He said all major publishers will be looking at the potential of these formats to make money and “EA is no exception.”
“It would be bad business practice not to analyze how these technologies might impact existing business,” he said.
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NFTs are already seeing the use of sports collectibles in the market, he added: “I see a strong match between [Fifa’s card-based] Ultimate Team and the use of NFTs, but there are implications that need to be considered, not least the continuing value and usefulness of NFTs, especially in the context of the renewal of the season that drives most of the activity within this. game mode”.
On the earnings call, Mr. Wilson seemed to echo that seasonal sentiment – where sports games like FIFA are released every year and reflect the current sports calendar.
“Collectability in games like Fifa, Madden and NHL is really built on the value of driving through the traditional sporting season,” he said.
“Is there an opportunity, particularly when we think of NFTs and other digital ecosystems, to expand that value over time? I think the short answer is ‘yes’.
“I mean the slightly longer answer is that we need to work and make sure we continue to fine-tune and balance the experience appropriately for our players … but we will continue as we evolve the Ultimate Team experience into the game. last decade, we will continue to look for ways to add value to our players. “
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