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Published: February 3, 2022

Written by: Stoyan Todorov

  • EA has chosen not to rush on NFTs, metaverse and play-to-earn elements for its games
  • This comes a quarter after the company was actively exploring the technology
  • Company CEO Andrew Wilson has decided not to rush on NFTs before actual value for players can be added to the experience

Electronic Arts is choosing to forego any plans about NFTs, metaverse, and play-to-earn concepts in its video games until a better way of implementing that technology is found.

To NFT or Not to NFT

Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are making their way into video gaming. They have been used to create unique team paraphernalia that some fans have been happy to snap up and muster as proof of their loyalty to a given gaming franchise. And yet, NFTs aren’t really making that much of a splash in video gaming all things considered.

Electronic Arts has become the latest company to tentatively cut its plans about NFTs short. Even though EA argued that NFTs are an important part of the gaming industry’s future just a few months back, the company has seemingly found no actionable way to implement this technology in a way that doesn’t seem a cash grab done in poor taste.

And, if anything, EA definitely has some history with being wrong about making solutions driven by pecuniary reasons alone. Now, though, the company may be maturing in its views of how business is made and has decided to take longer before it seeks to implement NFTs on a grander scale. Other companies’ misfires with these digital assets may have served as an early warning.

Ubisoft introduced NFTs but they made a little dent. In fact, fans were very unhappy with what the company did. Another good example of good NFT intentions gone wrong may be coming from Gamestop. While the retailer, which was involved in one of the biggest reverse sweeps on short sellers in 2021, may be onto a good thing, its NFT gamble is unlikely to help ailing finances.

NFTs Need to Take the Backseat

During EA’s latest earnings call, chief executive Andrew Wilson started by talking about how NFTs are an important part of the future of the company. He talked about the role of technologies such as AG and VR would play in the years to come for video gaming:

“I believe that collectability will continue to be an important part of our industry and the games and experiences that we offer our players.”

EA CEO Andrew Wilson

He was a smidgeon more cautious when discussing NFTs. Wilson effectively said that the company is taking a raincheck on blockchain and NFTs until such a time that it’s more evident whether this technology can dovetail with video gaming.

“We’ll evaluate that over time, but right now, it’s not something that we’re driving hard against,” Wilson added. This comes at a particularly good time for the company. Its traditional gaming franchises have notched up solid results over the last quarter.

Both FIFA 22 and Madden NFL 22 have been top sellers in the west and beyond. Apex legends user base has gone up significantly and so has consumer spending, making EA keener on guaranteeing the supremacy of its existing products.

Why the Sudden Change of Heart?

During the earnings call, Wilson was cautious about both the play-to-earn and NFT segments. EA has demonstrated maturity in dealing with the issue. Previously, the company was known for defending controversial designer solutions such as loot boxes against common sense. However, EA is maturing.

Part of this coming of age may be owing to the fact that companies such as Activision Blizzard have shot down the idea of NFTs in their game, treading in unknown territory. Not only that, but data from OpenSea, which tracks NFT assets, shows that close to 80% of these are frauds.

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