A hot potato: It might appear as if the video games industry is in love with NFTs, but not everyone has been throwing their weight behind non-fungible tokens. Indie game platform itch.io certainly isn't a fan, having branded NFTs "a scam" and suggested those who support them should "reevaluate [their] life choices."
With over 400,000 games and items, and its recent addition to the Epic Games Store, itch.io is a popular destination for those seeking indie titles. Some users have questioned its stance toward NFTs; is it more like Steam, which banned NFT/blockchain-based games, or the Epic Games Store, which welcomes them. It seems itch.io is closer to Valve on this one.
“NFTs are a scam,” tweeted the official itch.io account. “If you think they are legitimately useful for anything other than the exploitation of creators, financial scams, and the destruction of the planet the[n] we ask that please reevaluate your life choices.”
“Also f**k ny company that says they support creators and also endorses NFTs in any way. They only care about their own profit and the opportunity for wealth above anyone else,” itch.io continued in a follow-up tweet. “Especially given the now easily available discourse concerning the problems of NFTs.”
Also f̸̗̎ú̴̩c̷̖͌ḳ̵̀ any company that says they support creators and also endorses NFTs in any way. They only care about their own profit and the opportunity for wealth above anyone else.— itch.io (@itchio) February 6, 2022
Especially given the now easily available discourse concerning the problems of NFTs.
That comment about companies endorsing NFTs could be directed at several organizations—Square Enix, Meta, Coinbase, Konami, GameStop, etc.—but it’s likely aimed at Ubisoft. The French firm has been vocal in its support of non-fungible tokens, standing its ground against the backlash and recently claiming the anger is due to gamers who just “don’t get it.”
But it’s starting to look as if the tide is turning in the battle against NFTs. More companies and individuals have decided they’re not worth the trouble: the Stalker 2 devs, Team 17, and voice actor Troy Baker have all backed down from various NFT projects. EA’s enthusiasm has cooled, and even some developers frown on them.
With its position made clear, itch.io is joining the likes of Josef Fares, director of the soon-to-be-a-movie/TV series It Takes Two, who says he would rather get shot than add NFTs to his games. Could more companies follow suit and publicly distance themselves from non-fungible tokens? PC Gamer does note, however, that unlike Steam, there are still some (non-parody) NFT games available on itch.io.
Masthead image: Andrey Metelev on Unsplash