I have many writing lives and have worked in a whole host of industries and still do. One interesting result of this, particularly in the last 4 years since working on Token Gamer, is when the other industries mention blockchain or NFTs.
For example, I have a background in photography and journalism about photography. There is an overwhelming resistance to NFTs in the industry and it has baffled me. The vitriol sprayed at you, should you mention NFTs, is quite something. What’s more confusing still, is how useful NFTs can be for photographers and how well the photographers who have embraced the technology have done.
Nevertheless, I often have articles and press releases sent to me, criticizing NFTs and crypto for the usual antiquated offenses, but this week I had an agency send one to my photography email that caught my eye.
FandomSpot: ‘Study: 69% of Gamers Hate NFTs’
The first thing to note is that the survey is a small sample size of only 2,000 “gamers from around the world.” I also haven’t seen the survey, but with the word “hate” in there, I’d say it was worded in such a way to evoke click-worthy findings. That said, FandomSpot does seem reasonably impartial on the matter, asides from the title. Let’s breakdown the findings shared:
- 86% agreed that it’s because of the changes that are happening in the gaming space as a result of crypto gaming and NFTs.
- 69% of gamers hate NFTs and consider them to be “negative”.
- 51% said the uncertainy of financial outcome worries them about the inclusion of NFTs in games.
- 12% said they fully understand what an NFT is.
- 3% had owned an NFT at one point and 1.5% still own one.
I have a lot of thoughts on those points, but I’ll try to keep it succinct. The 86% stat seems fair enough; it likely is a major driving force for change. The 69% stat is a little surprising, but it does also feel representative given the backlash companies such as Ubisoft have seen. Look at Team17, the company behind the hit game, Worms. They announced a MetaWorms collection and crumbled to dust within 24 hours due to the response they received.
I’m not sure what to make of the 51% stat. If this refers to the volatility of crypto and therefore blockchain games’ tokens, I would say it’s a fair worry. But, I don’t believe it is. I believe this is a criticism of NFTs’ value, which is bizarre to me. You don’t have to buy NFTs for games — or at least that’s true of some games in the space and hopefully more going forward — and if your unlocks (skins, items, characters, etc.) for the games you play become NFTs, you’ll own something you otherwise wouldn’t have. Seems like a net positive to me (presuming it’s on a carbon-neutral chain, which it ought to be.)
The 12% stat is worth highlighting by virtue of it likely being inflated, despite it being shockingly low. If a survey asked you to say whether you hated something or not, how many people would say they hate it and then say they don’t know what it is? I would estimate this number is lower than 12% and there’s no shame in that — crypto as a whole is new and complicated, but I’d like to see people suspend strong opinions until they have figured it out. The maths says there could be no overlap between the 69% who “hate” NFTs and the 12% who do not fully understand them, but that seems highly unlikely.
Finally, the 3% and the 1.5% stats indicate the demographic FandomSpot attracts, perhaps, but then again, I wouldn’t say it’s farfetched that those two numbers mirror the percentage of the public at large who own NFTs.
The “study” isn’t really of much significance; it’s a small sample size and it sounds as if the questions were rather leading and polarizing. Nevertheless, we can see a scaled-down version of how the gaming community at large is reacting to NFTs, or at least this is how it feels. A hatred of the unknown mixed with a concept John and I have spoken about on the podcast several times: a sort of crypto fatigue. People are having NFTs and crypto rammed down their throats at every turn and if you’re not interested in — or perhaps even if you are — it can become tiresome.
What do you make of this study? Join the conversation in our Discord.