Blizzard Entertainment Shuts Down Rumors About Company’s Crypto Games, NFT Adoption

KEY POINTS

  • Game developers and publishers Square Enix and Ubisoft embraced NFT and blockchain-based games
  • Take-Two Interactive and EA still extra cautious about NFT games
  • “Axie Infinity” is considered the leader in NFT gaming

Blizzard Entertainment’s president shut down rumors circulating online, which claimed that the American video games developer and publisher is looking at pursuing blockchain technology for its upcoming titles.

Mike Ybarra, president of Blizzard Entertainment, confirmed in a tweet that the company has no plans to explore NFTs. The executive’s tweet surfaced after several media outlets reported that the American video games developer and publisher had asked gamers to complete a survey to learn about their views on the emerging trends in the gaming industry, which include NFTs and cryptocurrencies.

Many immediately speculated that the survey suggested that Blizzard was interested in considering blockchain technology for its games, including play-to-earn models and crypto-based systems. But Ybarra clarified that “No one is doing NFTs.” 

Blizzard Entertainment Blizzard is reportedly remastering “Warcraft 3” and “Diablo 2.” Photo: Reuters/Mike Blake

The executive’s tweet evoked mixed reactions from gamers, with some feeling reassured that while NFTs are slowly invading video games, Blizzard will not be among those who will introduce them. Several others were not so convinced of Ybarra’s statement and felt that the company would not conduct any survey related to new video gaming technology if it had no plans to introduce it in its future titles.

Jorge Murillo, Blizzard’s senior designer, criticized the NFT trend last January and said that “as a dev on the @PlayOverwatch team, I am strongly against NFTs and will fight to make sure they aren’t integrated into our game.”

When Microsoft acquired Activision in January, CEO and chairman Satya Nadella said, “Gaming is the most dynamic and exciting category in entertainment across all platforms today and will play a key role in the development of Metaverse platforms.” He added, “We’re investing deeply in world-class content, community and the cloud to usher in a new era of gaming that puts players and creators first and makes gaming safe, inclusive and accessible to all.”

New-generation tech like NFT, Metaverse, blockchain and play-to-earn are related and welcomed by many investors and gaming companies. These include Square Enix and Ubisoft, while Take-Two Interactive and EA have approached the trend with extra caution.

NFTs are digital items stored in a digital ledger called the blockchain. One of the most popular games and considered the leader in NFT gaming is “Axie Infinity,” which previously suffered from an attack that siphoned off over $600 million on its Ronin bridge.

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