Published on: 19/04/2022
Blizzard boss addresses NFTs rumors, ‘no one is doing NFTs’
Blizzard president Mike Ybarra has dismissed the speculations that claimed the company was working on NFTs after launching a 15 minutes YouGov survey, asking gaming-related questions and polling out whether or not players would be interested in cryptocurrency, blockchain technology, and NFTs being introduced to Activision Blizzard’s products.
Ybarra took to Twitter to respond to Video Games Chronicle editor Andy Robinson, confirming the company’s NFTs stance, saying, “No one is doing NFTs”.
Many engaged in the Twitter conversation found the response reassuring. The company also told GamesRadar+ that the YouGov survey was conducted as part of the company’s regular surveys on various “emerging topics” to understand its players’ needs.
“The company conducts surveys regularly on a wide range of emerging topics to better learn about the interests of our players, regardless of our involvement in such trends,” Blizzard said.
Possibility of NFTs integration into Activision Blizzard’s games
As surveys do not always reflect a company’s plans, Ybarra’s response was understandable. It addressed the growing speculations regarding the company’s stance.
The survey was interpreted by gamers and NFT enthusiasts as a hint that Blizzard was planning to include NFTs in its products. Blizzard’s response regarding the company’s stance on NFTs was somewhat different from that of Microsoft.
The American multinational tech giant revealed in January its plan to acquire Activision Blizzard alongside its grand plan to become a leading entity in the gaming industry. The company said the acquisition would provide “building blocks for the metaverse”.
“This acquisition will accelerate the growth in Microsoft’s gaming business across mobile, PC, console and cloud and will provide building blocks for the metaverse,” Microsoft said in a release.
It remains unclear the exact direction Blizzard is going on forward and importantly how the company will provide Microsoft with its metaverse goal.
NFTs in gaming industry
If Blizzard were to make its grand voyage to integrate NFTs into its video game products, the company would be joining other gaming studios that have expressed optimism and proceed with trial run in adding NFTs to the gaming industry.
One of them is Square Enix. The company’s president, Yosuke Matsuda, said they were optimistic about blockchain technology.
“In the future, we would like to try our hand at providing ‘autonomous game content’,” Matsuda told Yahoo Japan.
“Until now, in most games, we provided the content as a finished product and the players played that content. However, there are a certain number of players in the world who want to contribute to making games more interesting, by creating new settings and ways of playing.”
Fellow Japanese video game company, Sega also expressed the exact optimism in the said technology. When Sega revealed their updated plans for the “Super Game” initiative, the Japanese multinational gaming company suggested projects in the initiative could include and support NFTs and cloud gaming.
“It is a natural extension for the future of gaming that it will expand to involve new areas such as cloud gaming and NFT,” Sega producer Masayoshi Kikuchi added.
Sega, however, also said that it still had to “carefully assess” the addition of NFTs to its products. Sega said it was concerned that NFT would just be another cash grab effort similar to loot boxes and microtransactions.
“if it is perceived as simple money-making, I would like to make a decision not to proceed,” Sega CEO Haruki Satomi explained.