Team17 announced collaboration with Reality Gaming Group
British game studio Team17 has partnered with Reality Gaming Group to make NFT collectibles based on the Worms game series. These limited edition Metaworms will become generative artworks based on the 26-year history of the Worms franchise.
The Metaworms being generative artworks means that the blockchain will randomly assign visual elements at the time of the purchase. This means that the Metaworms can for example have a glitter rainbow skin and laser eyes.
Reality Gaming Group wants to make sure that their Worms NFT collectibles are environmentally friendly. That’s why the Metaworms will exist on Reality Gaming Group’s own Ethereum sidechain. With the Metaworms living on the Ethereum sidechain, energy consumption is very low. According to Reality Gaming Group minting 100,000 NFTs on their network costs as much as ‘the average yearly kettle usage of 11 households’.
At the time of writing there’s still quite some mystery surrounding the Metaworms project. When will the sale take place? How many NFTs will there be, and at what price? Reality Gaming Group promised on Discord to publish a roadmap for the project, but still haven’t done so. An on-going community backlash could be the reason.
Gaming companies dipping their toes in NFTs
Team17 and Worms are established names in the games industry. The partnership between Reality Gaming Group and Team17 highlights a new trend where gaming companies dip their toes into blockchain technology, play-to-earn gaming and NFTs. In the case of Team17 and Reality Gaming Group we’re purely talking about digital collectibles, but Team17 could very well allow those NFT collectibles to exist as playable characters in an existing or upcoming Worms game.
Last year companies like Konami, Sega, Namco Bandai and Square Enix tested the waters. Ubisoft made a big move by implementing NFT rewards in one of their least popular games, Ghost Recon Breakpoint. At the same time Electronic Arts announced their interest as well. However, these companies diving into NFTs and play-to-earn doesn’t happen without gamers and journalists making noise.
Gamers and game journalists not in favor of NFTs
Some of the gaming companies invested in blockchain projects, while others announced NFT collections. Very often such an announcement would lead to a community backlash, and sometimes game companies drop their plans for NFTs. This happened for example to GSC Game World and also Sega plans to reverse their decision to sell NFTs if a fan backlash would happen.
At the same time the NFT community argues that gamers don’t fully understand NFTs yet. Something even people within Ubisoft say. Seemingly ‘journalists’ also seem to have difficulty wrapping their head around NFTs. On Kotaku.com, notorious for their aggressive stance against NFTs, they slam Team17 for using NFTs, calling the tech ‘a racket’ and ‘an environmental disaster’. Baseball cards and Funko Pops are okay, but digital collectibles aren’t? Did Kotaku even read the press release and understand the part about energy consumption?
While the NFT space continues to grow, and the metaverse is shaping up, there’s also a lot of resistance. This reminds me of an infamous incident around the launch of the Xbox 360. When Ubisoft released Horse Armor for The Elder Scrolls Oblivion in April 2006, everybody cried foul over the $2,50 price tag.
Almost 16 years later, people spend money on digital game items all the time. Through NFTs players can resell their assets, for example an equivalent of the Horse Armor. Keep in mind, not every NFT needs to be $100,000. Depending on the availability and demand the price of an NFT can go from a few cents to many dollars.
Traditional gaming will remain, in the same way that physical games still sell aside from digital copies. The internet brought lots of innovation to the gaming space, and so did mobile gaming. Maybe the gaming industry should just give NFTs a chance.