Yesterday, publisher Team17 announced the MetaWorms NFT project. Basically, the plan was to create NFTs based on its popular Worms license with the help of NFT maker, Reality Gaming Group. Team17 billed these NFTs as environmentally friendly because they were a “side chain” of Ethereum and produced using RGG’s carbon neutral servers. Team17 even had plans to donate a portion of the revenue earned from NFT sales to global sustainability firm Coins 4 Planet and its Refeed Farms initiative, which promotes using worm beds as a cleaner method to process waste. The NFTs themselves were, of course, just various images of Worms characters, which you can see in the header up top.
As we’ve recently seen in other instances of studios announcing NFT plans, fans were not pleased and expressed as much on social media. That’s not surprising; what did come from left field was the fact that some of Team17’s studio partners were apparently unaware of the initiative and became similarly upset. As a result, a few of these developers took to Twitter to independently announce that their titles will not support NFTs.
That includes Yooka-Laylee developer Playtonic:
The Going Under team at Aggro Crab (language warning):
As well as Overcooked studio Ghost Town Games:
With all of this blowback, Team17 announced today on Twitter that it has received the message loud and clear and is stepping away from NFTs altogether:
Team17 is today announcing an end to the MetaWorms NFT project.
We have listened to our Teamsters, development partners, and our games’ communities, and the concerns they’ve expressed, and have therefore taken the decision to step back from the NFT space.
— Team17 (@Team17) February 1, 2022
This story is not unlike when GSC Game World announced plans to add NFTs to the upcoming S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2. Fans also revolted, and while the studio initially defended its plans, it ultimately reversed course. Ubisoft’s own NFT platform, Quartz, has been met with a similar backlash though the publisher has stood firm saying that their acceptance will “take time” and that detractors just “don’t get it”. Square Enix and Konami have begun dabbling in the NFT game, though a recent survey conducted by the Game Developer Conference revealed most developers have little to no interest in incorporating NFT or cryptocurrency into their products.
Are you still confused about NFTs? Be sure to read our handy explainer on what they are and how they could impact the game industry here.