Electronic Arts CEO Andrew Wilson appeared to reverse his position on non-fungible tokens in an earnings call on Tuesday, saying it was not something the company was currently "driving on." Just three months ago, Wilson called NFTs and the broader blockchain gaming market "the future of our industry."
“I believe that collectability will continue to be an important part of our industry and the games and experiences that we offer our players. Whether that’s as part of the NFT blockchain, well, that remains to be seen. And I think the way we think about it is we want to deliver the best possible player experience we can. And so we’re going to evaluate that over time, but right now, it’s not something that we’re driving hard on," Wilson said, in response to a question about any potential investments in NFTs or blockchain gaming.
In Wilson's last earnings call in November, he sounded more confident on the prospects of combining crypto and gaming. "I think that in the context of the games we create and the live services that we offer, collectible digital content is going to play a meaningful part in our future," Wilson said at the time. "So, it's still early to tell, but I think we're in a really good position, and we should expect us to kind of think more innovatively and creatively about that on a go-forward basis."
Although investment in blockchain gaming and NFT-related gaming companies has skyrocketed in recent months, scores of players, developers and critics have come out against the technologies, both for their environmental impact and the risk of financial scams, fraud and other forms of consumer exploitation.
A number of high-profile controversies have erupted around gaming NFT announcements including this week from Worms publisher Team17, which reversed its plans to launch digital collectibles for the franchise after a single day following online backlash.