After previously expressing positivity about NFTs as a part of gaming’s future, EA appears to be treading with a bit more caution in its most recent discussion with investors.
During the company’s Q3 earnings call today, CEO Andrew Wilson was asked once again how he felt about EA potentially doing NFT and blockchain gaming sometime down the line. Wilson began his reply by reflecting on the fact that the investment trends gaming is seeing with NFTs are familiar, with similar investment including in the past around tech such as 3D, AR, and VR.
He continued by emphasizing the importance of “collectibility” as central to EA games, both in real and virtual worlds, saying he believes that will be an important part of EA’s future one way or another. However, he wouldn’t say one way or another whether that means NFTs.
“Whether that’s a part of NFTs and the blockchain, well, that remains to be seen,” he said. “The way we think about it is: we want to deliver the best possible player experience we can. We’ll evaluate that over time, but right now it’s not something that we’re driving hard against.”
Previously, Wilson had said that while the NFT conversation is “really, really early,” he felt the tech was “an important part of the future of our industry.”
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Though not explicitly stated, it’s possible Wilson’s more cautious reply this time is reflective of recent backlash from gaming communities against NFTs, with games such as Stalker 2 and Worms announcing and then backpedaling on their implementation after overwhelming audience criticism.
Elsewhere on the call, EA acknowledged that Battlefield 2042 “did not meet expectations” in part due to work-from-home restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Rebekah Valentine is a news reporter for IGN. You can find her on Twitter @duckvalentine.