Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick has had a few opposing views over the years. In 2019, he said that Fortnite “never affected the [videogame] industry, “and a year later said he was” very skeptical “that subscription services like Xbox Game Pass would become a primary distribution method for games. He was even more forceful in his thoughts on the future of virtual reality, saying he was grateful Take-Two “didn’t waste any money on it.”
On the non-fungible side, however, it definitely rolls with the crowd. Closely following Ubisoft and Electronic Arts, Zelnick told GamesIndustry that he is a “big supporter” of NFTs, although not necessarily as they currently exist.
“If you believe in physical collectibles, I don’t know why you wouldn’t believe in digital collectibles,” Zelnick said. “And blockchain authorization, which is what an NFT really is, is one way – not the only one – to authenticate that something is singular, is rare.
“So, I’m a big believer, but what I don’t believe is that just because something is digital or NFT, it suddenly has a value and / or a value that will increase in the future. And I think that’s the problem. NFTs, because they are tied to the blockchain as it is currently envisioned and because some have gone for a lot of money, are seen by some as a mere opportunity to invest in a speculation that some say will only increase. don’t just go up; they go down too. “
He’s not wrong, but maybe he’s minimizing the issue a bit. Several recent NFT scams have cost backers millions of dollars: The creator of the NFT Evolved Apes took home $ 2.7 million in October and earlier this week an unofficial Squid Game scam reported over $ 3.3 million. Take-Two is obviously less likely to make a carpet pull than Evil Ape, but these are still only the early days of complex and risky technology, and that’s without considering the challenges of convincing people that one. image on the Internet is unique and worth $ 600.
“For an NFT to be valuable and durable, it must be at the intersection of scarcity and quality, rarity and value,” Zelnick said. “And there is certainly scarcity in all NFTs, but I’m not sure there is value.”
NFTs and cryptocurrency are also a point of contention across the industry. Steam recently imposed a blanket ban on games with NFT or cryptocurrency on Steam, after which Tim Sweeney said that the Epic Games Store ” welcome to games that use blockchain technology. Interestingly, this position directly contradicted a statement he had made less than a month earlier, when he disowned NFTs because “the whole field is currently entangled with an insoluble mixture of scams, cool decentralized tech foundations and scams. “
The environmental impact of the blockchain technology that underlies NFTs and cryptocurrency is also a major concern: an MSNBC report from the start of the year stated bluntly that “Bitcoin, NFT and other crypto modes are destroying our planet “due to their extreme use of energy. A United Nations article from June, however, took a more positive point of view, saying the technology could become a net positive for the global community if “low-energy solutions” can be found. Zelnick expressed similar long-term confidence in blockchain technology, saying “he hasn’t found a lot of uses outside of cryptocurrency yet, but it will be.”