“I just hate that they keep finding ways to nickel-and-dime us in whatever way they can,” said Matt Kee, a gamer, about a game studio’s push into NFTs. Credit... Stacy Kranitz for The New York Times
Mike, who has been playing the video game Escape From Tarkov, reports on Facebook and Silicon Valley. Kellen, who has been playing Age of Empires I, covers the games industry.
SAN FRANCISCO — For years, Christian Lantz has played S.T.A.L.K.E.R., a first-person shooter game set in a post-apocalyptic Ukraine that became a cult hit for its immersive role playing. So when the 18-year-old high schooler heard a sequel was coming this year, he knew he had to buy it.
That was until GSC Game World, the Ukrainian company behind the computer game, announced last month that the new S.T.A.L.K.E.R. would incorporate the crypto-based assets known as nonfungible tokens, or NFTs. In the new game, GSC said, players could buy and sell NFTs of items like clothing for their in-game characters. The company heralded the move as a “transformative step” toward the virtual world known as the metaverse.
Mr. Lantz was incensed. He joined thousands of fans on Twitter and Reddit who raged against NFTs in S.T.A.L.K.E.R.’s sequel. The game maker, they said, was simply looking to squeeze more money out of its players. The backlash was so intense that GSC quickly reversed itself and abandoned its NFT plan.