FIFA publisher EA is not currently focused on NFTs, according to its CEO
But it will continue to evaluate their potential over time
Electronic Arts CEO Andrew Wilson has said the company isn’t currently focused on the introduction of NFTs for its games.
NFTs are unique non-interchangeable units of data stored on a blockchain (a form of digital ledger), which effectively allow users to own, buy and sell digital goods such as in-game items or artwork.
During EA’s third quarter earnings call on Tuesday, Wilson acknowledged that NFTs are currently driving a lot of external investment in the games industry.
However, he likened the current situation to previous investor enthusiasm for 3D, AR and VR in the video games space.
“The way I look at this is, collectability is really built on four key metrics,” Wilson said. “That’s around high-quality content, it’s around scarcity, it’s around proof of authenticity, and it’s around a group of people that find value in that content.
“We’ve seen that happen in the real world and we’ve seen that happen in the virtual world with certain things that happened in and around our games for some number of years.
“And I believe that collectability will continue to be an important part of our industry and the games and the experiences that we offer our players.
“Whether that’s part of NFTs and the 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’ll evaluate that over time, but right now it’s not something that we’re driving hard against.”
During EA’s second quarter earnings call last November, Wilson had said “the play to earn or the NFT conversation is still really, really early”, before adding: “I do think it will be an important part of our – of the future of our industry on a go-forward basis.”
Since then, several notable games companies have started selling digital items as NFTs, such as Ubisoft and Konami, while others such as Square Enix have expressed enthusiasm for the tech trend.
However, these companies have attracted significant criticism due to the NFT format’s high carbon footprint and what many perceive to be cynical implementation.
Earlier on Tuesday, Worms publisher Team17 U-turned on plans to enter the NFT space following a backlash from its business partners and fans.
Others companies have been more resistant to criticism of their NFT plans, with one Ubisoft executive recently claiming players just “don’t get it”.
Wilson also addressed Battlefield 2042’s disappointing launch during Tuesday’s earnings call. He backed developer DICE to turn things around and claimed to believe the game “will do really well over the course of time”.