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Civilization's Sid Meier blasts NFTs, game monetisation

"The real opportunity is keeping our focus on gameplay."

Civilization creator Sid Meier, a veteran of games development, has spoken out about the industry's ongoing push towards further monetisation.

Speaking to BBC News on the 30th anniversary of the original Civilization's release, Meier issued a stark warning that progress in game development was beginning to forget about gameplay itself.

And on NFTs, Meier warned that chasing this form of monetisation risked alienating players altogether.

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"The real challenge and the real opportunity is keeping our focus on gameplay," said Meier. "That is what is unique, special and appealing about games as a form of entertainment.

"When we forget that, and decide it's monetisation or other things that are not gameplay-focused, when we start to forget about making great games and start thinking about games as a vehicle or an opportunity for something else, that's when we stray a little bit further from the path."

Several games companies have floated the idea of exploring NFTs in their games - although a couple have since thought better of it. EA seemingly backtracked on its previous enthusiasm for NFT projects in a recent financial call, while Worms maker Team17 swiftly ditched its own NFT push after universal backlash. Video game voice actor Troy Baker attempted his own NFT partnership - and then U-turned.

Other games companies are persevering, however. Ubisoft is seemingly still invested in the idea, while Farmville maker Zynga revealed plans for a studio-sized group making blockchain and NFT games by year's end.

"I think we need to be sure that our games continue to be high quality and fun to play - there are so many forms of entertainment out there now," Meier concluded. "We're in a good position... but we need to be sure we realise how critical gameplay is - and how that is the engine that really keeps players happy, engaged and having fun."