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EA seemingly backtracks from earlier NFT enthusiasm

"Right now it's not something that we're driving hard against."

EA boss Andrew Wilson has said that the FIFA and Apex Legends publisher is not currently looking to get into the NFT business.

That is despite comments - again, from Wilson - as recently as last November where he described NFTs as "an important part of... the future of our industry".

Wilson discussed NFTs last night in an earnings call last night, in response to a question from an investor. Asked whether he felt EA was more likely to partner with an existing blockchain or NFT gaming firm or launch an initiative itself, the EA boss gave a lengthy reply.

What does Sony get from buying Bungie? It's the Eurogamer Newscast.

In his response, Wilson suggested that video games had always dabbled with emerging technology - and likened the rise of NFTs as another new concept similar to the industry's explorations of 3D, AR and VR.

"I believe that collectability will continue to be an important part of our industry and the games and experiences that we offer our players," Wilson concluded.

"Whether that's part of the NFT 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're going to - we will evaluate that over time. But right now, it's not something that we're driving audience."

Has EA cooled on the idea of NFTs somewhat over the past few months? Do a quick temperature check of the rest of the industry and it would be easy to why.

Ubisoft's foray into NFTs via its Quartz service has been met with disapproval from staff and fans, with a recent interview with the company's NFT bosses only making matters worse.

Just this week, British developer and indie publisher Team17 was forced to U-turn on its own collectible Worms NFT push after an intense backlash from fans and indie partners.

High-profile video games voice actor Troy Baker also abandoned his partnership with a voiceover NFT company following similar disapproval.

In January, Square Enix president Yosuke Matsuda said he believed NFTs and blockchain tech would be a "major trend" in video games this year. And clearly, plenty of companies are sniffing around the planet-burning tech. Konami recently earned £118k from a Castlevania NFT auction, while Atari announced it was selling "surprise" NFT lootboxes to celebrate its 50th anniversary.

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Tom Phillips avatar

Tom Phillips

Deputy Editor

Tom is Eurogamer's deputy editor. He writes lots of news, some of the puns and makes sure we put the accent on Pokémon.

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