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Team17 announces "environmentally friendly" Worms NFTs

UPDATE: Many staff not told of NFT project before announce today, Eurogamer understands.

UPDATE 1.45pm UK: Eurogamer understands that several teams within Team17 had no knowledge of its controversial plans to launch a range of collectible Worms NFTs prior to the project's public announcement this morning.

Others within Team17 were aware of the NFT collaboration after the deal was signed and voiced their disapproval of it - only for it to be announced anyway.

It remains to be seen if Team17 will still push forward with the actual sale of Worms NFTs following the universally negative feedback today on social media. Eurogamer has contacted both Team17 and NFT partner Reality Gaming Group for more.

In a new statement, Team17 told Eurogamer that its ambitions to launch NFT collectibles would not translate into the introduction of NFTs into the indie games it publishes.

"Team17 is licencing the Worms brand to our newest third-party partner so they can produce collectible digital artwork based on one of the most beloved IPs in indie games, in a similar way to already available physical merchandise," a Team17 spokesperson told Eurogamer today.

"Team17 has no plans to introduce NFTs or play-to-earn NFT mechanics into any of its indie games label titles."

ORIGINAL STORY 11.55am UK: Worms developer Team17 has announced it is getting into NFTs.

These "limited edition" unique pieces of computer-generated artwork will be sold by Reality Gaming Group, which uses a "side-chain" of the "Ethereum mainnet".

This means, the company says, registering your unique ownership of each Worms collectible is "environmentally friendly". So, should 100,000 people buy one, the energy used to register these unique images would be "the average annual kettle usage of just 11 households".

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There's also a partnership to donate a portion of proceeds to NFT sustainability firm "Coin 4 Planet", and specifically its Refeed Farms idea. This invests in worm beds which process food waste, and the claim here is it results in a cleaner output than commercial fertiliser.

Images of the Worms NFTs themselves seem to be thin on the ground, but today's announcement feels a little rushed. There's a website - which currently shows a rotating 3D worm covered in glitter.

There's also a MetaWorms Discord, where a project roadmap channel includes a post saying "do a roadmap". Other channels such as "NFT Discussion", "Speculation" and "Shilling channel" are currently empty. Clearly, it is early days.

Last week, Atari announced it would sell a range of giftable "surprise" NFT lootboxes to celebrate its 50th anniversary. Meanwhile, Ubisoft's NFT bosses claimed in an interview that NFT-sceptical players just "don't get it".

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