Image: Electronic Arts

Andrew Paul Uerkwitz, an equity analyst, asked EA CEO Andrew Wilson about play-to-earn games during the company’s earnings call yesterday. Wilson said that play-to-earn and NFT conversations are a bit early, but this type of digital content is expected to be the future of the industry.

Anything that brings more people in and engages those people for more time in the context of the entertainment it would create I think it’s a good thing over time. I think that is the very foundation of our live services. I think the play to earn or the NFT conversation is still really, really early, and there’s a lot of conversation. And there’s at some level, a lot of hype about it. I do think it will be an important part of our — of the future of our industry on a go-forward basis. But it’s still early to kind of figure out how that’s going to work. I feel good about our position with respect to that. I mean, as a company, we have been leaders in the creation of digital content that has real collectible value in the embedding of that content as part of live services. What we know about collection over time is the collectibility is far more valuable to the collector where the collected item has utility. And I think that in the context of the games that we create and the live services that we offer, collectible digital content is going to play a meaningful part in our future. So still early to tell, but I think we’re in a really good position, and you should expect us to kind of think more innovatively and creatively about that on a go-forward basis –EA CEO & Director Andrew Wilson

PC Gamer explained that this concept allows players to purchase in-game content via cryptocurrency. From there, they can trade or sell items. Monetary exchange has existed for years in MMOs, allowing players to buy, sell, or trade items. But the news points to cryptocurrency gaining more global acceptance.

“Play-to-earn” games often require players pay an up-front cost through cryptocurrency to play the game and collect unique, in-game items. Those items can then increase in value and be sold to other players.

Monetization in EA games could be expanded to include NFTs or blockchains, with players or collectors obtaining digital content with value. Wilson emphasized that it’s too early to figure out how to roll this out and more planning is necessary, however.

Source: EA (via PC Gamer)

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Peter Brosdahl

As a child of the 70’s I was part of the many who became enthralled by the video arcade invasion of the 1980’s. Saving money from various odd jobs I purchased my first computer from a friend of my...

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23 Comments

  1. That sounds…

    …awful.

    I think I would stop playing games all together before I ever played a game like that.

    I mean, I essentially stopped playing Counter-Strike when they started adding skins and trading. It was the last straw in a long line of things that ruined the game for me.

    Large open world offline single player first person games are essentially it for me. When they stop making these, I’ll just stop playing games.

  2. I really don’t even know how to respond to this bullsh1t. Of course a company like EA would say something like this though.

    [QUOTE=”Grimlakin, post: 43427, member: 215″]
    What the hell is play to earn?
    [/QUOTE]
    I was wondering the same dang thing.

    Also why is “hell” not a censored word in these forums? I can’t write “sh*t” or “@ss” without being censored, but “hell” is a-okay?

    [QUOTE=”Zarathustra, post: 43428, member: 203″]
    I think I would stop playing games all together before I ever played a game like that.
    [/QUOTE]
    Sadly I would do the same, and that’s coming from someone for whom video games are one of the 3 main pillars of his life.

  3. [QUOTE=”Brian_B, post: 43431, member: 96″]
    No.

    Just no.
    [/QUOTE]
    We can say this all we want… Blue in the face and everything…. Doesn’t matter, one bit. We can ” vote with our wallets” all day long year in and year out… Doesn’t matter one bit.. we are a tiny little corner of the bell curve. We just are.

  4. [QUOTE=”Uvilla, post: 43436, member: 397″]
    We can say this all we want… Blue in the face and everything…. Doesn’t matter, one bit. We can ” vote with our wallets” all day long year in and year out… Doesn’t matter one bit.. we are a tiny little corner of the bell curve. We just are.
    [/QUOTE]
    Sad but true. If they didn’t see a demand to fulfill it wouldn’t happen and the hype train is already leaving the station.

    [QUOTE=”Grimlakin, post: 43427, member: 215″]
    What the hell is play to earn?
    [/QUOTE]
    That’s what I said when I was researching this. Up until this, I’d never even heard of blockchain/NFT in games before but then again I’m not exactly social, even when online. It sounds like it’s existed within the mobile gaming market for a little while now already.

  5. [QUOTE=”Peter_Brosdahl, post: 43440, member: 87″]
    That’s what I said when I was researching this. Up until this, I’d never even heard of blockchain/NFT in games before but then again I’m not exactly social, even when online. It sounds like it’s existed within the mobile gaming market for a little while now already.
    [/QUOTE]

    The whole concept of NFT is dumb either inside or outside games.

    Guess what, I screenshotted your NFT. Now I have it too. There is nothing “original” about a piece of digital art.

  6. [QUOTE=”Uvilla, post: 43436, member: 397″]
    We can say this all we want… Blue in the face and everything…. Doesn’t matter, one bit. We can ” vote with our wallets” all day long year in and year out… Doesn’t matter one bit.. we are a tiny little corner of the bell curve. We just are.
    [/QUOTE]
    By the same logic only chicken wings should ever be made at restaurants because that’s what most people eat.

    These companies always talk about “tapping” some imaginary non existent audience, while there already is an audience that has shown that they are willing to pay if they get what they want. But their logic is, let’s tear down this fan favorite restaurant with a loyal customer base and build a kfc in its place.

  7. [QUOTE=”MadMummy76, post: 43443, member: 1298″]
    By the same logic only chicken wings should ever be made at restaurants because that’s what most people eat.

    These companies always talk about “tapping” some imaginary non existent audience, while there already is an audience that has shown that they are willing to pay if they get what they want. But their logic is, let’s tear down this fan favorite restaurant with a loyal customer base and build a kfc in its place.
    [/QUOTE]

    The problem is that we aren’t willing to pay a steady stream of microtransactions on “hats” and “Costumes” and other dumb nonsense for our in game characters.

    Because of this dumb kids are always going to be the target audience, because they haven’t figured out what is worth money and what isn’t yet.

    In a way, something like Roblox is the holy grail of game design, because that’s where the most profit is.

  8. [QUOTE=”Zarathustra, post: 43441, member: 203″]
    The whole concept of NFT is dumb either inside or outside games.

    Guess what, I screenshotted your NFT. Now I have it too. There is nothing “original” about a piece of digital art.
    [/QUOTE]
    Yeah I’m waiting for some form of copyright enforcement on NFTs to protect dilution of their value.

    /sigh

    This is just retarded.

  9. [QUOTE=”MadMummy76, post: 43443, member: 1298″]
    By the same logic only chicken wings should ever be made at restaurants because that’s what most people eat.

    These companies always talk about “tapping” some imaginary non existent audience, while there already is an audience that has shown that they are willing to pay if they get what they want. But their logic is, let’s tear down this fan favorite restaurant with a loyal customer base and build a kfc in its place.
    [/QUOTE]
    Well, if you look at fast food, that’s pretty much what happens. Franchisees really only invest in the hot brands, so you end up with 3 McD’s every square mile, Starbucks on every corner, and a Subway in every gas station. Around here the new FOTM is Raisin’ Cane, which is going up everywhere you see.

    And it’s the same way with games – because you have nervous investors. They don’t care about the business or the game or the restuarant – they have money, they want it to grow; they only care about it as a vehicle for investment. While they may throw a few dollars are a high risk/high reward prospect as a gamble, they only invest the big money into lower risk projects with a pretty established return.

    Those great smaller / mom & pop restaurants are because someone has a dream and is willing to put enough sweat equity into it to make it happen. Same thing as the indie game scene… and for every one great one that ends up succeeding, there are 5 that deserved to succeed but couldn’t for whatever reason, and 10 that probably would have been better off had it not started up at all, and 2 that succeeded somehow but really shouldn’t have.

  10. [QUOTE=”Brian_B, post: 43452, member: 96″]
    Well, if you look at fast food, that’s pretty much what happens. Franchisees really only invest in the hot brands, so you end up with 3 McD’s every square mile, Starbucks on every corner, and a Subway in every gas station. Around here the new FOTM is Raisin’ Cane, which is going up everywhere you see.
    [/QUOTE]
    Regular restaurants still exist. It’s not one or the another, it can be both.
    [QUOTE=”Brian_B, post: 43452, member: 96″]

    And it’s the same way with games – because you have nervous investors. They don’t care about the business or the game or the restuarant – they have money, they want it to grow; they only care about it as a vehicle for investment. While they may throw a few dollars are a high risk/high reward prospect as a gamble, they only invest the big money into lower risk projects with a pretty established return.
    [/QUOTE]
    But that is not what is going on. A single player campaign driven game is a guaranteed investment with medium returns. Instead they opt to do the “next wow”, or the “next fortnite” which has 0.0001% chance of being that successful and 99% chance of being a giant flop and not even making back the initial investment.

  11. [QUOTE=”MadMummy76, post: 43461, member: 1298″]
    But that is not what is going on. A single player campaign driven game is a guaranteed investment with medium returns. Instead they opt to do the “next wow”, or the “next fortnite” which has 0.0001% chance of being that successful and 99% chance of being a giant flop and not even making back the initial investment.
    [/QUOTE]
    That’s true. But I don’t know that investors necessarily see it that way. Keep in mind these aren’t always (are not usually?) tech or gaming saavy people — they just have money and want it to grow.

    They get sold on — “Look Fortnite is a $2B/yr franchise, and this the same thing – with ZOMBIES! So expect $4B!” I don’t know why it works, as you are entirely accurate, but it’s this type of investment that leads to the Flavor of the Month genres and all the copycats.

    Same reason we have Wendys, Burger King, etc… “It’s McDonalds – with FROSTIES!”

  12. EA and of course others are going for something pretty insidious. Its the next step of microtransactions as I understand it. A game with its own economy… NFTs makes “items” “unique” which would be important for the economy, as well as cryto for in game transaction or maybe even cross game transactions. Meaning eventually at some point they will have youtubers get money within the game that can actually be translated to real money… This on its own will draw people, as you will instantly have rags to riches stories and stories about how anyone can make it in the game ( and cash out for real money potentially). Anyone can make it, just like a casino, with EA being the house of course.

  13. [QUOTE=”Uvilla, post: 43481, member: 397″]
    EA and of course others are going for something pretty insidious. Its the next step of microtransactions as I understand it. A game with its own economy… NFTs makes “items” “unique” which would be important for the economy, as well as cryto for in game transaction or maybe even cross game transactions. Meaning eventually at some point they will have youtubers get money within the game that can actually be translated to real money… This on its own will draw people, as you will instantly have rags to riches stories and stories about how anyone can make it in the game ( and cash out for real money potentially). Anyone can make it, just like a casino, with EA being the house of course.
    [/QUOTE]
    Better be adult only with real checks. Because some kid is going to loose thousands and ea will get sued for millions. Proof.. look at microtransactions on phones. Apple and the other carriers had to pay back charges for minors micro transactions.

  14. This scheme sounds light a plot to undermine labor laws. Two income earning families already struggle to make ends meet. Have your kids play games to earn money to help out. Parents will say they aren’t exploiting their kids – they are learning how to contribute while having fun. Not to get too political here, but the right side of the spectrum would love to be able to put kids to work. This would be the path. Make the idea of child labor seem like a positive for everyone (money for family, fun for kids, etc.) and those too poor to afford gaming systems/gaming pcs can just send their kids to work. School choice will be just that. After all, millions don’t want their kids being taught the “wrong” history in public schools anyway. Never mind the leaders they elected all went to the elite universities they hate. Sry, ran with this more than planned. It’s late and I’m going to sleep now.

  15. [QUOTE=”Nanobot, post: 43484, member: 73″]
    This scheme sounds light a plot to undermine labor laws. Two income earning families already struggle to make ends meet. Have your kids play games to earn money to help out. Parents will say they aren’t exploiting their kids – they are learning how to contribute while having fun. Not to get too political here, but the right side of the spectrum would love to be able to put kids to work. This would be the path. Make the idea of child labor seem like a positive for everyone (money for family, fun for kids, etc.) and those too poor to afford gaming systems/gaming pcs can just send their kids to work. School choice will be just that. After all, millions don’t want their kids being taught the “wrong” history in public schools anyway. Never mind the leaders they elected all went to the elite universities they hate. Sry, ran with this more than planned. It’s late and I’m going to sleep now.
    [/QUOTE]
    99.99% of players aren’t going to earn real money. Only a small handful (like single-digits players) will, and they will be prominent on Twitch and other streaming sites.

  16. [QUOTE=”Brian_B, post: 43489, member: 96″]
    99.99% of players aren’t going to earn real money. Only a small handful (like single-digits players) will, and they will be prominent on Twitch and other streaming sites.
    [/QUOTE]
    I don’t even think it will be real money, it’ll be crypto.

  17. [QUOTE=”Nanobot, post: 43503, member: 73″]
    I don’t even think it will be real money, it’ll be crypto.
    [/QUOTE]
    Ea is going to issue itself a billion coins then let everyone else burn electricity playing their games to earn nft and drive up the value of their coins so they can dump them on the market for profit and let everyone else have.. what. Unique digital clothes?

  18. [QUOTE=”Nanobot, post: 43503, member: 73″]
    I don’t even think it will be real money, it’ll be crypto.
    [/QUOTE]
    I agree, and even past that, I think it will look an awful lot like many MMOs have done for years:

    You’ll get credit towards costs of in-game items, but you can’t really “cash” it out. Like Eve’s PLEX, Warcraft’s WoW Tokens, etc.

  19. [QUOTE=”Brian_B, post: 43506, member: 96″]
    I agree, and even past that, I think it will look an awful lot like many MMOs have done for years:

    You’ll get credit towards costs of in-game items, but you can’t really “cash” it out. Like Eve’s PLEX, Warcraft’s WoW Tokens, etc.
    [/QUOTE]
    I hope it’s this rather than my nightmarish scenario.

  20. I think you will be able to cash it out eventually in the future. That aspect would be there just to obscure how much players will really lose/ how much it really costs… The narrative of some making money will take over.. hopeium its what is called. The economy of the game will only go one way in the end of course… But hey if you play hard and blah blah blah. Even worse, can’t call this gambling, because it unarguably requires skills.

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