Game Developers Resist Blockchain and the Metaverse: An Investigation

Most game developers are not interested in NFT, Web3 and other blockchain technologies.

In the latest annual survey commissioned by the organizers of the Game Developers Conference (GDC), more than 2,300 developers were surveyed on a variety of topics related to their work and the industry as a whole. When asked about their studios’ interest in blockchain, 75% of people said they were “not interested”, while 7% said they were “very interested”, 16% said they were “very interested”, and 2% mentioned that they “already using it.” “.

The GDC also asked developers to provide anonymous reasons why they are for or against the blockchain. Interestingly, the first answer was more balanced. “Like any technology, it has its pros and cons. I think it’s become too trendy to openly oppose it and score points on social media, but I know a lot of developers who are exploring its use in a more subtle way.

“Now that the hype has died down and the scammers have moved on, I think it’s time to seriously look into its usefulness for any positive player experience. I don’t think that such a big thing as a blockchain is completely unnecessary,” said another.

However, many other answers were negative.

“Blockchain is a classic example of finding a solution to a problem. Although it has been well known for more than a decade, it has no practical application – except for cryptocurrency, which itself has the only use case for financial fraud. I am suspicious of any company that uses blockchain technology because they tell me that they do not understand this technology well or act unethically,” said one of the respondents.

One developer was much more forthright: “I developed a game to use the blockchain, and after spending three months doing nothing but researching use cases, I firmly came to the conclusion that ‘not worth chasing’.


Another buzzword in the industry shouldn’t be well received either. While companies like Mark Zuckberg’s Meta continue to talk about the idea of ​​shared and inclusive virtual worlds, just under half of developers (45%) said they believe the so-called “metaverse” will never live up to its promises. It was a response to the companies they thought would best handle the metaverse concept.

Meanwhile, 14% said that Epic Games (Fortnite) is in the best position in this regard, while Meta (Horizon World) and Microsoft (Minecraft) received seven percent of the votes each. Meanwhile, Google and Apple received only 3%.

The developers have pointed to many hurdles the Metaverse will need to overcome, including proper monetization, cheaper VR hardware, and better standardization of controls across apps. However, one developer put it well: the lack of a proper definition. The “Promise of the Metaverse” as such is nothing. The people trying to sell it have no idea what it is, and neither do the consumers. Do you remember what happened and continues to happen with cloud gaming ten years ago? »


Another area of ​​concern and uncertainty is the rapid wave of acquisitions. On everyone’s mind, of course, is Microsoft’s upcoming $69 billion purchase of Activision Blizzard, but others include Sony’s acquisition of Bungie and Embracer Group, taking over several studios, Square Enix.

When asked what impact these acquisition waves would have, 44% of respondents said they would have a “negative” effect. Another 32% answered “I don’t know” or “I don’t know”. Only 17% of the respondents answered “positively” and 7% said “no effect”.

Some respondents were either realistic (“Consolidation will happen and we shouldn’t be afraid of it”) or indifferent (“As long as they pay their bills and let people play the games they want, that’s fine with me.)

Others were more pessimistic. “Consolidation is bad for innovation, product diversity, consumer satisfaction, and the ability of new voices to compete on an equal footing.”

“I am a Blizzard kid still traumatized by the Activision Blizzard merger. Large purchases will always leave a sour taste in your mouth. There is a lot of money to be made in this industry and the business community knows this. Judging by the trends of the past two decades, these latest acquisitions are going to be terrible for the industry.

Perhaps the most dryly humorous response is: “Big corporations are getting bigger. More homogenization. Less original. But hey, I think Banjo-Kazooie might be in Guitar Hero now.


However, accessibility is an area of ​​game development that continues to gain a lot of support. When asked if their games had options for players with disabilities, the number of people who answered yes was 38% (compared to 39% last year), and the percentage of people who answered no fell from 36 to 32%. . Specifically, respondents said they added features such as text captions, motion blur reduction, colorblind mode, and “arachnophobia mode” to change the appearance of enemy spiders.

According to Microsoft, this is a good trend, especially since there are 400 million gamers worldwide with some form of disability. In recent years, we’ve seen a number of high-profile titles lead the way in terms of accessibility, including Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us Part I and Part Two, Santa Monica Studios’ God of War Ragnarok, and Eidos. . In addition, PlayStation recently followed the Xbox with an accessibility controller for the PS5.

The full GDC 2023 survey is available here.

Image Credit: Meta

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