Whether you dislike NFTs, don't understand them, or think you can make money from them, you can't escape the NFT discourse. Game stores are no different. Valve have banned games with NFTs or cryptocurrencies from Steam, the Epic Games Stores welcomes NFTs, and now Itch.io has weighed in. In response to people asking, the folks behind the excellent indie games store have stated their beliefs plainly: "NFTs are a scam."
Opened in 2013, Itch.io is my favourite store for interesting, unconventional, and personal indie games. Along with being DRM-free, it supports free games and pay-what-you-want pricing, it lets developers decide how much of a cut the store takes, it's accepting of mature themes and contents other stores are wary of, and it's supported great causes like 2020's astonishing Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality. I also consider it a plus that the store's managers think NFTs are bad.
The store's Twitter tweeted over the weekend:
In the past few months, studios including the makers of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 and Worms crew Team 17 have walked back NFT announcements after people pointed out hey, this sucks, don't do this. The NFT backlash is strong enough that Riot Games had to insist a Valorant character didn't like NFTs after unknowingly posing her with NFT artwork in some promo art. Others have dug their heels in, though. Ubisoft insisted people "don't get" NFT items following criticism of the NFTs they launched last year. But I can see why companies are interested. Peter Molyneus's 22Cans studio sold £40 million of virtual land NFTs for an upcoming industry-building game last year despite that clearly being a horrible idea.
I'm very excited/tired to see which games company will this week announce some awful NFTs then quickly unannounce them.