S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 Developers Remove NFTs After Fan Uproar

S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 Developers Remove NFTs After Fan Uproar
Image: STALKER 2

STALKER 2 developers GSC Game World announced yesterday that they’d be adding NFTs to the game. Public reception was, as you’d imagine, not kind.

NFTs (and the blockchain itself) are an environmental disaster, a pump-and-dump scam and a pointless assault on existing technologies and systems that don’t need fixing all at once, so whichever approach you want to come at them from — or all three if you like, I’m not here to stop you — they suck.

I think fan reaction was best summed up by this top-voted comment on Reddit, which simply said

They literally had to do nothing to keep me hyped for that game and still fucked it up.

You would think that a video game studio connected to the internet in any way in 2021 would have seen this coming, but then:

Anyway, 24 hours after making the announcement, and having taken flak for all of those 24 hours, the studio decided it was time to tweet out an “apology” letter, which of course didn’t actually apologise for anything aside from a perceived “miscommunication”:

DEAR STALKERS,

WE WANT TO GIVE A DETAILED COMMENT ON YESTERDAY’S ANNOUNCEMENT OF NFT-BONUSES FOR S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2.

GSC GAME WORLD IS AN INDEPENDENT GAME DEVELOPMENT STUDIO. WE HAVE NO PUBLISHER, BUT WE DO HAVE WONDERFUL PARTNERS, AN INCREDIBLE TEAM, AND A DREAM OF A GAME THAT YOU WILL SINCERELY LOVE. JUST LIKE ALL THE OTHER DEVS, WE NEED TWO MAIN RESOURCES: TIME AND MONEY.

S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2: HEART OF CHERNOBYL IS TRULY THE BIGGEST AND THE MOST COMPLEX GAME WE HAVE EVER CREATED. ALL THE FUNDS THAT WE EARN DURING THE DEVELOPMENT PROCESS (INCLUDING THE POTENTIAL INCOME FROM NFT) WILL BE SPENT ON IMPROVING THE LONG-AWAITED GAME TO MAKE IT EVEN BETTER.

WHY DID WE CHOOSE NFT? IT’S A NEW TECHNOLOGY, AND WE ARE EAGER TO «DO NFT RIGHT»: GIVE CERTAIN FANS AN OPPORTUNITY «TO GET INTO» THE GAME WITHOUT INTERFERING WITH OTHER PLAYERS’ EXPERIENCE. THAT’S WHY THE TOKENS ARE ENTIRELY OPTIONAL AND HAVE NO IMPACT ON GAMEPLAY OR STORY (NO WEAPONS, QUESTS, LOCATIONS, ETC.) AND CAN BE ACTIVATED ONLY BEFORE THE GAME RELEASE.

YESTERDAY WE ANNOUNCED THE FIRST TOKENS — THE FACES OF SEVERAL NPCS. THEY AREN’T EVEN INVOLVED IN THE STORY. BUT SOME OF YOU THOUGHT WE WOULD GO A BIT TOO FAR FROM HERE. THAT’S WHY WE WANT TO TRANSPARENTLY DISCLOSE OUR PLANS FOR THE FUTURE NFTS. WE ARE GOING TO IMPLEMENT (NICKNAMES OF THE OWNERS ON SOME IN-GAME DESKS/WALLS/ETC (PLEASE REMEMBER IT’S A LARGE OPEN WORLD WE’RE TALKING ABOUT), GLOVES/TATTOOS, SKINS/BADGES FOR THE MULTIPLAYER MODE (RELEASING AS A FREE UPDATE AFTER THE STORY CAMPAIGN) AND COLLECTIBLE CARDS (DMARKET PLATFORM ONLY, NO INTEGRATION IN S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2).

DMARKET WAS CHOSEN AS A PARTNER AS A VIDEO GAME-ONLY BLOCKCHAIN PLATFORM. THEY LOVE GAMES, AND THEY WERE EAGER TO WORK WITH US ON THIS KIND OF SOFT NET REALISATION. DMARKET WORKS ON A PRIVATE BLOCKCHAIN SYSTEM WITH BRIDGES INTO OTHER NETWORKS (SUCH AS POLYGON AND SOLANA WITH PRIORITY TO PROVIDE LOW ENERGY CONSUMPTION AND MINIMISE CO2-EMISSIONS AND OTHER NEGATIVE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS.

IN THIS STATEMENT, WE ARE AS HONEST WITH YOU AS WE CAN. WE ARE NOT ASKING FOR SUPPORT, BUT AT LEAST WE HOPE YOU CAN HEAR US AND UNDERSTAND OUR REASONS.

THE TEXT TURNED OUT TO BE VERY BIG: THANK YOU FOR READING IT TILL THE END. PLEASE ACCEPT OUR APOLOGIES FOR YESTERDAY’S MISCOMMUNICATION AND ALL THE FEELINGS IT CAUSED. WE KNOW THAT YOU WISH ONLY THE BEST FOR OUR GAME, AND WE APPRECIATE IT.

WITH LOVE,

GSC GAME WORLD TEAM.

Even this “apology” — and really, it’s just a list of explanations for things they’re going to do with or without your “support” — was a fuck-up, though, because not long after publishing the tweet (and being called out all over again) GSC went and deleted it.

An hour later they tweeted this instead, announcing the decision to “cancel anything NFT-related in STALKER 2″ with this incredible statement, which after outlining in their earlier tweet how NFTs were going to help fund development essentially blames fans for depriving GSC Game World of a scammy source of revenue:

Life, and game updates, come at you fast.

 

Comments

  • I love how they say they don’t have a publisher when GSC is a publisher itself AND they have Koch media publishing the physical editions.

    They’ve had massive backing from Microsoft including a deal for day one on game pass. There is no way on earth they’re hurting for money unless management have been snorting it all up for the last two years. Which, to be fair, is entirely plausible.

  • Holy CAPS! They sound more pissed than the people complaining. heh.

    I am already over the term NFT’s but something tells me that term is going to be one of 2022’s greatest horror stories.

  • Do you really think that this was due to fan backlash? Or was it because they didn’t want to be delisted on Steam, since Valve banned NFT games from its platform?

    • They announced this after Steam made it very clear. This whole thing feels like a last minute cash grab idea from the C suite

  • Some CEO’s at that company are very upset they won’t be able to scam some extra condo affording money from people with NFT’s….

    Really they should have done the whole NFT thing AFTER the game is out and patched (because it be broken on launch of cause)….

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