NFTs Are ‘A Scam’, Says Indie Marketplace Itch.io

NFTs Are ‘A Scam’, Says Indie Marketplace Itch.io
Image: BAYC

While some publishers like Ubisoft push right ahead with NFTs, regardless of how their own workers feel about it, and others like EA are prepared to half-arse their way through the fad, one video game marketplace has come out and issued one of the most welcome statements I’m yet to see from within the industry.

Posting over the weekend, itch.io, the global marketplace for indie games, said that “A few have asked about our stance on NFTs”, and elaborated with:

A few have asked about our stance on NFTs:

NFTs are a scam. If you think they are legitimately useful for anything other than the exploitation of creators, financial scams, and the destruction of the planet the we ask that please reevaluate your life choices.

Peace ✌️

Hell yeah. It’s so obvious a thing to say that we shouldn’t need to be drawing attention to this, because NFTS are a scam. That’s not a belief, or a hypothesis, it’s literally the foundation they are built on, and the entire thing is playing out exactly like a textbook about scams would say it would.

And yet! This is video games, and we live in the late-stage decay of capitalism, and so because there is a quick buck to be made before it all goes to shit, there are companies — many of whom maintain a façade of fiscal respectability and who employ thousands of people worldwide — who do not care about the glaring ethical and economic problems clearly on display in the crypto space, and jump in for that quick buck regardless.

You could argue of course that it’s very easy for itch.io to say this, since the site is about publishing small indie games and would have almost zero business to lose by taking this stance. I would then argue that if you or your company care more about your short-term profits than the multiple failings of the NFT space, enough to prioritise the former over the latter, then you can go fuck yourself.

Comments

  • I think “exploitation of creators” is a bit mild, its gotten to the point of downright theft on most platforms, use of art and name without permission in breach of copyright and trademarks.

    • I think they’re talking more about companies offering payments to game developers in exchange for tying their game to their trading platform.

    • Imagine having your work stolen, sold for thousands of dollars and then having the people who purchased the NFT’s demanding you remove their property from your website.

      • Or an artist opening their emails and socials and finding death threats, cause an NFT scam rug pull used the artist work without there knowledge, and now all the angry cryptofools who got cheated are blaming the poor artist… who is also a victim. (Same with fake merch too, not only does there work get stolen, they get angry people asking for refunds)

    • As most of these NFT platforms outright ignore artists when they report theft. Open sea is the worst for this. There are numerous reported cases of artists reporting copyright theft only for open sea to either deny it or just ignore them and do nothing.

      NFT’s are a scam. End of story

  • “You could argue of course that it’s very easy for itch.io to say this”

    But like … how hard would it be for Ubisoft or EA to say this either? Even among the most die-hard cryptobros, I don’t see anyone saying “Oh I’m not going to play the next CoD if it doesn’t have NFTs in it.” Are investors really demanding this? Who’s the audience?

    • The audience is fear of missing the boat, often AAA is too late to the party (mobile, gatcha, streaming, battle Royales, trading card games) often they follow trends…

      so when it came to NFTs instead of being objective, they rushed to hire people with job titles like “Blockchain Technical Director” a person who is 100% blockchain that they won’t surrender, they don’t care about Ubisoft or gaming… their job is NFT.

  • Look at the backlash though, hundreds of monkey faced accounts operated by a handful of people are really really angry!

    • sounds like ‘the entitled 10%’ otherwise known by different names around the world, but currently Canada are calling them the Flu Trucks Klan.

  • Wait … wait… hold the press, hold the phones … do you mean to tell me that NFTs are worthless tokens attached to gifs?

    Hol-lee sheeeeeeeeiiiit, we gotta tell everyone about this! This is some serious groundbreaking news my dude!

    We’re so lucky to have games journalists to keep *us* informed of these kinds of trends; can you imagine if it were the other way around?

    If gaming journalists weren’t just stating the obvious, but were in fact still beating a horse that died 2 years ago; and keeping the whole thing alive by giving it oxygen? That surely would be the most mediocre timeline.

    Where on Earth would us gamers be without these cutting edge hot takes being directly delivered to us by the Media(tm)? Those guys are just *never* behind.

  • Thank you Kotaku.com.au for standing firm. As an avid gamer and artist I’ve seen so many Instagram accounts relent and join the bandwagon of NFT. The lure of the fast buck is too strong.

    On the other hand, I’ve seen several artists explode in fury thanks to having their work stolen and sold as NFTs and they have no legal recourse.

    Yes, it is a blatant scam. The new ponzi. Good luck, in the end there is going to be a select few winners and I doubt any of them are going to be artists.

    We need actual regulations on the internet yesterday. (No, not this absurd net police shit, I speak more of the internet being built to protect the individuals privacy as opposed to being a capitalist machine stealing all our data to sell back to us in the form of glittering toys.)

    • You should be thanking the Australian Liberal Party, whose members are running Nine Media Group, the proud owners owners of Kotaku.com.au.

      The internet becomes whatever is adopted by majority consensus – in this case “the capitalist machine stealing all our data to sell back to us in the form of glittering toys” is the most profitable for website owners to run their websites without incurring a loss. Hence why the majority of the anglosphere’s most-frequented websites have signed onto it, Kotaku.com.au included.

      The people concerned about their personal privacy are the same people who would likely balk at the thought of paying to use something like an internet forum, let alone donate to help with upkeep costs.

  • They aren’t wrong at all. But I hate it when people say “reevaluate your life choices” after their statement. It reads completely unprofessional and anyone who uses it in any other sense just sounds like a little btch

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