Outraged gamers viewed the bombed-out Storybook Brawl on Steam over fears of potential NFT and blockchain integration after cryptocurrency exchange FTX acquired its developers Good Luck Games, LLC.
Storybook Brawl is a free-to-play auto-battle card game that was launched on the Steam online gaming platform in mid-2021. The game’s review history showed huge support until March 22, the exact day FTX US announced its acquisition.
The game has since gone into “extremely negative” status, with 600 of the last 761 reviews being negative. While anyone who hasn’t played the game can leave a review since it doesn’t require a purchase, a lot of the reviews come from players who have spent a lot of time playing the game.
“We do not support NFT in this house. A tragic end for a great autobattler,” wrote Steam user asnugglekitten, who has played the game for over 130 hours. Another player named King Bear, who played over 60 hours, wrote:
“Good Luck Games was acquired by FTX, a cryptocurrency company, to “help cryptocurrency gain popularity among gamers.” I don’t want to be involved in this, and I don’t want crypto to “intrude” on what interests me. Deleted.”
As part of the acquisition, Storybook Brawl will be integrated into FTX US’ blockchain gaming division, with FTX co-founder Sam Bankman-Fried laying out the firm’s broader plans to ethically integrate “gaming and cryptocurrency transactions in a way that hasn’t been done yet.” in this space.”
Speaking on March 23, Good Luck Games founder Matt Place also emphasized that this is good news for the player and the company as it finally has the funding to bring the game to AAA.
This may do little to allay the fears of a large number of crypto-skeptic gamers, but Place also noted that FTX US did not make a requirement that blockchain technology be integrated into the game:
“We are going to explore blockchain technology […]how we can use it to create value, to entertain players. When we discover it, we will include it in the game, and if we don’t, we don’t have a mandate to do so.”
While NFTs, cryptocurrencies, and blockchain have gained widespread adoption among artists and gamers alike, there are still a large number of skeptics in both communities.
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The main stumbling blocks for many anti-cryptocurrency players often relate to alleged fraud, money grabs, and the environmental impact of cryptocurrencies, despite the fact that more energy-efficient blockchain solutions are available for gaming than Proof-of-Work chains.
So far, many traditional games and companies have dealt with the brunt of the outrage over possible integrations, including Ubisoft, Discord (a social media platform popular with gamers), Electronic Arts, and developer Worms Team17.