Game devs and publishers are signing an anti-NFT pledge

As large studios double down in the NFT space, indie developers and publishers are taking a stance against the technology.
climate replay anti-nft pledge

Game developers and publishers are taking a stance against the harmful use of NFTs in video games by taking the Climate Replay pledge to ensure any future implementation of digital ownership brings meaningful value to players without relying on inefficient, unregulated or volatile technologies. While the pledge doesn’t mean companies won’t introduce NFTs in future, it does mean they’ll be more careful about their impact going forward.

Those who sign the pledge have committed to a brighter future without the ‘problematic aspects’ of NFTs and digital ownership – one that treats the technology with the care and thought it deserves.

So far, eight major studios have signed up, including:

  • Landfall (Totally Accurate Battle Simulator)
  • Brainless Labs
  • Bearwaves (Feud, Uplift)
  • Super Rare Games (publisher of many indie Switch games)
  • KO_OP (Goodbye Volcano High, Lara Croft Go: The Mirror of Spirits)
  • Godolphin Games (Unknown Number)
  • Cloudy Games LLC
  • Studio Zevere (She Dreams Elsewhere)

In addition, 132 unnamed individuals have also signed the pledge to show their support for the movement.

Read: Why are video game companies doubling down on NFTs?

‘Games give us hope in a world that is increasingly uncertain. They help us unlock our creative potential and free us of real-world constraints – physical, financial, or otherwise,’ the Climate Replay pledge reads.

‘Most NFTs, and by consequence most forms of digital ownership, in their current state serve the exact opposite purpose – their value defined completely by artificial scarcity and speculation and powered by an unnecessary expenditure of physical resources.’

‘It is imperative for the health of the worldwide gaming community, planet, and society as a whole to ensure any adoption of blockchain-based technologies such as NFTs occurs only when they bring demonstrable value to games and their communities, and then in such a way that it considers all of the potential social and environmental impacts.’

Those who sign the pledge commit to ‘ensure any implementation of digital ownership, in the form of NFTs or otherwise’:

  • Brings meaningful value to players
  • Does not make use of technology that is intentionally inefficient, resulting in a concrete, significant environmental impact
  • Does not embrace artificial scarcity to generate speculative value
  • Does not rely on unregulated, volatile cryptocurrency
  • Does not disproportionately benefit early adopters or wealthier users/players
  • Does not perpetuate either of the following negative aspects of the play-to-earn model: informal jobs or shifts the primary purpose of a game from enjoyment to earning money
  • Is implemented with transparency and takes seriously concerns from studio members

As support for the anti-NFT movement grows, it’s expected that more studios will sign the pledge. With companies like Ubisoft, Square Enix and Konami doubling down in the space, it’s more important than ever that the technology is handled in a responsible and meaningful way.

While this pledge isn’t formally binding, signing it is a good indication that companies are willing to consider the impact of NFTs before jumping on the latest hype train. Those who sign with the intention of avoiding NFTs altogether will also likely avoid the controversy and backlash that has plagued recent implementation decisions – seen most recently with Team17’s derailed plans to introduce Worms NFTs.

To find out more about the pledge and what it entails, you can head to the Climate Replay hub here.

Leah J. Williams is a gaming and entertainment journalist who's spent years writing about the games industry, her love for The Sims 2 on Nintendo DS and every piece of weird history she knows. You can find her tweeting @legenette most days.