PlatinumGames criticises Konami for NFT adoption

Hideki Kamiya: 'If it smells like money, Konami’s going to be there in a heartbeat!'
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It seems every day, video game fans wake up to fresh news of video game publishers and developers jumping on the NFT bandwagon. There’s an endless lineup of companies willing to jump onto the latest trend, despite major public concerns about the environmental impact of the technology, and its lack of practical use. Luckily, we do know one company that won’t be minting NFTs any time soon: PlatinumGames.

In an interview with VGC, CEO Atsushi Inaba and vice president Hideki Kamiya discussed NFTs at length, with both executives calling out video game companies for being greedy, and not adding anything of value to the lives of fans.

‘I understand [NFTs and the blockchain is] a hot topic right now and it’s really starting to gain momentum, but the way that it’s gained momentum has been focused on profitability for the company, but with no positive impact on the creators or the users in any sense. So that’s frustrating to see happening,’ Inaba said.

He described the implementation of NFTs as extremely ‘one-sided’, with companies only seeing a way to make quick money off early investors.

‘As content gets more and more digital, I do think that NFT as a concept will gain more importance, but I think that the early adopters are just seeing it as a way to profit as much as possible,’ he said. ‘That’s not something I’m interested in being part of, to be honest.’

Read: Team17 employees speak out on NFTs, working conditions

When asked directly about recent initiatives, like Konami’s minting of Castlevania NFTs, Kamiya was brutal in his assessment.

‘If it smells like money, Konami’s going to be there in a heartbeat!’ Kamiya said.

It’s worth noting that in addition to video games, Konami develops pachinko and slot machines, and also operates numerous casinos around the world.

‘Honestly, I have zero interest in this subject …  It doesn’t have any benefit for users at the moment. In the future, if it’s expanded in a way that has a positive side for users, then maybe I’ll start to be interested in what they do with it. But I’m not seeing that at the moment.’

The primary concern of both PlatinumGames executives appears to be that NFTs do not currently benefit fans in any way.

While these digital goods may provide unique benefits like skins for in-game characters, this technology is already available, and does not rely on the high-energy blockchain to function.

As more video game companies continue to adopt NFTs and consider their use, it’s refreshing to see Kamiya and Inaba share their opinions so bluntly.

There’s plenty of questions that aren’t being asked about the real value of NFTs beyond the hype, and we need more critical, high profile voices to better analyse the impact of the technology and how it’s being implemented in the video games of the future.

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.