Electronic Arts NFTs

As it experiments with blockchain and P2E, Electronic Arts NFTs are a very real possibility. What is EA’s position on NFT games?

Whether conventional gamers like it or not, nonfungible tokens (NFTs) will eventually have an impact on popular systems and game series. Will they be adopted by your favorite publisher or developer, is the question. They can choose to disregard NFT games and the play-to-earn (P2E) trend while still utilizing blockchain technology.

I’m going to provide answers to these and other questions in a series of essays that investigate the positions on NFTs and blockchain technology taken by each AAA game developer, publisher, and console manufacturer. Electronic Arts, usually known as EA and EA Sports, is the subject of this article. For forty years, the business has ranked among the top third-party publishers and developers.

How does Electronic Arts fit into the game industry?

Electronic Arts is a massive company with enormous power and influence in the gaming industry, with a market worth of US$39 billion. When it first started out in 1982, it published series like The Bard’s Tale, Marble Madness, Populous, Wing Commander, Theme Park, and Boulder Dash.

It has always had a publishing function, but it has also grown to be a renowned developer in its own right. Additionally, it has actively hired some of the greatest personnel in the sector. As a result, EA games include some of the most popular gaming series ever made, including Need for Speed, Battlefield, Star Wars: Battlefront, Mass Effect, Crysis, Bejeweled, Mirror’s Edge, SSX, Dead Space, It Takes Two, and Command & Conquer.

Additionally, EA is the owner of a large number of games that are perfect for NFTs. FIFA, Madden, NHL, UFC, Fight Night, PGA, and NBA Live are among its popular sports franchises. The enormous amount of money the corporation makes from its Ultimate Team modes, in which players acquire cards that are NFTs in every way but functionality, is already suitable for the purpose.

You can also include NFT game-friendly genre titles like The Sims, SimCity, and Plants vs. Zombies in that mix, along with multiplayer shooters like Battlefield, Titanfall, and Apex Legends.

Going future, EA will continue to play a prominent role in the video gaming business. Tens of millions of copies of its sports titles will continue to be sold annually. And with the recent acquisitions of Codemasters (Dirt, Grid, F1, Micro Machines) and BioWare (Mass Effect, Dragon Age, Anthem), their catalog is only going to grow.

Development of blockchain in EA

EA began seriously pursuing a push into the blockchain and NFT gaming industries in August 2021. preferably in public.

It started with a number of job posts looking to hire specialists in Electronic Arts NFTs development and blockchain technologies. This included senior director, software engineering, and a strategic expansion role, among other positions.

It’s crucial to remember that, despite the fact that EA did mention blockchain and NFTs as part of the employment objectives, not all of these roles were entirely focused on these technologies.

The timing of some EA leaders leaving the company to pursue chances in blockchain technology is interesting. Notably, John Osvald, the chief of product for mobile games at EA, will be featured in June 2021. He departed to work for the sizable blockchain game developer Gala Games. Chris Akhavan, vice president of EA Mobile, left for the NFT game deployment platform Forte in October 2021, following Osvald.

Why did EA hire people to work on blockchain games while losing executives to the same sector?

The EA NFT games

EA first demonstrated a lot of interest when the idea of NFTs and blockchain technology started to gain some traction. The business believed that the market would shift toward P2E games and NFTs. CEO Andrew Wilson declared NFTs to be “the future of our industry” in November 2021. In fact, the entire sentence suggests that EA recognized that NFT gamers were an untapped population it could attract into its fold, just as Ubisoft had.

“Anything that draws in more people and keeps them interested for longer is a positive thing. That, in my opinion, is the essential core of our live services. The play-to-earn or NFT discussion is, in my opinion, still in its infancy. And there is a lot of buzz and discussion surrounding it. I do believe it will play a significant role in our industry’s future going forward.

Wilson continued by saying that the corporation would concentrate its efforts on the sport game brands, particularly the Ultimate Team element.

“I believe that collectible digital material will play a significant role in our future, particularly in the context of the games we develop and the live services we provide. It’s still too early to say, but I believe we’re in a great position, and moving forward, we should anticipate thinking about that in a more inventive and creative way.

Electronic Arts’ NFT attitude is softening, or is it?

But that crowd was undoubtedly about to make a quick about-face. The company’s concept for Electronic Arts NFTs was not shared by everyone, according to a December 2021 leak from internal Slack talks between employees and Andrew Wilson. Regarding environmental issues and avoiding speculative markets in in-game economies, Wilson allegedly agreed with his staff.

This happened soon after Ubisoft’s Quartz NFT platform went live. The response from veteran players was furious. However, many businesses tried to distance themselves from the conversation after our interview with Ubisoft went viral in January 2022, surrounded by unfavorable press and player feedback. Wilson consequently adjusted his message.

Wilson backed up in February 2022 and stated that EA will “review NFTs over time.” He continued by providing more clarification on his earlier remarks on the future importance of digital collectibles to EA’s revenue model:

“Collectability is based mostly on 4 important parameters. That revolves around valuable material, scarcity, authenticity, and a group of individuals who find value in the content. The games and experiences we provide to our users, as well as our industry, will all continue to place a strong emphasis on collectability. We’ll have to wait and see if that’s included in NFTs and the blockchain. We’re not making a big effort to get there right now.

Depending on the audience, EA messaging appears to change. It’s a pro-NFT stance for investors, but it’s an anti-NFT stance for gamers. In the post-Quartz world, this is a viewpoint that makes sense.

FIFA and blockchain technology

After decades of collaboration, the FIFA brand will be withdrawn from the EA Sports portfolio in 2023. This negative impact was allegedly brought on by the license’s escalating price. Both companies will still put out games in the future, though.

The long-loved and well-known game will now be known as EA Sports FC. FIFA has claimed that it will eventually create its own video games. In light of this, it’s noteworthy that FIFA and the emerging green blockchain system Algorand signed a cooperation in May 2022.

The official FIFA statement that accompanied this news didn’t specifically mention its use in the forthcoming game. The closest is a sentence that reads, “Algorand will assist FIFA in further developing its digital assets strategy as part of the agreement.” Anything could be related to this. However, the timing is definitely intriguing. As one partnership dissolves, a new one is created.

FIFA might try to publish a football game that uses blockchain and NFTs in a fun, beneficial way. Would that compel EA to follow suit?

NFTs and Metaverse appear in the EA Sports FIFA 2022 competition.

The EA Sports FIFA 22 Champions Cup in Qatar, which took place in May 2022, included both NFTs and a metaverse element. It appears that Ooredoo Nation — Gamers’ Land, the organizers, was the driving force behind the project.

Therefore, it’s unclear if FIFA and EA Sports were involved, if at all. Do such actions need the consent of all parties involved?

Viewers who viewed the tournament broadcast received free NFTs. Having one of these NFTs opened the door to purchasing goods. Additionally, it entered you into a drawing to meet the tournament’s participants and influential people.

Additionally, a metaverse component was promoted. This was more of a gathering environment where viewers and players might congregate in a virtual hub. It was a simplistic interpretation of the idea, but given that Qatar will host the FIFA World Cup, it could be a precursor of bigger things to come.

Future of NFTs and the EA metaverse

Any statements EA makes to gamers about its ambitions for NFTs, P2E, and blockchain can now largely be ignored. The much more plausible scenario is what was communicated to the investors. And that was that EA believes that NFTs will replace its wildly successful Ultimate Team collectibles in the future.

I’d even bet that the FIFA/EA split had anything to do with how Ultimate Team was implemented on the blockchain. In terms of who received what from the revenue, at least.

EA has also repeatedly shown that, regardless of the opinions of gamers, it is content to pursue unpopular revenue tactics. One of the few businesses that truly supports loot boxes is this one. Additionally, its aggressive microtransaction tactics have historically killed out big titles completely.

But that is just conjecture. The only thing that is now apparent is that EA wants Quartz’s controversy to be resolved before making any decisions about Electronic Arts NFTs and an EA metaverse. Fair enough as well.

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