Former Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aimé has spoken about his interest in blockchain and ‘play-to-own’ gaming, stating he is a “believer” in the technology.
Fils-Aimé, who was speaking at the SXSW event in Texas (via Nintendo Life), is the latest gaming executive to speak in favour of play-to-earn NFT gaming, despite the opposition some players have to this.
Here’s what he said.
Reggie Fils-Aimé on Blockchain Gaming
During the panel, Fils-Aimé was asked what he sees about the role of play-to-earn games, blockchain, and cryptocurrency within gaming. He said:
I'm a believer in blockchain. I think it's a really compelling technology. I'm also a believer in the concept of ‘play-to-own’ within video games.
Fils-Aimé continued by using Animal Crossing: New Horizons as an example of how traditional games could use the blockchain.
“I bet I’d have some takers here today if I wanted to sell my Animal Crossing island from the latest Nintendo Switch version,” he said. “I’d like to be able to monetise that.
“Blockchain technology embedded in the code would enable me to do that.”
Comparing this to existing NFT games, an Animal Crossing play-to-earn game could see players buy land in a metaverse, before working on this and then re-selling it for a potential profit. Alternatively, individual pieces of furniture or villagers could be sold as NFTs.
Sites such as Nookazon do allow the trading of Animal Crossing items between players. However, these use the in-game Bells currency and explicitly prohibit the use of “real money trades” within its marketplace.
Nintendo has previously spoken about its interest in metaverse-related projects. In a Q&A after its financial results, the company said it believed the metaverse had “great potential”.
Play-To-Own, Not Play-To-Earn
However, Fils-Aimé also said that implementing blockchains into games must be done with the players in mind, rather than seen as a revenue stream.
“It can’t just be an approach by the developer that it’s interesting, or it’s a way for them as a development entity to make money,” he added. “In the end, it’s got to be good for the player, but I see an opportunity.”
Indeed, this is reflected in the words Fils-Aimé used. Rather than stating he is a believer in play-to-earn, the term commonly used in the space, he instead referenced ‘play-to-own’. This subtle difference looks to shift away from monetisation being the key aspect of these games to instead just becoming one of many vital ingredients.