Randy Pitchford, the boss at Gearbox Entertainment Company spent some time on Twitter to discuss NFTs and his views are largely negative.
Now keep in mind that while he heads up the parent organization of Gearbox Software, the studio behind Borderlands and the upcoming Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands, Pitchford isn’t the sole executive decision maker where he’s at. Gearbox is owned by Embracer, together with many other game companies and studios.
Last week, Pitchford implicitly challenged people on Twitter to provide “a defensible argument” for NFTs. He argued quite a bit with other people, as he often has in the past, but ultimately he summarized his negative outlook in the following words:
“Commoditizing FOMO; Promise of quick/easy outsized profits; Gamesmanship (and unchecked fraud) by those offering; Value for a “owner” only if they find a bigger fish (more pyramid than ponzi, but in the same scam family); etc.”
It’s safe to assume that based on these remarks, any integration of NFTs with games like Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands or the next Borderlands or who knows, a revival of the cancelled Brothers in Arms: Furious 4 project, is highly unlikely. At least not for as long as Pitchford remains unconvinced.
Pitchford’s take emerges during a time when too many industry figures and leading publishers have leaned into NFTs, whether through investor pressure or out of a misguided notion that they can expand value for customers. While some have withdrawn their interest in NFTs in response to backlash, others remain firm.
This stance contrasts remarkably against that of Tales from the Borderlands alumnus Troy Baker, who recently announced a partnership with VoiceVerse, a company that hopes to pioneer in voice NFTs. “You can hate. Or you can create,” said Baker of the partnership, words that immediately ruffled feathers.
Now I wouldn’t hold my breath and assume that “never means never” on the basis of Pitchford’s remarks. But at the very least we have some assurance that really serious persuasion would be required for NFTs to be up for consideration at Gearbox, Embracer board notwithstanding.
As stated, Gearbox’s next game is Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands, which is scheduled to launch March 25, 2022 on Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S, in addition to other platforms.