On 15th December, S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2: Heart of Chernobyl (Stalker 2) developers GSC Game World announced that they would be integrating NFTs (non-fungible tokens) into the game. According to the developers, a "Stalker Metaverse" would offer more than just "an immersive game experience" and instead provide "the first AAA game with a unique meta experience."
The move to integrate NFTs and blockchain technology came after competitor development studio Ubisoft debuted NFTs for Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Breakpoint, and the new NFT platform Ubisoft Quartz.
However, despite the surge in popularity, GSC Game World recently withdrew its decision a mere two days later, cancelling NFT integration in Stalker 2 following immense backlash from players.
Stalker 2 devs cancel NFT integration amid player backlash
On 17th December at 1:16 AM GMT+2, the Stalker developers issued a statement addressing the backlash, saying, "We hear you. Based on the feedback we received, we've made a decision to cancel anything NFT-related in Stalker 2."
The development team continued, noting that the interests of the Stalker 2 fan and player base are "the top priority for the team" and that their purpose in making the game was for the enjoyment of its fans and players.
"We're making this game for you to enjoy - whatever the cost is. If you care, we care too," the developers concluded.
A user on Reddit highlighted several other reasons why NFT integration is a bad idea, ranging from the potential for "art to disappear and the NFT [becoming] functionally useless" to the computational cost of minting NFTs; most of which are arguably valid and well-argued points.
Indeed, this is a subjective view on NFTs; however, it appears that many players, at the very least, share in the overall negative sentiment.
We previously noted that much of the negative sentiment from fans concerned the considerable amount of environmental damage required to process and verify NFT transactions on the blockchain, in addition to concerns about scams.
While your opinion about NFT technology and its integration in video games might differ, it seems as though the overwhelming response by fans and players have signalled a U-turn by the game developers.
We will have to see if other game studios will remain committed to the idea or whether they might abandon it altogether.
Don't forget to check out our dedicated Video Games section for the latest news, updates, esports coverage, guides, leaks and more.
Featured image courtesy of GSC Game World.