Don’t look now, but another cryptocurrency company is trying to make NFTs and gaming come together despite a vast majority of players not wanting the tech or just outright ignoring it. Our focus falls on Storybook Brawl, an early access multiplayer CCG developed by Good Luck Games that, by all accounts, was enjoying a fairly active and healthy playerbase to the point that it was organizing tournaments that were paying out cash.
Last week, the devs announced that the studio was acquired by FTX, a cryptocurrency exchange company that has been trying to make inroads into the gaming space. In the announcement, Good Luck Games promised that NFT and blockchain integration “has to be ethical and make the game better for players” and that “fun comes first,” while shared Discord messages from one of the devs stated vague intentions for “non-cosmetic angles” and exploration of “a lot of different things” in the NFT space, and FTX almost immediately began hawking NFTs based on the game (which are literally the same image just with different numbers tacked on to the digital receipt).
The backlash to this announcement was almost instantaneous, provoking a review bomb campaign on Steam, inciting some community grumbling on Reddit, and starting some pushback on Twitter that was met with equal furor from crypto supporters.
For its part, the devs have been attempting to focus on philanthropy as a possible way to clear the red on its karmic ledger; the devs were giving out charity donations during the game’s January qualifier, and SBB’s founder announced an art asset giveaway at GDC, with the 10% fee that FTX charges on sales or trades of related art assets being split 50-50; half goes to the artist, the other half to the FTX Charity Foundation. This payment per trade is noted as in addition to normal compensation card artists receive from the studio. Still, it would seem that the playerbase is seeing through the charade.