Mike Ybarra says Blizzard isn’t ‘doing NFTs’ in spite of its play-to-earn and NFT surveys


Now before anyone begins to get too upset, it should be made plain from the off that surveys are not full-bore announcements of features, monetization plans, or release schedules. With that said, it would appear that Activision-Blizzard is entertaining the idea of introducing NFTs and play-to-earn mechanics if some newly shared player surveys are any indicator. Or at the absolute bare minimum is asking fans what they think of those ideas.

The surveys in question arrived to a select few players and reportedly came by way of YouGov, a British market research and data analytics firm, asking players a variety of typical questions like what genres they played the most, whether they played Blizzard titles in the past year, and how frequently they played Blizzard games.

What’s raised eyebrows is one section of the survey that asks players to share their interest in “emerging/future trends in gaming” like cloud streaming, game pass subscriptions, cross-platform play, and yes, play-to-earn gaming experiences, NFTs, and ever-nebulous metaverse gaming experiences.

However, in response to the buzz on the topic, Blizzard’s current boss, Mike Ybarra, shot it down – or at least, shot down the idea of NFTs.

Strangely enough, those who either completed the survey or answered they have stayed away from Blizzard titles were redirected to the Battle.net store for reasons that were unexplained. Either way, it’s unclear why Blizzard would ask about things it has no intention of doing.

source: Twitter (1, 2, 3, 4), with thanks to Danny for the tip!
Activision-Blizzard is considered a controversial gaming company owing to a long string of scandals over the last few years, including the Blitzchung boycott, mass layoffs, labor disputes, and executive pay fiasco. In 2021, the company was sued by California for fostering a work environment rife with sexual harassment and discrimination, the disastrous corporate response to which compounded Blizzard’s ongoing pipeline issues and the widespread perception that its online games are in decline. Multiple state and federal agencies are investigating the company as employees strike and call for Bobby Kotick’s resignation. As of 2022, the company is being acquired by no less than Microsoft.
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