EA CEO Andrew Wilson Claims FIFA Players Want NFTs And Hints At Introduction Of Play-To-Earn Model
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Electronic Arts CEO Andrew Wilson has made a bold claim that a play-to-earn model and NFTs will be an “important part of the future of our industry.”
NFT, also known as a non-fungible token, has received widespread criticism for its use in scams, money laundering and its environmental impact.
Twitter co-founder and former CEO Jack Dorsey had his first-ever tweet sold for an eye-watering £2m back in March as part of a crypto-art auction, with his tweet “minted” into an NFT.
To add to how bizarre the whole craze is, the yearbook photo of Bad Luck Brian and a fart (yes!) from Brooklyn filmmaker Alex Ramirez-Mallis were respectively sold at $36,000 and $85 as NFTs.
Speaking in an earnings call in November, Wilson claimed that FIFA players would welcome the idea of NFTs in the future.
“They want more modalities at play inside the game, which go beyond just straight 11-on-11 football,” he said.
“They want more digital experiences outside the game -- eSports, NFTs, broader sports consumption - and they want us to move really, really quickly.”
EA Sports’ FIFA franchise has previously come under heavy criticism for its use of loot boxes and microtransactions in the fan-favourite Ultimate Team mode.
The FIFA publisher has made an eye-watering profit from Ultimate Team, despite countries like Belgium and the Netherlands banning loot boxes under gambling laws.
Wilson refused to rule out a so-called ‘play-to-earn model’ or NFTs to FIFA in the future, but he added that it is “still early to kind of figure out how that's going to work.”
The EA CEO explained: “I think the play to earn or the NFT conversation is still really, really early, and there's a lot of conversation. And there's at some level, a lot of hype about it.
“I do think it will be an important part of the future of our industry on a go-forward basis. But it's still early to kind of figure out how that's going to work. I feel good about our position with respect to that.
“As a company, we have been leaders in the creation of digital content that has real collectable value in the embedding of that content as part of live services.”
The most recent entry in EA’s FIFA franchise, FIFA 22, was released back in October for PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X, Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Google Stadia.