Decrypt's new podcast talks with Amy Wu about all things metaverse and NFTs.
It's not an easy time to be a gaming company right now.
NFTs and the metaverse offer so much promise — but brands that take the plunge often end up facing a fierce backlash from thousands of customers.
To make matters worse, many existing blockchain-based games offer a terrible user experience… creating a bad first impression for curious players.
One woman who has her finger on the pulse of what's going on in the world of crypto right now is Amy Wu.
Passionate fan bases want their voices to be heard — and they're against gaming studios making trade-offs that favor profits over strong content. Amy said:
"There was a lot of pushback on free-to-play mobile games at the beginning. People were like 'these games suck, they're not very high quality.' Those are exactly the same things that people are saying about Web3 games."
Amy argues that consumers are yet to see the full potential that NFTs can have in transforming games — but companies need to be considerate:
"Game studios should be a lot more thoughtful and careful about communicating with their player base — especially if you're taking a beloved game and adding blockchain components to it."
According to Amy, a better approach for introducing NFTs might be to create a new game from scratch. Indeed, Zynga — which recently told Axios that it plans to launch an NFT-based title this year — is doing exactly that. While blockchain technology is set to play a wider role in its offering, the gaming company won't be adding in-game assets to popular titles including FarmVille and Words With Friends, fearful that this could confuse consumers. Amy adds:
"It's different when you're creating a new game if you're an indie studio or a big studio because you will then attract a player base that wants to play that — but pivoting an existing game into blockchain is trickier. And so there's a lot of things that we're learning in real time on what's working and what's not working — and how to involve the community in a much closer way rather than surprising them."
Amy believes that a big breakthrough will come when a studio launches an amazing gaming experience that actually shows players all of the ways that NFTs can be used in a "super fun" way — and concedes that some gamers will never be convinced. (Nintendo is among those watching from the sidelines, and told investors recently that NFTs will only appear in one of its games if they add "joy.")
The jam-packed episode sees Amy offer her insights into the world of venture capital — and how crypto-focused outfits are taking a different approach to those in traditional finance. She also reveals the one thing that separates the best teams in DeFi from the rest — and gives her predictions for how the NFT industry might evolve in 2022.