It has been announced that San Francisco-based game producer Zynga, widely known for its FarmVille and CSR Racing franchises, would be releasing the company’s first blockchain and NFT-based games this year.
Earlier this year, the billion-dollar game studio made waves in the cryptocurrency world by naming 30-year gaming industry veteran Matt Wolf as Vice President of Blockchain Gaming to lead the company’s foray into the booming industry.
Zynga has also revealed plans to expand the current blockchain gaming team from its present size of 15 employees to as many as 100 staff by the end of this year, according to the company. Additionally, the company may soon be absorbed by video-game behemoth Take-Two Interactive, the publisher of Grand Theft Auto, which recently announced a $12.7 billion dollar takeover deal that is expected to close in the first quarter of 2023.
Wolf, in an interview with Axios, discussed the company’s intentions for NFT-based gaming, stating that the company’s upcoming blockchain-based games will be whole new titles, as it “doesn’t make sense” to begin incorporating NFTs into existing games such as FarmVille right away.
He stated that gamers should expect the new games to appear similar to Mafia Wars, a social media game that has since been canceled in which participants adopted the role of criminals and tried to establish their own criminal organization.
Zynga has been moving more aggressively into the sometimes-controversial blockchain-based gaming market than many other traditional gaming companies, and this has raised concerns among some investors. Because cryptocurrency-related elements have frequently elicited a negative response from outraged gamers, the common denominator among gaming studios has been hesitancy.
Some players who have had NFTs integrated into their gaming experience believe that firms are simply searching for new ways to extract more money from their clients.
As a result of watching internal demonstrations against the technology at fellow gaming companies EA and Ubisoft, Wolf has made it plain that the company’s game developers would always have the ability to opt-in or out of any NFT plans.
Although there have been criticisms of NFTs and blockchain technology, Wolf believes that they are the logical next stage in Zynga’s evolution, with tokenized systems enabling gamers to experience new and more realistic forms of value, ownership, and wealth creation.
Adding, “Our goal is to expand Zynga’s audience reach while driving higher engagement and retention through the development of an integrated experience that allows players to become owners in their gaming adventure.”
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