Microsoft confirms its Xbox division is currently investigating new fledgling tech like NFTs and cryptocurrency.
After microtransactions and live services, NFTs are gaming's latest craze. In fact, it's possible NFTs could radically change the video games business. Major publishers like Square Enix and SEGA are interested in NFTs, whereas Ubisoft and Konami have already released NFTs (to varying success).
Now Microsoft could be experimenting with NFTs and crypto at its Xbox R&D teams. An Xbox representative recently told Bloomberg that the division is "aware and looking into NFTs, cryptocurrency and other emerging technologies, but don't yet have anything to share."
Microsoft will be very careful with any potential NFT rollout.
Xbox gaming president Phil Spencer had commented on NFTs back in 2021, saying that he believes the current landscape more exploitative than it is innovative.
"What I'd say today on NFT, all up, is I think there's a lot of speculation and experimentation that's happening, and that some of the creative that I see today feels more exploitive than about entertainment," Spencer told Axios at the time.
"I don't think it necessitates that every NFT game is exploitive. I just think we're kind of in that journey of people figuring it out.
"And I can understand that early on you see a lot of things that probably are not things you want to have in your store."
"I think anything that we looked at in our storefront that we said is exploitive would be something that we would, you know, take action on. We don't want that kind of content."
Gaming's biggest companies on NFTs
- EA declares NFTs, play-to-earn an 'important part' of gaming's future
- ]Square Enix contemplating 'robust entry' in blockchain, NFTs
- Ubisoft wants to be a key player in play-to-earn blockchain gaming
- SEGA promises to avoid NFTs if gamers think it's a money-making scheme
Microsoft has also confirmed it will bring Xbox to the metaverse. Although details were very sparse, the announcement suggests that Microsoft may create an all-in-one ecosystem/platform for its wide breadth of wholly-owned IPs including Halo, Minecraft, and Flight Simulator.
"Yeah, absolutely, you should expect to see [the metaverse] expand into gaming]," Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said in 2021.
"The way I think of it...we're a platform company and we always build the core intrinsics first and then build it into our first-party applications. So you absolutely can expect us to do things in gaming."
"If you take Halo as a game, it is a metaverse. Minecraft is a metaverse and so is Flight Sim. In some sense they are 2D today, but the question is 'can you now take that to a full 3D world?' We absolutely plan to do so."
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