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Team17 does rapid about-face on promotional Worms NFTs

All my worms gone.

Bryant Francis, Senior Editor

February 1, 2022

2 Min Read
A screenshot promoting Metaworms

Team17 is rapidly reversing plans to launch a series of collectible non-fungible tokens (NFTs) themed after the Worms series after internal and external backlash.

Yesterday the UK-based publisher/developer announced that it would be minting a series of "MetaWorms" as digital collectibles through Reality Gaming Group, which would use an "environmentally friendly" spinoff of the Ethereum blockchain to mint the tokens.

If environmental concerns were the only issue with NFTs (they're not), this would have been a blip of a story. However, the numerous security-related and ethical issues tied to the blockchain technology drove players and developers to open revolt. Several of Team17's publishing partners like Playtonic and Ghost Town Games put out statements saying they had no intention of minting NFTs, putting distance between them and the publisher.

Now the MetaWorms have been shoved back into the virtual dirt. Team17 announced that it has cancelled the project and has no future plans to sell NFTs.

"Team17 is today announcing an end to the MetaWorms NFT project," the company stated. "We have listened to our teamsters, development partners, and our games’ communities, and the concerns they’ve expressed, and have therefore taken the decision to step back from the NFT space."

We've entered a new era of the game industry's NFT love affair where pressure on companies is beginning to impact plans. Some, like Ubisoft and mobile publisher Com2Us are pushing ahead on blockchain technology. Others, like Stalker 2 developer GSC Game World, and now Team17, have cancelled their plans after backlash. 

That backlash isn't just on the player side. In a survey conducted by Game Developers Conference (disclaimer: GDC is our sibling organization), 70 percent of developers expressed no interest in using NFTs in video games, with some respondents expressing outright hostility to the concept. 

About the Author(s)

Bryant Francis

Senior Editor, GameDeveloper.com

Bryant Francis is a writer, journalist, and narrative designer based in Boston, MA. He currently writes for Game Developer, a leading B2B publication for the video game industry. His credits include Proxy Studios' upcoming 4X strategy game Zephon and Amplitude Studio's 2017 game Endless Space 2.

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