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Team17 announces Worms NFTs, but stops short of adding 'play-to-earn' mechanics

The publisher says it'll be launching "environmentally friendly" MetaWorms NFTs based on the long-running Worms series.

Team17 is the latest game publisher to step into the controversial world of NFTs. The company has announced a line of NFT collectables based on its long running Worms series called "MetaWorms".

Eurogamer reports that the publisher's ambitions in the NFT space don't extend to any in-game implementation however, with Team17 telling the publication that it "has no plans to introduce NFTs or play-to-earn NFT mechanics into any of its indie games label titles."

Instead, MetaWorms are a standalone line of NFT collectables depicting unique computer-generated Worms characters. Through a partnership with Reality Gaming Group, ownership of each digital good is registered via a side chain of the Ethereum mainnet.

That specific approach, and its plans to donate a slice of profits to the ReFeed Worms initiative, seems to be an effort from the duo to dodge the usual concern of environmental harm attached to NFTs and, largely, the blockchain business. Team17 and Reality Gaming Group call this an "environmentally friendly" approach to NFTs, with each image generating around "the average annual kettle usage of just 11 households."

In a short note on its website, Reality Gaming Group calls the deal "one of the largest video game NFT integrations in the the video games space."

Other publishers and developers have dipped their toes into the NFT waters, and have largely been met with pushback from their communities along the way. Stalker 2 developer GSC Game World, for example, has already walked back its NFT plans over poor reception, and Sega has recently said that it'll exit the space should its community revolt against its NFT efforts.

Still, more companies like Team17 are pushing forward despite the often vocal complaints. Last week, an Ubisoft exec voiced frustrations that players just "don't get" NFTs and are focused on the belief that NFTs are "first destroying the planet, and second just a tool for speculation," instead of seeing the benefits from the "end game" of NFT initiatives like its Quartz platform.

While less concrete in their plans, companies like EA, GameStop, and Square Enix have all hinted at an interest in NFTs and blockchain, or at least pointed to the controversial tech as an untapped money-making opportunity.

Interestingly in the Team17 case, many people within the company seemed to have learned about the company's NFT push at the same time as the general announcement, with Eurogamer reporting that several teams either had no knowledge of the plans, or were made aware only after the ink was dry on the deal.

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