GSC Game World will no longer include any sort of NFT-related content in its upcoming game Stalker 2: Heart of Chernobyl, an announcement made mere days after the studio first announced plans to weave NFTs into the game.
NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, are an increasingly popular but largely controversial corner of blockchain technology. In theory, the tokens can then be bought, sold, and traded like a real-world good with their authenticity verified via the blockchain.
In Stalker 2's case, implementing NFTs would've seen players bid on and resell tokens that would've allowed their likenesses to be featured in-game as NPCs. Other tokens would've expanded into in-game cosmetics, and out-of-game digital trading cards, with parts of the proceeds from each sale helping to fund development.
In a now-deleted tweet, GSC Game World said this approach aimed to create non-obtrusive NFTs that Stalker 2 players could fully ignore if they so chose. This would've been done through a partnership with Dmarket, a company GSC Game World says works to "minimize CO2-emmissions and other negative environmental impacts" often associated with NFT and blockchain technology.
"We are not asking for support," reads that deleted statement. "But at least we hope you can hear us and understand our reasons."
However it seems the Stalker 2 community didn't have much understanding to offer. Fans responding to the announcements on Twitter pointed to concerns of artificial scarcity and price inflation that surround token economies, noted that the still-present environmental impact of the technology, and suggested that the same in-game perks could be offered without the use of NFTs to begin with.
After outcry from the game's community, GSC Game World nonetheless abandoned plans to use NFTs in any way within or around Stalker 2.
"Based on the feedback we received, we've made a decision to cancel anything NFT-related in Stalker 2," reads that announcement. "The interests of our fans and players are the top priority for the team. We're making this game for you to enjoy -- whatever the cost is. If you care, we care too."