‘It’s a tough sale’ – Games aren’t compatible with NFTs, attorney says

CRYPTOCURRENCY and NFTs are becoming more mainstream, but gamers are resisting what they see as the new name for microtransactions.

The online-only coins or items are designed to provide a sense of security away from the unstable nature of the centralized banks.

Will Charlesworth deals with NFT law.

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Will Charlesworth deals with NFT law.Photo credit: Saunders Law

However, what we have seen is instability everywhere. FTX, the second largest crypto exchange, recently crashed, wiping out $30 billion.

Big-name developers like Square Enix and Ubisoft seem hell-bent on bringing NFTs into games, but have had little success.

To find out the issues with integrating the two disparate technologies, we sat down with the deputy head of commercial disputes and dispute resolution at a London law firm Saunders lawWill Charlesworth to talk about the challenges.

His title may be long, but the bottom line is that Charlesworth is an attorney who handles NFT cases.

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There are benefits for businesses, he says: “NFTs can provide significant benefits for brands to build a commercial presence.”

But it all seems to come down to, as is always the case in business, being money and finding new ways to make it.

Charlesworth switched to NFT-related law in 2017, which is new to most types of law but old when it comes to cryptocurrency.

Safeguards must be put in place to prevent disruption as people win and lose in the marketplace.

Charlesworth shared his concerns about companies like Ubisoft failing to implement NFTs in games like Ghost Recon.

He stated, “There are definitely challenges to be overcome and it has to be more than NFTs for NFTs sake.

“It has to be something that adds real value and complements and enhances the gaming space. They need to get away from being a hype investment and a passing fad.”

Gamers see this trend the same way. If someone can create value with Sims furniture, why would they switch to blockchain?

He continues: “It’s a challenge to sell NFTs at the moment.

“The Ghost Recon example in particular shows that gamers are using it wisely, and I don’t think the hype surrounding NFTs necessarily translates to the gaming world.”

There are also technological hurdles to overcome, explains Charlesworth: “Trying to get NFTs and technology that works outside of a game environment that is really decentralized to work on different platforms simultaneously is really a unicorn.

“It’s just incredibly difficult. I also see headaches around licensing for multi-platform use.”

We’ve seen gaming companies gain trust in gamers despite taking risks with new technologies.

While Stadia was not a crypto asset, trust in the company was restored when Google refunded all of its users.

Charlesworth admits that offering refunds “could be a selling point for the company,” but he doesn’t see many following suit.

He believes crypto and gaming are at a crossroads until one gives way.

He says: “Unless the players are willing to accept that [that their NFT dies with the game] Then I think that will always be a problem.

“But if they accept it, there is no advantage over an NFT [rather than an in-game item] in this room.

“I think we’re a little bit away from figuring out how it might actually work.”

Things are changing in the UK, courts have ruled that crypto assets are a form of ownership and are therefore protected by consumer rights.

This does not mean that you are protected. As Charlesworth explains, “It always depends on the conditions whether you would get compensation.”

The issue of consumer rights poses a significant concern when it comes to selling NFTs on a global scale. Companies need to change their games to comply with local laws.

He said: “When a UK consumer buys an NFT in a game they are buying consumer rights and those rights apply whether or not the seller is based in the UK.

“You need to be fully informed about where you are directing your sales.

“And they can’t rely on obscure terms and conditions to protect themselves.”

So are NFTs the future of gaming? Charlesworth thinks, “I don’t want to be quoted as ‘no’ because something could happen at some point in the future.

“The problems that need to be overcome with NFTs and games are the cultural side, where people don’t want to add another layer of microtransactions in games and that the blockchain is not fully compatible with games.

“Blockchains are decentralized, games are centralized.”

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Written by Georgina Young on behalf of GOOD LUCK AND HAVE FUN.

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https://www.thesun.ie/tech/9942777/games-are-incompatible-with-nfts-says-lawyer/ ‘It’s a tough sale’ – Games aren’t compatible with NFTs, attorney says

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