‘In 5 Years, Will Cryptocurrency Matter? I am Not Positive’: Grand Theft Auto Writer


  • Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick questioned whether or not cryptocurrency would “matter” in 5 years’ time.
  • Throughout the firm’s This fall 2021 earnings name, Zelnick argued that the corporate’s video games already perform as “metaverses”.

Grand Theft Auto might have made lots of of tens of millions from in-game microtransactions, however don’t anticipate to see the sport combine cryptocurrency any time quickly.

Talking on the corporate’s This fall 2021 earnings name, Strauss Zelnick, CEO of Grand Theft Auto writer Take-Two Interactive, took a skeptical stance on crypto. “Should you take metaverse, SPAC, and cryptocurrency, put all of them collectively, in 5 years will any of this matter? I am undecided that it’s going to,” Zelnick mentioned.

Regardless of Zelnick’s skeptical stance on cryptocurrency, a slide in Take-Two’s presentation highlighted in-game digital foreign money as “selling engagement and development in recurrent client spending” throughout its video games Grand Theft Auto On-line, Pink Lifeless On-line, and NBA 2K21.

A slide from Take-Two’s This fall 2021 presentation. Picture: Take-Two Interactive

The Take-Two CEO was responding to a query about how the corporate may create “an even bigger sort of platform expertise” for avid gamers by means of the metaverse, a sort of pervasive digital world with its personal financial system.

Zelnick dismissed the time period as a “buzzword”, declaring that video games like Grand Theft Auto On-line are successfully already metaverses. They offer gamers “a chance to exist in that fictional world and categorical your self in methods which are difficult, enjoyable, aggressive, and new, and discover ourselves in locations doing issues that we won’t actually do normally in the true world,” he mentioned. 

He additionally argued towards the thought the corporate’s on-line worlds could possibly be used for non-gaming experiences similar to enterprise conferences. “We may, I suppose, do that convention name inside considered one of our titles—however it’s kind of extra environment friendly to do it this manner,” Zelnick mentioned.

Crypto and the metaverse

Whereas Zelnick might shun the time period “metaverse”, it’s gaining rising traction amongst cryptocurrency customers, with numerous decentralized digital worlds primarily based on crypto and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) rising over the previous few years.

Decentralized, NFT-powered metaverses similar to Decentraland and The Sandbox have racked up tens of thousands of users—admittedly a far cry from the 120,000 concurrent users taking part in Grand Theft Auto On-line at any given second. However by representing in-game objects as NFTs—cryptographically distinctive tokens that lend shortage to digital content material—crypto video games are enabling customers to say real-world possession of in-game objects and plots of digital land

Manufacturers are leaping on board the bandwagon, too; The Sandbox has inked offers to characteristic characters from Animoca Manufacturers’ roster, together with Care Bears and the Smurfs, whereas Decentraland will play host to a on line casino constructed by veteran gaming agency Atari.

Different companies are mashing up the metaverse with augmented actuality; earlier this yr, crypto gaming agency Enjin teamed up with AR platform MetaverseMe to show “hyper-realistic avatars” into NFTs. AR is one other “buzzword” that Take-Two’s Zelnick takes a dim view of. “The buzzword of digital actuality did not get this business very far,” he mentioned. “AR hasn’t improved issues. 3D hasn’t actually completed a lot for us.”

Bringing blockchain to video games

Whereas Take-Two may regard cryptocurrency with skepticism, rival video games publishers are throwing their weight behind the expertise. 

Chief amongst them is French agency Ubisoft, which is urgent forward with plans for blockchain-powered video games.

Earlier this month it introduced that a number of crypto startups would type a part of its ongoing Entrepreneurs Lab initiative, which has already hosted the groups behind crypto video games Sorare and Axie Infinity. “As we’re nonetheless firstly of this complete blockchain gaming factor,” Ubisoft’s Blockchain Initiative Director Nicolas Pouard advised Decrypt, “each venture is attempting to pave the best way for his or her imaginative and prescient of what blockchain gaming could possibly be.”

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