Indignant gamers have review bombed Storybook Brawl on Steam over fears of potential nonfungible token (NFT) and blockchain integrations following crypto exchange FTX’s acquisition of its developers Good Luck Games.
Storybook Brawl is a free-to-play auto-battle card game that was launched on online gaming platform Steam in mid-2021. The game’s review history showed an overwhelming amount of support until March 22, the exact day FTX US announced its acquisition.
Since that time, the game has moved to an “overwhelmingly negative” status with 600 out of the last 761 reviews being negative. While it is possible for anyone who hasn’t played the game to leave feedback because it does not require a purchase, many of the reviews are from players who have spent a lot of time on the game.
“We don‘t support NFTs in this household. Tragic end for a great auto battler,” wrote Steam user asnugglekitten, who has logged more than 130 hours on the game. Another player called King Bear, who has clocked more than 60 hours wrote:
“Good Luck Games was acquired by FTX, a cryptocurrency company, as a way to ‘help crypto make inroads with gamers.’ I want no part of that and I don‘t want crypto ‘making inroads’ in things I‘m interested in. Uninstalled.”
As part of the acquisition, Storybook Brawl will be integrated into FTX US’s blockchain gaming unit, with FTX co-founder Sam Bankman-Fried outlining the firm’s broader plans to ethically integrate “gaming and crypto transactions in a way that hasn‘t yet been done in this space.”
Speaking on the move on March 23, Good Luck Games founder Matt Place also emphasized that it was good news for the player and the company, as it finally has the funding to bring the game to a triple-A level.
It may do little to quash the concerns of the strong number of crypto-skeptic gamers, but Place also noted that FTX US hasn’t placed a requirement that blockchain tech is integrated into the game:
“We’re going to explore blockchain technology [...] how we can actually leverage that to make value, to create fun for players. When we find that, we’re gonna put it into the game, and if we don’t, we don’t have a mandate that we have to do it.”
While NFTs, crypto and blockchain have been widely adopted by both artists and gamers, there are still large numbers of skeptics in both communities.
Major sticking points for many anti-crypto gamers often revolve around perceived scams, cash grabs and the environmental impact of crypto — despite more power-efficient blockchain solutions available for gaming than proof-of-work chains.
So far, many traditional games and companies have copped the brunt of outrage over potential integrations including Ubisoft, Discord, a social media platform popular among gamers, Electronic Arts and Worms developers Team17.