On Monday, Tim Sweeney tweeted that Epic is not touching NFT, in a public response to what was presumably an NFT release. He quotes the the problem of space with scams as the reason for their hesitation, which caused some discussion in the comments (as strong statements about crypto tend to do). Since then, Sweeney has clarified his views on NFTs a bit, saying that, for him, owning an NFT is as valuable as liking an image on Twitter and questioning if the NFT property is really non-fungible.
While Sweeney made his position clear publicly, it’s not likely to stop you from receiving a wave of NFT releases, which you can see for yourself by searching for “@TimSweeneyEpic nft” on Twitter. However, it is understandable why people try: Fortnite has made billions by selling virtual objects, and there has been much debate about the use NFT in video games (not that Epic and Sweeney were French fries before Fortnite took off).
While the NFT space has fake art and murky events at major companies (With various other scams that have taken off as NFTs shot to prominence this year), that’s probably not why we don’t see V-NFTs replacing V-Bucks. A more likely answer is that, so far, Epic doesn’t need to use blockchain technology to make money, and NFTs aren’t ready to solve problems like their fight with Apple over what’s allowed on the App Store. It’s not that scams are preventing other well-known companies from diving into the space: the NBA Licensed Top Shots has operated without incidents raising too many eyebrows.
We’re not touching on NFTs, as the entire field is currently entangled with an intractable mix of scams, interesting decentralized tech fundamentals, and scams.
– Tim Sweeney (@TimSweeneyEpic) September 27, 2021
Interestingly, Sweeney also retweeted part of a semi-viral thread on “Web 3”, or a popular concept in the crypto community of rethinking the web, focusing on blockchains and tokens. The idea is that Web 3 is a return to the decentralized nature of Web 1, as opposed to “Web 2.0” where most people spend their days on platforms owned by massive companies like Facebook, Twitter, and Google. Of course, cryptocurrency (especially Ethereum) plays an important role in that vision. The part of the thread that Sweeney retweeted is reminiscent of an earlier version of the web with open protocols and more community governance, though how that ties into the future of Fortnite unclear, maybe it was just a bit of nostalgia for a network that seems to have long since disappeared.