Blizzard Entertainment has just recently announced massive overhauls coming to its Gear store. Promising a “new, elevated online experience for collectibles,” a lot of players are bracing themselves for an announcement Blizzard is getting into NFTs.
In late October, Blizzard Entertainment announced it would be holding Blizzard Gear Fest–a massive sale on Blizzard merchandise both old and new. With this new announcement, its role as a clearance sale for this overhaul became evident.
The Blizzard Gear Store’s relaunch is set to occur early next year. To prepare for it, however, the gear store will be unavailable for a short, but indeterminate amount of time as these unknown changes are implemented. Though Blizzard promised more details soon, the vague terminology and emphasis on an “experience” involving “collectibles,” has led many to assume Blizzard would begin selling NFTs.
NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, are a type of cryptocurrency which is collected in digital receipts represented by artwork, rather than digital coins. Over the last year, they have become a hot topic, with many celebrities and industries getting into the fad. However, their environmentally wasteful nature, toxic and addictive communities, and the trend of stealing art set by NFTs have given them a poor reputation, especially among artists, whom NFTs were supposedly designed to protect.
Blizzard’s vague announcement is not yet a confirmation it is getting into the NFT trade. Many people believe this could just mean Blizzard is getting rid of its Gear Store logistic partner and supplier, Fanatics. The sportswear supplier, which has been handling the Blizzard Gear store since 2019, is notorious for producing poor-quality clothing at high costs, and for abysmal customer service. Because existing Blizzard Gear Store gift cards will be invalid after the changeover, some believe it is changing its supplier once again–and considering the controversies surrounding Blizzard amid its many lawsuits, such micro-corrections would be welcome developments.
A lot of fans will not be happy if Blizzard is getting into the NFTs. NFTs are anything but universally adored. Despite their capacity to make money, the many negatives involved with them far outweigh the positives among the gaming and artist communities, as evidenced by the massive backlashes and boycotts felt by companies like Artstation and Discord when they announced NFTs could be in their future. Ubisoft has also recently launched its NFT initiatives that have performed poorly amid significant blowback. Hopefully, Blizzard will be able to read the room and steer clear of NFTs, lest it add even more controversies to its growing pile.