Dev gatecrashes blockchain-sponsored festival to call out irrelevance of NFTs

The controversial presentation came at Brazil's International Games Festival

Game developer Mark Venturelli was booked to speak at Brazil’s International Games Festival on “The Future Of Video Games” before surprising attendees with a talk on “Why NFTs Are A Nightmare”.

According to Venturelli, the change was cleared with the festival’s organisers beforehand. However sponsors of the festival, which included a number of NFT and blockchain companies such as Lakea and Ripio and talks on “Web3 And The New Generation of Games”, weren’t as happy.


“I’ve heard that the sponsors got really mad,” Venturelli told PCGamer. “They tried to break into the talk while I was talking, but the organisation would not let them.”

He went on to say that those blockchain companies “are outsiders here, they’re not important. They’re just trying to buy their relevance, because they have no actual influence over the future of our industry. If you just give them this space uncontested, you’re just giving them exactly what they want, and buying their narrative that they’re relevant.”

Venturelli’s presentation has since been posted to YouTube, with his slides translated into English (via Eurogamer) and it does a pretty succinct job of demystifying the world of NFTs, the metaverse, and play to earn gaming.

During the presentation, Venturelli called blockchain “a brilliant solution to the wrong problem”, arguing that a decentralised system would only empower big organisations to game the system to make a profit for themselves, thus making it harder for gamers to enjoy the experience. He went on to say blockchain, and specifically play to earn games, aren’t innovative as they just take existing ideas and make them worse.

It comes as a “Web 3 gaming” console has been announced for 2024, while a variety of NFT-focused studios are popping up from experienced game developers including former PlayStation staff and the creator of Dead Or Alive.


And over the weekend, Logan Paul announced he’s allowing “co-ownership” of the world’s most expensive Pokémon card through his NFT platform.

In other news, popular game creation platform Unity has announced a “merger agreement” with Ironsource, a company that helps users scale their apps into businesses.