Chaosium Suspends NFT Plans

After widespread backlash across social media, Chaosium has announced that it has suspended its plans for future NFT releases.

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All of us at Chaosium are deeply concerned by the issues raised around the VeVe digital collectable releases from last July. We take these concerns very seriously—our fans and the communities built around Chaosium are our lifeblood. We go back a long way, and that means a lot to us. We want to make sure you are comfortable with the way we do business.

While we address the concerns of the tabletop gaming community we have halted our plans for future NFT releases.

Let’s go through what’s happened to date:

  • In early 2019 we began discussions with VeVe. At the time NFTs and digital collectables were relatively unknown tech (at least in the TTRPG sphere).
  • VeVe is managed by long-time fans and collectors, and we completed multiple rounds of due diligence before deciding to move forward and granting VeVe a license to sell digital collectables based on our IP. It is notable that VeVe’s other NFT licensors include Disney, Marvel, DC Comics, Warner Bros., Star Trek, Star Wars, Cartoon Network, Adventure Time, James Bond, GhostBusters, and many other leading popular culture brands. VeVe even has a license from the United States Postal Service.
  • The environmental impact of VeVe's NFTs was crucial in our decision making. VeVe operates on a blockchain platform, (Immutable X), that is carbon neutral. The creation of VeVe NFTs, and their trading takes place “off-chain,” reducing the environmental footprint of VeVe NFTs by 99.9% when compared to those minted on Ethereum.
  • Chaosium publicized VeVe’s initial offering (July 2021) across all of our social channels. Our announcements didn’t receive much attention from the gaming press or TTRPG community, but the release was successful and well received, demonstrating an enthusiastic and sizable community of Cthulhu fans on VeVe.
  • With our licensee TYPE40, we built an NFT creation model that is protective and respectful of the artists involved—the digital collectables created for VeVe are all entirely new and original. The artists involved share fully in the proceeds of their sale.
However, we understand that a lot has changed since we started down this road in 2019. The issues relating to NFTs are increasingly complex and controversial. In recent months, the debate has become prominent and contentious. Bad actors in this sphere have received widespread coverage. Many people are justifiably baffled, incredulous, and deeply skeptical.

Based on both our research and experience with them, we believe that VeVe is an ethical company, pioneering a new digital community for collectors which uses this distributed ledger technology in a legitimate, meaningful, and environmentally responsible way.

We appreciate that many of our fans are angry and disappointed. We hear you. Your concerns must be listened to and addressed. That is why, in cooperation with TYPE40 and VeVe, we have made the decision outlined above. We do not have another scheduled release on VeVe or any other NFT marketplace. We will never require anyone to own an NFT/digital collectible to enjoy any Chaosium product or game.

Thank you for sharing your feedback. Thank you for patiently waiting for our reply. So much passion for what we do is a good thing. It’s been that way since 1975, and in this digital age we remain The Chaosium.
 

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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey




Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
I am glad they listened to the ... well, let's say the impassioned and overwhelming feedback.

That said, and without rehashing the debate in the other thread (which contains links), I want to make sure people understand and do their due diligence when they see references to "environmentally conscious" or "carbon neutral."

This tech is not, and cannot be, environmentally friendly. So when you see these statements, it means the following (either separately or together)-

1. They are buying carbon offsets. That's great! Good for them. But that's the same thing as someone saying, "Sure, this monster truck gets 10 gallons to the mile and dumps crude oil straight on to the road, but it's carbon neutral and environmentally friendly because I buy carbon offsets." The other problem is that the carbon offsets usually only account for the transactions- the actual environmental costs are much greater, because of the amount of waste that goes into mining and gas (it requires hardware, the hardware has short lifespans because it needs to be upgraded on a regular basis, etc.). It's not just a power issue, it's a growing e-waste problem.

2. They are using some sort of third party- usually referred to for these purposes as a Layer 2 (a layer on "top" of the blockchain), in order to avoid doing single transactions. Which, you know, great. But remember how the whole problem that blockchain "solves" is decentralization? Well, guess what- Layer 2 (and other techs that are springing up) means that you are dealing with ... a centralized point ... that can be attacked and fail.


All that said, please do your research, and continue to support the artists and the creatives in the TTRPG space with your patronage and your money.

They work hard to give us the products that we love.
 


Undrave

Hero
We HAVE to vehemently attack any company trying o step into the NFT scam if we don't want that naughty word to spread everywhere like a plague. The people already invested constantly need new blood to buy in if they wish to cash out, so they'll do anything to convince corporations there is money to be made. The corporations aren't dumb, they'll go where there is money, but if we make sure they'll lose money by getting into NFTs to please a tiny vocal minority, they should back out.

We just need to hold until the whole scheme collapse and the small minority of suckers are left holding the bag.
 



Jer

Legend
Supporter
Yea, hopefully folks begin to notice.
I literally just want one of these announcements to indicate exactly what they are doing with an NFT in a way where I can go "oh, sure - that's something interesting and worthwhile that is worth the energy it's going to take to keep it running indefinitely".

Instead every one of them falls into two camps - companies where I don't think that the folks writing up the announcement know what they're doing with an NFT release, and companies where their release feels like someone trying to get me to buy into Amway. Neither of which are a good look for a company.
 

Dire Bare

Legend
Heh . . . at the risk of being labeled an NFT apologist or a sealion again . . .

I feel that the fan reaction to Chaosium's NFT plans was an over-reaction. I'm sorry Chaosium felt the need to walk them back, although it was probably their best move under the circumstances.

NFTs are new territory, the wild, digital west, but Chaosium's parternship with VeVe seemed innocent enough, well-intentioned, and most definitely not a "scam".

That said, I also don't understand the desire to own a 3D digital statue or book (or a license or token for one) outside of a game environment. So, I'm not personally losing out here.

WotC will likely put any NFT plans they have on ice, at least for a while. I would be more interested in seeing their offerings since I'm a huge D&D fan, although I still can't imagine wanting to own any possible D&D NFTs. But I'm open to the idea, should WotC ever decide to give it a shot.
 




billd91

Hobbit on Quest (he/him)
NFTs are new territory, the wild, digital west, but Chaosium's parternship with VeVe seemed innocent enough, well-intentioned, and most definitely not a "scam".
Whether Chaosium's partnership with VeVe was a sterling example of good intentions or not, their good use of questionable technology/practices shouldn't serve to legitimize it.
The Sackler family may have donated money to a lot of good causes, but it doesn't exactly clean the taint of how they got that money.
 


overgeeked

B/X Known World
That's corporate speak for you. It's a rare company that comes right out and says "we're changing course" plainly when they can say "we're reviewing our options" instead.
Cool. So I'll just keep on "reviewing my options" by not buying books from them until they simply and plainly come out and say they're never doing NFTs again.
 



Dire Bare

Legend
Whether Chaosium's partnership with VeVe was a sterling example of good intentions or not, their good use of questionable technology/practices shouldn't serve to legitimize it.
The Sackler family may have donated money to a lot of good causes, but it doesn't exactly clean the taint of how they got that money.
That is a terrible analogy.

The Sackler's, and the pharma company they control (Purdue), engaged in deliberately manipulative and dishonest activities in order to convince more Americans to purchase their opiod drugs. Opiod drugs are highly addictive . . . . but have their legitimate medical uses. The drugs weren't the problem, it was Purdue's tactics to put those drugs into as many bodies as possible to drive up their profits, and with the side result of driving up addictions and deaths. How much the Sackler's may have contributed to charities is unrelated to their very real crimes.

I have yet to see any evidence that Chaosium or VeVe are engaging in any deceptive practices. I don't accept that NFTs are deceptive or scams inherently . . . although they are unregulated and problematic, and prime stomping grounds for scam artists.

I get folks viewing NFTs as foolish, dangerous tech, unregulated, environmentally unsustainable, bad investments, and bad ideas. I agree with all of that. There are definitely a lot of bad actors in the NFT space, and a lot of foolish actors as well. But the step further than the entire NFT space is nothing but scams . . . that everyone involved is either the scammers or the scammed . . . I'm just not seeing it. I'm certainly not seeing anything wrong with Chaosium's canceled NFT plans.
 

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