Chaosium Suspends NFT Plans

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

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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Mannahnin

Scion of Murgen (He/Him)
"We just need to hold until the whole scheme collapse and the small minority of suckers are left holding the bag."

LOL. People have been saying this since BTC was less than $1. It's trading at what, 60k+ right now? I wouldn't hold your breath.
It was in the $60ks back in November. Since midnight last night it's ranged between a bit over $39k and a bit over $37k.

Of course, people in this thread have mostly been conscientious about differentiating between cryptocurrency, which does have potential real uses and I think has sincere people believing in such uses, and NFTs, which don't seem to have any real use-cases, and which the person you're responding to was talking about.
 


Crusadius

Adventurer
Bitcoins are unregulated. It is "known" that NFTs undergo what is called "wash trading" where an investor sells their NFT to themselves** to create the illusion of demand for their NFTs and also drives the price up.

So given the volatility of Bitcoin prices is wash trading being done to keep the price of bitcoins artificially high? There is no regulation to ban or punish people from doing it.

** It is done by selling between wallets that they own, or perhaps more complicated schemes where they organise a group of people and sell amongst people in this group at ever increasing prices until it ends up with the original owner - this is risky for those involved because one of them might be the "mark" and that person ends up with an overpriced thing that no-one wants to buy from them but not to worry, they should HODL because the price can only go up, or perhaps they should find themselves a "mark" to offload it.
 
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Tom B1

Explorer
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.

NFTs are an odd generalization of things like games selling you gear that only exists in the digital world or cards for your MTG decks, etc. It's value is artificial. NFTs might be able to have great one-off digital artworks represented (which might be valid) but I don't ever recall the case where a file couldn't be copied so really, is it a one of a kind in the way that an oil painting in the real world was? Not really.

Like the free to play, pay to win online games. Or spending real money for badges or... ?

My rule is simple: If it needs a platform to be accessed, if it requires ongoing tax to keep my access up, or if the product purports an intangible value, I'm gonna pass. P.T. Barnum knew this tactic and had a statement... something like "There's a sucker born every minute...".
 

Undrave

Legend
Bitcoins are unregulated. It is "known" that NFTs undergo what is called "wash trading" where an investor sells their NFT to themselves** to create the illusion of demand for their NFTs and also drives the price up.

So given the volatility of Bitcoin prices is wash trading being done to keep the price of bitcoins artificially high? There is no regulation to ban or punish people from doing it.

** It is done by selling between wallets that they own, or perhaps more complicated schemes where they organise a group of people and sell amongst people in this group at ever increasing prices until it ends up with the original owner - this is risky for those involved because one of them might be the "mark" and that person ends up with an overpriced thing that no-one wants to buy from them but not to worry, they should HODL because the price can only go up, or perhaps they should find themselves a "mark" to offload it.
I'm gonna find the source later but an article looked into and found only 400 000 Wallets or so did ANY trading of NFT and not all of them currently own one. It's not a 'trend' or something on the rise, it's as you say: all smokes and mirror.

They're being aggressive with trying to rope people into it now because they can't cash out without anyone to sell to.
 

RealAlHazred

Frumious Flumph (Your Grace/Your Eminence)
/thread necromancy powers on

I was reminded of this thread by an article on Kotaku about the Untamed Isles Kickstarter, which raised ~ NZ$800,000 to make a Pokemon-like game. But the plan was always to sink a bunch of the funds into crypto, and since the market has tanked they have had to shutter development. Which is bad for the backers, since there will be no refunds. Some of the backers apparently didn't read the full project page before pulling the trigger, as they are just now realizing the project's motto ("game first, crypto second") guarantees that they will be doing at least some crypto. Makes me glad Chaosium decided to put their NFT plans on hold, since they really can't afford to lose money.
 

Jer

Legend
Supporter
/thread necromancy powers on

I was reminded of this thread by an article on Kotaku about the Untamed Isles Kickstarter, which raised ~ NZ$800,000 to make a Pokemon-like game.
I'd never heard of this game before this week but is the story really that they "invested" their kickstarter funds heavily into crypto in order to fund development? Or have I been misreading things in the reporting? All of the stories make it seem to me like they just took the kickstarter money and bought into crypto with it.

If that's the case then it's hopefully different from what Chaosium was planning on doing - which was I think was basically licensing their assets out to have NFTs created of them. Taking your kickstarter money and "investing" it into cryptocurrency is another level entirely - not quite "taking your kickstarter money and using it to buy scratch-offs" level, but definitely worse than the standard "take your IP and turn it into NFTs for a quick buck" crypto pitch.
 

Tom B1

Explorer
/thread necromancy powers on

I was reminded of this thread by an article on Kotaku about the Untamed Isles Kickstarter, which raised ~ NZ$800,000 to make a Pokemon-like game. But the plan was always to sink a bunch of the funds into crypto, and since the market has tanked they have had to shutter development. Which is bad for the backers, since there will be no refunds. Some of the backers apparently didn't read the full project page before pulling the trigger, as they are just now realizing the project's motto ("game first, crypto second") guarantees that they will be doing at least some crypto. Makes me glad Chaosium decided to put their NFT plans on hold, since they really can't afford to lose money.
You know, this is depressing. Am I going to have to look at every RPG publisher's kickstarters in earnest to see if they are diddling around in risky vehicles with the money or depending on that maybe-never-come-in-money to actually produce their product on kickstarter? Makes me want to only ever support small companies with 1 or 2 employees (creators) and only when the costs are low so there's not much at stake. Especially since these companies could be doing these stupid shenanigans without disclosing...

Chaosium, I guess I'll be sticking with your older legacy products since this just shows I ought not to be trusting you...

I sometimes think is 'No ******* Thinking'.... buyers and creators with ridiculous expectations.

And crypto is like futures or other bubble-driven systems where the big fish and the insiders can make money by sheering the little guys...
 

RealAlHazred

Frumious Flumph (Your Grace/Your Eminence)
I'd never heard of this game before this week but is the story really that they "invested" their kickstarter funds heavily into crypto in order to fund development? Or have I been misreading things in the reporting? All of the stories make it seem to me like they just took the kickstarter money and bought into crypto with it.
They mention "cryptocurrency integration" exactly two times on the campaign page, and I haven't gone through all 23 Updates but the few I did look at didn't mention anything. My thought is, they bought into the fantasy sold by cryptobros, and thought it would be a great way to turn NZ$800 thousand into NZ$800 million. If they were already researching crypto for game integration it was probably a very easy step to take.
Am I going to have to look at every RPG publisher's kickstarters in earnest to see if they are diddling around in risky vehicles with the money or depending on that maybe-never-come-in-money to actually produce their product on kickstarter?
Probably? I'm in the same boat. Like I said above, they did mention they intended to integrate crypto into the game (somehow) so I guess that's the warning sign to look for?
 

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