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

. . . . but if they go in with open eyes, purchase a digital Cthulhu statue to display on their augmented reality lawn, and are happy with that purchase . . . . I've got no issues with Chaosium and VeVe providing that service.
From what I've seen the large part of why people are interested in these collectibles are as investments. It's not just they are selling limited edition whatever, and then a secondary market develops; they have their own internal secondary market and people can see how their "portfolio" is gaining value. Do Veve execs really think that the digital spider man comic their users own is worth $50,000? I wonder if the reason they don't let users cash out, is because if they did a lot of these collectibles would drop in value quickly. So from that perspective it seems like a pump and dump scheme.
 

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Part of what they are taking advantage of is this OCD will-to-collect. If there is something marketed as rare and worthy of collecting there will be people paying any amount of money to collect it. We see the mild version of this even in wotc's dnd books. Some people need to have them all, and/or have all the alt-covers, and maybe the self-justification is that books with these covers will (and do) appreciate in value.

I don't collect wotc books, but I do feel this way a bit with kickstarter offerings. There is fomo, in the sense that if you miss out on the kickstarter sometimes you really are missing out on getting a physical version of a product. Personally, I don't value digital products in the same way, but I can see people wanting to just get in on the action. I do know that I have a relatively modest shelf of gaming products, and yet more content than I'll probably ever get to play with any depth.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Do you need NFTs to do something like this? No. Were the terms of what you would be purchasing laid out clearly? Yes. If VeVe goes belly-up, would I lose all of my NFT art pieces purchased through them? Probably.

I'm not trying to defend the Call of Cthulhu NFTs as a good deal! But a scam? No. In my mind, that requires deceit and misdirection from Chaosium and/or VeVe . . . which I'm not seeing here.

So, ask yourself a question: If you do not need NFTs, which don't actually even manage most of the effort of displaying digital art, when this platform is known to be more expensive in the long run, why use them for this? What, exactly, is the point of making this an NFT product?
 

Dire Bare

Legend
So, ask yourself a question: If you do not need NFTs, which don't actually even manage most of the effort of displaying digital art, when this platform is known to be more expensive in the long run, why use them for this? What, exactly, is the point of making this an NFT product?
Which speaks to it being a crappy product. Not a scam.
 


Dire Bare

Legend
I note you didn't answer the question. You dodged around it.

Please, I ask again - why would they choose that platform if it is crappy?
I didn't dodge the question. I don't care.

The platform is crappy. The product is crappy. Okay. Doesn't make it a scam. Makes it a bad idea.

Hell, I'm beginning to think I'm operating on a different definition of "scam" then a lot of folks here.

Why would they choose that platform? Because they like the art? Because they want to be on the "cutting edge" and think NFTs are nifty? They are impulsive? They are Call of Cthulhu completists? These VeVe products have no appeal for me, but they do for others. As long as no one's being, well, scammed, I don't care why they would choose a VeVe NFT product.
 

I didn't dodge the question. I don't care.

The platform is crappy. The product is crappy. Okay. Doesn't make it a scam. Makes it a bad idea.

Hell, I'm beginning to think I'm operating on a different definition of "scam" then a lot of folks here.

Why would they choose that platform? Because they like the art? Because they want to be on the "cutting edge" and think NFTs are nifty? They are impulsive? They are Call of Cthulhu completists? These VeVe products have no appeal for me, but they do for others. As long as no one's being, well, scammed, I don't care why they would choose a VeVe NFT product.

Again, I would ask you: do you think Veve actually thinks its products are $50k investments? Or does it promote that idea knowing that collectors and nft enthusiasts will spend their money in fake commodities?
 


Again, I would ask you: do you think Veve actually thinks its products are $50k investments? Or does it promote that idea knowing that collectors and nft enthusiasts will spend their money in fake commodities?

He doesn't care. In fact, he cares so little he's going to make sure to post about exactly how much he doesn't care. This is what someone who does not care about a thing does.
 



Cordwainer Fish

Imp. Int. Scout Svc. (Dishon. Ret.)
Yeaaah I remember that guy. He thought he should be reimbursed lol.

Everyone wants an unregulated financial system until they get the rug pulled out from under them. Then they demand security! 🙃

And this wasn’t even a rug pull. They still got their “items.”
At least he can plant those bulbs and get tulips... oh wait.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
I didn't dodge the question. I don't care.

If you want to be convincing about there not being a scam going on, or understanding why others think there is, you probably need to care.

Why would they choose that platform? Because they like the art?

I don't mean why do people buy art on the platform. I mean why did Chaosium (or anyone else) choose this platform to sell art on?

It is a crappy platform for selling art. Why choose to sell art on it?
 


darjr

I crit!
Did I say it was the vested interest members that ruin the conversation? That Twitter thread is a prime example. Do they not know how awful they sound? Or is it that their need to dump that NFT on the next fool forcing their verbiage? Does it matter?
 

Dire Bare

Legend
If you want to be convincing about there not being a scam going on, or understanding why others think there is, you probably need to care.
I'm not really trying to convince anyone NFTs aren't scams, I'm just not convinced by the arguments and evidence presented so far that they are. And I'm responding as such.

I don't mean why do people buy art on the platform. I mean why did Chaosium (or anyone else) choose this platform to sell art on?

It is a crappy platform for selling art. Why choose to sell art on it?
Okay, I did misunderstand you there. Sorry. Why did Chaosium choose to go the NFT route with VeVe? To hoodwink or scam their customers and fans? Or was Chaosium hoodwinked by VeVe . . . or by the shadowy allure of NFTs in general?

I would guess that someone high up at Chaosium wanted in on the new trend, the new hotness, and seriously misjudged the backlash from folks who consider NFTs a harbinger of the apocalypse. They saw a potential interest from some of their fans, and decided to capitalize on it. Was it a good idea? Certainly not in hindsight, probably not even at the time of the decision. But . . . a scam? An effort to deceive and cheat Call of Cthulhu fans?

Why NFTs and not some other delivery system? I'd guess that VeVe offered them a complete solution, making the creation of the digital products easy. Could Chaosium have released digital art pieces via some other method? Sure, but is there a turnkey solution out there just waiting for that scenario? I honestly don't know, but even if there is, was Chaosium aware of it, and is it "hot" like NFTs are?
 


MGibster

Legend
It's weird. Since this Chaosium thing hit the web I've read up on NFTs and I have a much better understanding of what they are and how they work. But I still don't understand why anyone would spend serious money on an NFT. And this isn't just me being old fashioned, I understand why people spend money on all sorts of things that I wouldn't spend my money on. I honestly don't get how anyone could look at an NFT and think, "Yeah, that's a good place to spend my $600." But then I would have felt the same way about tulips in the 17th century.

I'm glad Chaosium decided to drop their NFT project (for now at least). The venerable company has been around for more than 40 years and during that time I haven't really seen a lot of negativity thrown their way until the last few days. It kind of sucked seeing them dragged through the mud like that. Though I gotta hold them responsible for getting on their bellies themselves.
 

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