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

My understanding is that recipes generally aren't protected by copyright

There's a legal distinction but my point is that there isn't a moral one.



D. Which leads to the most important point. Eating meat might be bad for the environment, but still provide calories. Extracting oil may be terrible, but it's providing energy. I have yet to see a positive case for this- it's a technology that literally depends on extreme energy use for value. It has no other intrinsic qualities. And it solves no problems.

As an addition to this, this is also one of the reasons why fiat currency is superior to the gold standard. As gold gains its value the same way. It's a pain to find it and get it out of the ground and that the only reason it has any value. It's almost completely useless (although admittedly not quite as useless as bitcoin mining or NFTs)
 

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Teo Twawki

Coffee ruminator
Certainly, folks get taken in poker games. There are sharks who swim in those waters. And, of course folks have already been taken in by scammy NFT deals. Chummed, shark-infested waters.

Doesn't make the game of Poker a scam, or anyone who thinks they are good at Poker the "sucker". Doesn't make all NFTs scams, or those who sell or purchase them all "suckers" or "scammers".

This is the over-reaction in these threads that bugs me. The leap from "we disagree" to "you're wrong and you're an idiot, we've laid it out so clearly for you".
1) There is ample evidence that all NFTs are a scam.
2) Show me anywhere in my message that implies in the slightest that I called anyone an idiot.
3) Over-reaction bugs you (welcome to three decades of web commentary) and yet you use hyperbole to make a point about something that wasn't present in the comment you replied to...?
4) From your hyperbole it seems that you take singular analogous examples to be encompassing declarations.
5) In this vein, from your examples, should I believe that all sharks are horrid, dangerous, human-eating-machines? Again, hyperbole that clouds any reasonable point you are attempting to make.
 

Tally Isham

Villager
I am the owner of a Type40 limited edition Call of Cthulhu leather document wallet with book.
This required the slaying of an animal and tree to make, and maybe one day I will resell it.
Why does this get a pass, but not a renewable energy sourced NFT?

If I buy a Star Spawn or Tiamat NFT to showoff in my apartment in the metaverse, and am happy with my purchase, how is this "a scam?" Who is being scammed?
 
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Here's to hoping lots of rich people buy in and it all crashes, wiping out all the "wealth". Then maybe we can get some good things done.
For me, this is the crux. NFT/Crypto is just the endgame of the wealth circle-jerk. We can blithely state that "money isn't real" but there are degrees of unreal.

But all this fails to strike at the real issue for this forum. What value can NFT/Blockchain tech have for gamers? I argue zero. It's a scam.
 



macd21

Adventurer
I am the owner of a Type40 limited edition Call of Cthulhu leather document wallet with book.
This required the slaying of an animal and tree to make, and maybe one day I will resell it.
Why does this get a pass, but not a renewable energy sourced NFT?

If I buy a Star Spawn or Tiamat NFT to showoff in my apartment in the metaverse, and am happy with my purchase, how is this "a scam?" Who is being scammed?

First of all, you are, because you were overcharged for your artwork. You paid a premium because your artwork was an NFT. It’d be like someone charging you double for your limited edition book because they included a receipt written in neon green ink. You may still be happy with your purchase, but that doesn’t change the fact that you were scammed.

Second, part of the scam pertains to the idea of NFTs as investments. The NFT scam isn’t just the idea that NFTs are worth more than other forms of digital art, it’s that NFTs are being promoted as things that will inevitably rise in value. Products like your limited edition book have potential investment value because people like you want those books in and of themselves. Someone might buy one, then wait for demand to go up and sell it to you. But NFTs have investment value because people have been told they have investment value, not because of the inherent value of the product themselves. People have been buying them because they’ve been told that people like you will in the future want to buy them to show off in your metaverse apartments, but there’s no evidence such a market exists. It’s basically a pump ‘n dump: convince people that a worthless product has investment value because it has real inherent value, the price shoots up, you cash out and then the poor sucker is left with the worthless product.
 

Jaeger

That someone better
I had no idea what an NFT was until I clicked this thread and didn’t understand what people were even talking about.

So I searched the internet for answers!

A few clicks and less than sixty seconds of reading about non fungible digital frippery that sells for 5 to 6 figures, and all was made clear...

NFT = Yet another digital money laundering scam...
 

I am the owner of a Type40 limited edition Call of Cthulhu leather document wallet with book.
This required the slaying of an animal and tree to make, and maybe one day I will resell it.
Why does this get a pass, but not a renewable energy sourced NFT?

If I buy a Star Spawn or Tiamat NFT to showoff in my apartment in the metaverse, and am happy with my purchase, how is this "a scam?" Who is being scammed?

This is a complete misunderstanding of what NFTs are for. They aren’t about displaying the thing—in many cases anyone else could display an NFT-associated piece of art, for example by copy-pasting. It’s solely for investment. What you’re imagining would be like buying stock in a company and framing a screenshot of the transaction.
 


MGibster

Legend
If I buy a Star Spawn or Tiamat NFT to showoff in my apartment in the metaverse, and am happy with my purchase, how is this "a scam?" Who is being scammed?
That's not how an NFT works. With an NFT, you likely don't own the image nor do you have exclusive rights to the image. If I sold you a Star Spawn NFT I could turn around and sell someone else a different NFT associated with that identical Star Spawn image.
 

Jer

Legend
Supporter
I am the owner of a Type40 limited edition Call of Cthulhu leather document wallet with book.
This required the slaying of an animal and tree to make, and maybe one day I will resell it.
Why does this get a pass, but not a renewable energy sourced NFT?

I mean depending on where you are you will get flak for it. My father, for example, would call you a dope for wasting your money on gaming garbage and collectibles when you could be investing it into something actually profitable :) (Or maybe he'd be more polite to you and reserves such language for his own children).
If I buy a Star Spawn or Tiamat NFT to showoff in my apartment in the metaverse, and am happy with my purchase, how is this "a scam?" Who is being scammed?
First of all, what did you buy? That's the heart of the scam. You did not in fact buy the image - you bought the right to display the image inside your virtual workspace. The only thing you own is a token on the blockchain that says that says you completed a transaction with that company and they will then use that token to grant you access to that image to display. The company could shut down at any point taking their servers offline and leaving you with nothing but the token of ownership. So that's the first thing - the muddling up of language to confuse people about what they're actually buying.

Secondly in order to do that there is no reason that that token of ownership needs to be stored in a database that uses the same amount of energy to process a single transaction that a US household uses in an entire week. Your access to the virtual statue is already logged in the company's databases to provide you access to the statue - it has to be because blockchain has no bearing on that aspect of the transaction. The company could even set up a marketplace for trading their collectible statues that would use a fraction of the energy that a blockchain solution costs. The reason it's on the blockchain instead is to be able to use the hype to scam people into buying something that they otherwise would look at and pass by because of some belief that they'll be able to resell it later at an increased value.

It's a scam - and as I said elsewhere I'd be perfectly happy to let these people all scam each other out of their money if they would use a technology that doesn't annually consume the entire annual energy budget of a European country just processing trades.
 

Jer

Legend
Supporter
This is a complete misunderstanding of what NFTs are for. They aren’t about displaying the thing—in many cases anyone else could display an NFT-associated piece of art, for example by copy-pasting.
NTF enthusiasts will call people who suggest such things "right clickers". Which is the most hilarious bit of namecalling I think I've ever heard someone come up with.
 

UngainlyTitan

Legend
Supporter
I am the owner of a Type40 limited edition Call of Cthulhu leather document wallet with book.
This required the slaying of an animal and tree to make, and maybe one day I will resell it.
Why does this get a pass, but not a renewable energy sourced NFT?

If I buy a Star Spawn or Tiamat NFT to showoff in my apartment in the metaverse, and am happy with my purchase, how is this "a scam?" Who is being scammed?
First off, nobody sells any type of thing in digital space. All things in digital space are expressions of data of some type and so infinitely copy-able.
The best you can hope to own, is a copy of the digital data needed to display the object and a perpetual licence to display it. If you suffer a data loss and the entity that sold you the thing is gone then you are so out of luck.
An NFT does not even give you the above, it usually gives you a link to the data, that some one else is maintaining and they may not even know of your dependence on their stored data. You may have no actual licence and could be liable for IP violations of one sort or another.

VeVe as far as I can make out were using NFT more or less as a marketing ploy, what they were offering was the equivalent of an armour skin for a game character. The thing you were getting was only usable inside the VeVe ecosystem, not even a true NFT, there is no way to cash out or pawn the thing off to some other poor fool.
 

Jer

Legend
Supporter
VeVe as far as I can make out were using NFT more or less as a marketing ploy, what they were offering was the equivalent of an armour skin for a game character. The thing you were getting was only usable inside the VeVe ecosystem, not even a true NFT, there is no way to cash out or pawn the thing off to some other poor fool.
I don't believe that that last element is true - I think (though I agree it's muddy) that the tokens of ownership are being held on the blockchain and that they were using that token to determine who had access to the image, making it an NFT for every purpose that NFT enthusiasts like to push NFTs for including speculation.
 

UngainlyTitan

Legend
Supporter
I don't believe that that last element is true - I think (though I agree it's muddy) that they tokens of ownership are being held on the blockchain and that they were using that token to determine who had access to the image, making it an NFT for every purpose that NFT enthusiasts like to push NFTs for including speculation.
I mean fair enough I did not look that hard.

Edit (for clarity): It was a complaint I saw being thrown at them by people that appeared to favour NFTs. I did not read their EULA or TOS or anything like that.
 

Jer

Legend
Supporter
I mean fair enough I did not look that hard.
To be honest if they were using a scheme like you suggest I wouldn't have nearly as much of a problem with it except for the shady marketing of calling it an NFT. At least the power usage would be down to our normal 21st century of wasteful for our entertainment purposes and not the Captain Planet Super-villain levels of waste that blockchain solution use.
 

UngainlyTitan

Legend
Supporter
To be honest if they were using a scheme like you suggest I wouldn't have nearly as much of a problem with it except for the shady marketing of calling it an NFT. At least the power usage would be down to our normal 21st century of wasteful for our entertainment purposes and not the Captain Planet Super-villain levels of waste that blockchain solution use.
The impression I got (from a very brief scan through some google results) was that they were using their own blockchain, that only they were entitled to append to. In this case there is no need of proof of work, they can manage their own credentials.
Now i am not saying that they are not using proof of work, but they would be a bit mad to do so. Not saying that they are not mad though. Some of this has Cargo Cult attributes.

"All hail the holy blockchain"
:D
 

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