Is Evil Genius Games Doubling Down On NFTs & Blockchain?

Despite public pledges not to use controversial technologies.

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Evil Genius Games' Dave Scott presents to a panel of judges at a cryptocurrency convention in May 2024

Earlier this year, it was revealed that Evil Genius Games--publisher of the d20 Modern inspired Everyday Heroes TTRPG--was considering use of certain controversial Web3 technologies, such as non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and blockchains. In response to that, EGG published a manifesto on February 6th, 2024, which they called their 'Technology Code of Ethics' in which the company pledged not to use blockchain or cryptocurrencies (along with AI, and other pledges). Indeed, Scott himself told me back in February that the company had decided not to use blockchain technology. For a full background on EGG and recent events, you can read more in The Rise And Fall Of Evil Genius Games.

#2: Evil Genius Games will not use Blockchain or Cryptocurrency technologies in the building or operation of its technology platform.

At the end of 2023 and the start of 2024 numerous employees resigned from Evil Genius Games citing--amongst other things--ethical concerns with the technologies that the company was planning to use, something which Dave Scott made public assurances that they would not do. At the time Scott said: “We made the decision not to do AI in October, and then not to do Web3 in December. But apparently, it wasn't enough to allay any concerns. So after the resignations, we brought the team together to discuss. And we felt a public and permanent statement on this issue would be useful. That's why we drafted the code of ethics after the fact.” In fact, back when I spoke to Scott in February of this year, one of the questions I asked him was why the staff who had recently resigned from EGG did not believe him when he repeated that the company did not intend to use those controversial technologies, and he indicated to me that he didn't know why that was the case.

EGG Pitches At Consensus 2024
However, last week, EGG participated in a pitch competition at an event at Consensus 2024, a convention in Texas run by Coindesk. Consensus describes itself as "the world's largest, longest-running and most influential gathering that brings together all sides of the cryptocurrency, blockchain and Web3 community". EGG's owner Dave Scott pitched a future for their TTRPG offerings which leaned heavily on both blockchains and on non-fungible tokens. Scott introduced the company and told the attendees that "we make turn-based RPGs on chain based on famous Blockbuster movie franchises that we all know and love."

Interestingly, Scott also stated that Jeff Grubb (Dragonlance, d20 Modern) works for the company and describes him as "the father of modern day Dungeons and Dragons"; Grubb made it clear earlier this year that he had no current involvement with Evil Genius Games. In my previous delve into EGG, it turned out that Grubb's participation in Everyday Heroes was that he wrote the foreword in 2023.

I'm not the best person on the staff. Meet Jeff Grub. Jeff Grub is the father of modern day Dungeons and Dragons.

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So how do NFTs fit into this vision? Dave Scott described it as follows:

Imagine a scenario where you could actually buy NFT utilities that are exclusive to these licenses you could actually pilot Gypsy Danger, you can carry Rambo's M60, all of these that have value that can be bought sold and traded but more importantly in the Roblox fashion we're going to allow other people to actually create their own NFTs which can be thrown onto a marketplace where they can buy, sell and trade those adventures as well.

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Scott's pitch can be watched below--in the video the CEO presented an NFT and blockchain powered future for Evil Genius Games' tabletop offerings in front of three judges, who then proceeded to ask him questions about the pitch.

During the Q&A which followed, Scott confirmed that there was no actual NFT technology in place yet, indicating that "we've just started to set up the infrastructure to be able to create the NFT program". He also claimed that the company has made $1.2M in revenue in the last year based on sales of digital products.

When asked about the blockchain components of the setup, Scott described the content creator marketplace.

All the Creator Marketplace components of it, the UGC components of it, the entire utility is on chain. If you've actually played RPGs before there's a character sheet, all the components of the character sheet will have objects on it, all the objects will be NFTs. In addition to that the actual character sheet itself will be minted as an NFT as well so what that means is that if we use your character as an NPC in a future game we'll actually pay you royalties on the character itself. So the whole thing is based off of objects which are have NFT components to it.

He went on to describe some of the more technical aspects of the platform, including the use of a 'wallet-as-a-service' company called Stardust. Stardust's mission statement is to "democratise blockchain technology for developers and players at scale".

What we're really excited about is the idea that we can use blockchain to be able to control the value and to create value around the objects which make up your character, that's going to be a really important component of it so if you actually create for example an adventure on our system that'll be something that you own as the creator from here on out but the experience we're going after is a Web2 experience which means that we don't want to expose the wallet, we're going to be using a company called Stardust be able to create custodial wallets for that reason.

This was part of a competition, which--as it happens--Evil Genius Games won!

To Pledge Or Not To Pledge?
Whether or not one supports the idea of blockchains and NFTs, Evil Genius Games did make a very public pledge not to use blockchains--and reiterated to staff, to me, and on forums that they did not plan to go ahead with that course. This presentation appears to indicate otherwise, with CEO Dave Scott declaring his intentions towards both blockchains and NFTs in a very public venue.

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EGG's technology Code of Ethics, published in February 2024

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This isn't about some black hat hacking servers or something. Adding more and more servers is normal operation for blockchain. Due to exponentially-rising computational cycles required, verifying transactions eventually grinds to a halt if you don't keep adding more and more servers to do the calculations.
This is a common misconception, but it's not actually true. The way it works is that the network incentivizes adding more computational power by rewarding the computer that extends the chain, and dynamically adjusts the difficulty of extending the chain to roughly match the amount of power available. It doesn't get harder to extend a PoW blockchain over time, it gets harder as people try harder. Conversely it gets easier if people try less hard; the only way for it to grind to a halt is for the available computing power to drop precipitously. Technically it needs to go all the way to zero to halt, since a single computer will eventually be able to extend the chain even if the person running it (who now has full control over the network) doesn't manually adjust the difficulty early, but a sudden 99.2% drop would probably be enough to consider it temporarily grindingly halted.

have you read the post? I am not even on a hill… unless you consider ‘blockchain is not in 100% of all cases a scam’ to be a hill
Well, that is a hill, because no one has ever come up with a reasonable non-scam use case for blockchain that can't be done better without it.

Your proposed use case was a distributed ledger: unfortunately that's a thing that already exists, doesn't require a blockchain, and works better when you don't use a blockchain.

The only demonstrated business use for a blockchain is to attract investors and clients, and selling people on a technology that isn't a good fit for any known problems can reasonably be viewed as a scam.

Eyes of Nine

Everything's Fine
If you owe someone money they have to accept dollar bills. That bootstraps into a great many powers that numberwang does not have.
My point was: The concept of money is consensus reality.

There are other modes of economic relationship.

Also, I don't know what the word "numberwang" means in your second sentence, although it sounds vaguely mathematically titillating.


If you control the VTT, Like Dave seems intent on doing—many people have obviously questioned the wisdom, but that doesn't seem to stop him—then there's really no point to using the blockchain for tracking your ownership. At that point use a database.

If your marketplace and the actual environment in which they're used are centralized, why decentralize the items? It's backwards, not even thinking about the waste of the mainstream blockchains.

In the VTT: Need to prove that a player owns an item? You own. the damn. database. Query it.

In real life: need to prove that a player owns an item? You still. own. the damn. database. Give them a QR code or something like it. Have the DM scan it. Query it. Verify that the player name matches the owner of the character.

The concept of the blockchain isn't useless. But largely, it's a solution looking for a problem. Nothing in Dave's bad idea requires the blockchain—it's just a way to raise funds for an akwardly managed company that's also desperately looking for a problem to solve (a problem that's not "publishing content".)


Your proposed use case was a distributed ledger: unfortunately that's a thing that already exists, doesn't require a blockchain, and works better when you don't use a blockchain.
a blockchain is a distributed ledger, any use case therefore will always have to be that… I hope you were aware of that, even though your statement sounds like you are not

Whether it works better without it is exactly the question. I would not make blanket statements about cases I know nothing about, but you do you
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Limit Break Dancing (He/They)
My "blanket statement" was a personal one...meaning it only covers me. I won't buy goods and services that use NFTs, nor support the companies that do. I can't so easily avoid plastics, or fossil fuels, or some of the other things that were mentioned upthread--those choices were taken from me a long time ago. But for as long as the choice is still mine, I'll not be choosing NFTs.

Am I being unreasonable? Am I living in fear? Am I missing out on the Hot New Thing? Meh. If I am, I can live with it.


My "blanket statement" was a personal one...meaning it only covers me. I won't buy goods and services that use NFTs, nor support the companies that do.
perfectly fine, can’t think of a case where I personally would play a game that uses them. Haven’t found any other ‘services’ I am remotely interested in either.

If a company uses them in their inter-company communication you probably will not even know. Since this started I googled a bit and insurance companies seem to be using it in their claims handling quite a bit these days. That is probably transparent to you as a client, but they in turn are insured again, so in the inter-company communication this is getting used.
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