Former president and COO of Nintendo of America Reggie Fils-Aime discussed the Metaverse, blockchain technology, and P2E in gaming during a panel at the SXSW tech conference.
The talk discussed Reggie’s journey as a Haitian immigrant from the Bronx, who later attended Cornell and earned a position at Nintendo after forming a close friendship with Satoru Iwata.
After discussing the struggles he faced on his journey, his accomplishments during his time at Nintendo of America, and his reasons for stepping down in 2019 to pursue teaching and board service, the interviewer directed the conversation towards the topic of where the gaming industry is headed.
Reggie Fils-Aime discussed the Metaverse as both an industry-wide concept and his personal interpretation of what it means for the industry:
“What is the Metaverse? I think Metaverse is just like “Cloud” of five years ago, and even “The Internet” of 20 years ago. It’s a label that every business is trying to grab onto, to say that their business is part of the Metaverse. For me, the Metaverse is a digital space where you interact with your friends in a social and, I believe gaming type of environment. So it’s social, it’s digital… and there’s an ability to really interact with friends and people who have the potential to be your friends.”
Reggie mentioned Fortnite and Roblox as some specific examples of implementations of his vision of the Metaverse, which he further clarified as “a wide range of different experiences all tied together with one currency.”
However, he mentioned that he was skeptical of Facebook’s rebrand into Meta being successful because he didn’t believe that Facebook is an innovative company and that they haven’t achieved much success with physical products. He also expressed a preference for AR over VR technology, citing Pokemon Go as an example of successful implementation of the technology.
On the subject of blockchain technology, cryptocurrency, and P2E, Reggie had this to say:
“I’m a believer in blockchain. I think blockchain as a technology is really compelling… I’m also a believer in the concept of “play to own” in video games, and I say this as a player where I may have invested 50 hours in a game, 100 hours in a game… There are some games I have invested 300 hours in a game… And when I’m ready to move on to something else, wouldn’t it be great to monetize what I’ve built? I bet I’d have some takers here today if I wanted to sell my Animal Crossing island… I’d like to be able to monetize that. Blockchain technology embedded in the code and in the development would enable me to do that.”
However, he qualified his positive remarks about the potential for blockchain technology in gaming by stressing that it needed to make sense for the players and not just for the game developers to make more money.
Do you agree with Reggie’s optimistic view of the Metaverse and blockchain tech in gaming? And where would you start the bidding for Reggie’s Animal Crossing island?
Go ahead and share your thoughts in the comments; I won’t be reading them since I already know you disagree, but maybe you can meet some people who have the potential to be your friends in our little comment section Metaverse!
This is Niche Gamer Tech. In this column, we regularly cover tech and things related to the tech industry. Please leave feedback and let us know if there’s tech or a story you want us to cover!