Dr Disrespect announced in March that his upcoming game ‘Project Moon’ from Midnight Society would feature NFT features and, as expected, was met with vitriol from critics who simply didn’t understand what was happening. But the Doc is actually providing an NFT offering that will benefit players — and more importantly, one that they don’t even need to opt in to.
NFTs have become a hugely divisive subject over the past 12 months. Their ascent in the online world from a niche community to items worth millions has been tracked by believers and critics alike, spawning intense debate on either side of the spectrum.
One group that has been consistently anti-NFT has been the gaming community. They’ve pleaded for NFTs to stay out of gaming, for blockchain games to be nothing more than a bubble to burst. And, for the most part, they got their wish. Game developers have made NFT announcements and quickly backtracked when the backlash poured in, dialing down their Web3 plans.
Not Dr Disrespect, though. He announced the NFT inclusion in his games and, despite the immediate backlash, spoke out about how exactly Project Moon will incorporate NFTs — and whether they realize it yet or not – has left critics little to complain about.
Entirely optional NFTs
The first, and perhaps most important point, is that this is not a blockchain-based game. As such, engagement with any blockchain or NFT-based assets is entirely optional.
This is also the first mistake that many critics have made. They see the term ‘NFT’ and automatically assume they’ll be forced to buy NFTs and spend a bunch of money to be able to play the game or engage with it properly — a perfectly valid criticism of many blockchain-based games.
As The Doc explained himself, “you don’t have to have NFTs to play the game. It doesn’t change your experience of the game once it releases and it will continue to be free-to-play. You can’t buy your way to win.”
The NFT’s come in the form of cosmetics, such as visors or the Variant avatars you can get. The most notable one, though, is the Founders Pass which, at the time of writing, is the only one announced that will set players back any money (should players wish to mint it).
The Founders Pass will cost $50, with only 10,000 available, and comes with a list of perks ranging from early access, to unique cosmetics, to voting rights on game features, really putting the direction of the game into the player’s hands.
This, in particular, is an area of the NFT space that more casual onlookers are unaware of. The potential for fan service through NFTs and the blockchain is unlimited. Look, for example, at the NELK Boys’ Full Send Metacard. Owners can use them to gain access to physical and virtual goods and services including merchandise and, in the future, Full Send gyms, casinos, and more.
Overall, this from Midnight Society is no different to how many games would use a Season Pass, or a Founders Pass, to give the most dedicated players exclusive access. The difference with Midnight Society’s is that the Founders Pass can also be sold on should you no longer wish to own it, granting some return on your initial outlay, and letting owners have more of a say on the product.
Read More: Dr Disrespect’s Project Moon game details
When so much of the response to announcements such as these is people moaning that they “don’t want to have to worry about NFTs in games,” that is voided entirely when the facts we know so far suggest that you won’t have to worry about NFTs in Project Moon at all. They’re simply there, whether you want to utilize them or not.
What about environmental impact?
Once it’s better established that NFTs are strictly additional assets available in the game, as opposed to core components to be able to play or enjoy it, the environmental argument is often made and, in truth, is always a valid one.
Cryptomining is a detriment to society and the environment, with the amount of energy required. It’s impossible to deny for even the most bullish ‘crypto bro’. While it has become more energy-efficient, mining crypto is still a big issue that needs to be addressed.
Midnight Society is operating differently, however, by using the Polygon blockchain, rather than the more popular Ethereum. Earlier in 2022 we saw Head of YouTube Gaming Ryan ‘Fwiz’ Wyatt move to Polygon Studios, and his impact in the wider gaming sphere is already being felt.
As explained on the Midnight Society website, minting a Founders Pass is roughly equivalent to the energy use of sending 2.5 emails. By comparison, it’s almost nothing — and certainly not the great threat to the environment many will worry it is.
By all accounts, it appears as though the use of NFTs in Midnight Society’s Project Moon — and any other titles that may arrive in the future — are purely an optional supplement to players’ experience of the game.
Don’t want to buy NFTs? Then worry not, because the game itself is still playable, and you won’t be at any disadvantage.
Want to invest a bit of money, have full ownership over the assets you have in the game, and take more control over the future of Project Moon? Then a $50 Founders Pass doesn’t seem too excessive — especially if those assets end up becoming super rare and can become profitable.
While it’s often easy for critics to sweep the facts about it under the rug, the reality is that the average player won’t have to worry about NFTs at all. It’s still early days for Dr Disrespect’s Midnight Society, but this seems like the perfect way of introducing players to the potential of blockchain gaming without forcing it upon them.