Former Nintendo of America President and COO Reggie Fils-Aime discussed the Metaverse, blockchain technology, and in-game P2E during a panel at the SXSW Tech Conference.
The interview discussed Reggie’s journey as a Haitian immigrant from the Bronx, who later attended Cornell and got a job at Nintendo after forming a close friendship with Satoru Iwata.
After discussing the challenges he faced along the way, 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 steered the conversation to the topic of where the gaming industry is headed.
Reggie Fils-Aime described 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 like “Cloud” from five years ago, and even “Internet” from 20 years ago. It’s a label that every company tries to grasp, to say that their company is part of the metaverse. To me, the Metaverse is a digital space where you interact with your friends in a social and, I believe, gaming-like 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 specific examples of implementations of his vision for the metaverse, which he later clarified as “a wide range of different experiences, all tied to a single currency.”
However, he mentioned that he was skeptical about the success of Facebook’s rebranding to Meta, as he didn’t believe Facebook was an innovative company and they hadn’t had much success with physical products. He also expressed a preference for AR technology over VR technology, citing Pokemon Go as an example of the technology’s successful implementation.
On blockchain technology, cryptocurrency and P2E, Reggie had this to say:
“I am a blockchain enthusiast. 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 that as a gamer where I’ve invested maybe 50 hours in a game, 100 hours in a game… There are games where I’ve invested 300 hours in a game… And when I’m ready to move on, wouldn’t it be great to monetize what I’ve built? I bet I would have takers here today if I wanted to sell my Animal Crossing island… I wish I could monetize that. Blockchain technology embedded in code and development would allow me to do this.
However, he qualified his positive remarks on the potential of blockchain technology in games by emphasizing that it needs to make sense for gamers and not just game developers to make more money.
Do you agree with Reggie’s optimistic view on Metaverse and blockchain technology in games? And where would you start bidding for Reggie’s Animal Crossing Island?
Go ahead and share your thoughts in the comments; I won’t read 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 Metaverse comments section!
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