Konami continues to irritate and disappoint fans. From ruining the Metal Gear franchise with Metal Gear Survive, and now in ruining the memory and legacy of Castlevania with Castlevania NFTs.
In “celebration” of Castlevania‘s 35th anniversary, Konami has revealed a collection of NFTs, all listed on NFT marketplace OpenSEA. The NFT collection includes BGM from the original game, short gameplay clips, artworks, and pixel arts. Konami is allowing fans to celebrate with them by making them fork over WETH on the auctions for the NFTs. Currently, Konami has listed 14 different NFTs for auction, with Castlevania: Simon’s Quest (Nintendo Entertainment System ver.) – Bloody Tears having the highest offer at press time. The BGM NFT has been bid on by 7 collectors so far, with the highest bid standing on 0.063 WETH. Most others currently have bids offered at most 0.025 WETH, with at low as 0.01 WETH
It’s odd that there are already upstanding bids on the NFTs given that Konami lists the auction dates as follows:
It might not be odd for those who actually know how NFT auctions work, but that’s not us. In any case, whoever purchases the NFTs will be rewarded with their nicknames immortalized as the first owner of the NFTs they bought. These will be memorialized here. Oh, did I say immortalized? My mistake, as the nicknames will only appear on the website from February 2022 to December 2022.
Of course, as with anything else concerning NFTs these days, fans have been very negative towards this campaign. Youtuber YongYea has described the move as “spitting on the fans,” tantamount to the way the company “desecrated” Silent Hill, Metal Gear Solid, and Contra. he would later showcase different responses of angry fans on social media, some even mocking Konami’s move.
With a franchise as big and as influential as Castlevania, fans expected Konami to put in a lot more effort towards its anniversary celebration. It’s not a big problem if Konami wanted to monetize their celebration of the anniversary – selling collectibles, sure. However, the company has shown poor consideration of what fans of the series actually want. Other companies with similar franchises before would have celebrated anniversaries with announcements or releases of new remakes and remasters – which also make a lot of money, by the way. However, this might become the norm now with the growing interest of video game companies in BlockChain Technology.
Look, NFTs, BlockChain Technology, and NFT Games are fine. We play them. We do Axie Infinity posts and information articles on new, emerging NFT Games. But at the very least, those NFT Games are upfront about what they are. They are games built upon the idea of decentralization. But companies implementing NFTs just for the sake of cashing out hurts the industry, anger fans, and eliminates any form of goodwill or trust between the community and the companies.
And oh, by the way. The entire point of NFTs is creating artificial scarcity in the digital age – where, frankly, nothing’s supposed to be scarce in the first place. But these forceful attempts into marketing NFTs lead to carbon copies of items with forced scarcities – like Ubisoft’s Quartz that have identical-looking helmets differing only by a serial number. Would you really call those helmets unique? The same goes with Konami’s offered NFTs. Collectors would try to snatch up these NFTs, some might be thinking that they’ll become owners of a unique product.
If you’re a collector who values digital collectibles, that’s fine. But Konami has made it clear as well on their NFT page that while “NFT with the exact same data will not be resold… similar NFTs tied to the same game-title may be resold in the future.” That means the NFTs can re-appear and resold with the sole difference from this set being their serial numbers, effectively making the “one-of-a-kind” moniker for these items no longer applicable.
Again, I don’t see any problem with NFT technology and BlockChain Technology – in a vacuum. I don’t think people who like collecting digital artworks are bad people. However, companies seeing NFTs as an opportunity to make a quick buck is something I’m against. Seeing companies invent scarcity to sell products that have no business being scarce is insulting. With all of our advances in accessibility in video games, gatekeeping items behind a false scarcity sure is a step back from all of our progress.
Besides, it’s disappointing as to how companies would be so willing to tarnish the reputations of their long-standing series just to cash in on the NFT craze. It’s saddening how an event as big as the celebration of a seminal franchise would be reduced to just an auction of digital goodies, when it could have been an opportunity for Konami to rebuild its relationship with its fans with tangible, actually useful, and fun products to have, like new games, remakes, and remasters of their old games. I personally think that could have been a better celebration of Castlevania‘s legacy more than anything else.