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Videogamedunkey's Game Publisher Takes A Major Stance On NFT And Blockchain Games

Prolific Youtuber and game reviewer Jason Gastrow – widely known as Videogamedunkey or Dunkey — has launched co-founded an indie game publisher with his wife Leah Gastrow — and the response so far has varied from skepticism to enthusiasm, and even just plain confusion. Many were put off by the extremely confident tone of his video, taking issue with his claim that his 11 years of game reviewing alone would give him the expertise needed to successfully run a publishing company. Others were plainly skeptical of his "expertise" to begin with, citing his infamous tendency to write off the RPG genre wholesale, while some wished him the best of luck despite a lack of confidence in the premise of his enterprise. 

As for his fans, even his own subreddit community expressed confusion at the announcement, unsure if this was another bit of his signature absurdist sarcasm. Still, despite the initial reaction, most were understandably fairly supportive of Dunkey's venture and excited to see what would come of it. Some fans were simply happy to see that, in his foray into the game industry, Dunkey has started off with a strong stance against a controversial trend. While not explicitly touched upon in the announcement video, it seems Dunkey's newly formed publisher, BigMode, will not be accepting any applications from games that involve NFTs, Blockchain, or other implementations of cryptocurrency.

Dunkey's BigMode takes a quiet stance

Though he didn't make a press release with a crystal clear stance as the "Minecraft" developers did, it seems Dunkey is also drawing a hard line against getting involved with NFTs or crypto in any form. The information page for applicants on the BigMode website includes a small note that the publisher is "not accepting any games that use NFTs, crypto or blockchain." The actual application form also requires developers to confirm that their submission doesn't involve crypto or blockchain in any way, a fact that Dunkey's fans noted with great relief and enthusiasm.

The NFT trend has been incredibly controversial in the gaming industry so far. Ubisoft caused an uproar when it tried to dabble in NFTs near the tail end of 2021, while Konami's plans for NFTs in "Castlevania" had fans fuming. Even Square Enix joined in on the controversial trend after a bit of back and forth, to its fans' great dismay. The backlash against NFTs centers around environmental concerns (per the Verge) as well as the dishonest conduct of those involved. Kotaku reports that art theft is rampant in the NFT scene, and even a high-profile streamer like Ludwig has had to threaten legal action against NFT traders using his likeness without permission. Despite many corporations and executives seeming attached to the idea — with even Reggie Fils-Aime wanting Nintendo to embrace NFTs — it doesn't look like the intense disdain for crypto in gaming will die down anytime soon, even if the images have no place at Bigmode.