A Storybook Brawl review bomb is underway after the game's developer, Good Luck Games, was acquired by cryptocurrency company FTX. The game is otherwise sitting at a "very positive" rating, but most recent reviews are "mostly negative".
What's the reason for this Storybook Brawl review bomb?
Over on the official Steam page, you can see the Storybook Brawl review bomb in action. The game is currently being flooded with negative reviews, with most reviewers pointing to FTX's acquisition of Good Luck Games as the reason for their negativity. Reviewers say they don't want their games to have anything to do with cryptocurrency, that Good Luck's acquisition is "incredibly disappointing", and that the developers have chosen to make Storybook Brawl an "NFT scam game", among other comments.
It seems that these reviewers might have cause to worry if they don't want Storybook Brawl to get cryptocurrency integration. In a press release, FTX says it wants to look into the "ethical integration of gaming and crypto transactions". Good Luck's CEO Matthew Place says he wants players to "feel ownership" over the success of Storybook Brawl, and that FTX is looking to create a model for "digital object ownership done right". It's not currently clear exactly how FTX and Good Luck intend to integrate cryptocurrency into their game, but it'll be interesting to see how this new philosophy rubs up against Valve's total cryptocurrency game ban on Steam.
Speaking via its official website, Good Luck says it intends to prioritize fun for Storybook Brawl and that blockchain technology will only be integrated if it's "ethical" and improves the fun factor for players. However, the studio isn't ready to go into specifics on exactly how that will be achieved yet. Given the number of high-profile backpedals in the blockchain space, as well as the number of major gaming companies entirely opposed to blockchain tech being integrated into games, it's hard to imagine that Good Luck will be able to save face on this one.
Gaming and blockchain have a fractious relationship
When it comes to gaming and blockchain technology, you'll usually hear about NFTs first and foremost. As a quick primer, NFTs are essentially unique identifiers for certain assets that are assigned to people who purchase them. These identifiers are stored in the blockchain, which is essentially a giant ledger, that everyone on the chain has and checks all updates to. You can think of it like paying for an original artwork or first-edition novel (albeit without actually physically owning anything in this case). Part of the issue these are running into is that the art or work isn't what is saved to the blockchain, instead something more like a weblink in many cases is used, as the slow speed of blockchain makes saving a whole image or product impractical. NFTs and cryptocurrency aren't the same thing, but since they both use blockchain tech, they're linked.
Major gaming companies like PUBG: Battlegrounds' Krafton and Korean mobile gaming giant Netmarble have committed to NFTs in a big way, but there's also been an equally big backlash against them in the gaming community. Indie marketplace Itch.io called NFTs "a scam", while prominent gaming voice actor Troy Baker had to back down from his NFT partnership after a huge backlash online. It doesn't look like gamers are going to embrace anything blockchain-related for quite some time yet.
Again, it's important to state that cryptocurrency and NFTs are not the same thing. Still, judging by the negative reviews on the Storybook Brawl Steam page, that distinction doesn't seem to matter to the fans of this game, at the very least. Since Good Luck has officially been acquired by FTX, it's not likely we'll see a similar backpedal to the ones outlined above. Still, it's definitely true that Storybook Brawl and Good Luck are likely to lose a lot of fans as a result of this decision. We'll bring you more on this as soon as we get it.