Team17 calls off plans for Worms NFT project

MetaWorms NFT from Team17 canceled

After both public pushback and developer response, the publisher is stepping back from NFTs

The MetaWorms have been shelved. Following public response online and from its developer partners, Team17 has announced it is ending its Worms-based NFT project MetaWorms.

Yesterday, the Worms publisher announced it would mint a new NFT collection based on the well-known multiplayer series Worms. Much like other NFT announcements that have been made over the last few months, you can imagine how this went.

The “MetaWorms” project was met with instant pushback online. Notably, developers who have worked with Team17 also began publishing their own disavowal of the idea, including Overcooked developer Ghost Town Games and Yooka-Laylee developer Playtonic. Going Under studio Aggro Crab put it succinctly: “We believe NFTs cannot be environmentally friendly, or useful, and are really just an overall fucking grift.”

Today, Team17 announced that after listening to feedback from its games communities and development partners, it would cancel the MetaWorms NFTs.

NFTs have become a hot-button issue in gaming. Publishers have toed the water, or even dipped their whole foot in, seeing potential money to be made. Critics and developers have pointed out the environmental concerns, developmental issues, and general questions of what they would add in the first place.

The pipeline of announce NFT project, get major blowback, and walk back or outright cancel it is becoming increasingly streamlined. It’s to the point that I’m wondering why any company would see these responses and still willingly walk onto the coals. I won’t be surprised if there’s another announcement tomorrow. Its subsequent apology is probably already drafted.

As the concept booms, so does its issues. We’ll see how it pans out further in the gaming space. For now though, the Worms and their World Parties are not NFTs.

Eric Van Allen