Konami Faces Backlash Online Following Castlevania NFT Announcement

©Konami Digital Entertainment

Konami has faced backlash online following its announcement of Castlevania non-fungible tokens (NFTs) to celebrate the franchise’s 35th anniversary. 

The Japanese company announced the KONAMI MEMORIAL NFT collection, which includes “14 unique artworks from the Castlevania series” on 6 January.  

Celebrating the popular gothic horror game franchise turning 35, the NFTs will be auctioned to fans within the UK, US and Japan.

Konami’s website reads: “In commemoration of the 35th anniversary of the Castlevania series, NFTs featuring game scenes, BGM, and newly drawn art from the Castlevania series has been issued.”

However, the company has received an online backlash from fans following the collection’s announcement, as many gamers are opposed to NFTs.

One Twitter user wrote: “If there’s one thing Konami excels at, it’s desecrating beloved franchises and spitting on their fans.”

Another said: “It’s now morally correct to pirate all Konami games.”

NFTs have a huge environmental impact, as a high amount of energy is needed to maintain the blockchain that records all of their sales.

Questionable value and the potential for abuse are other reasons for them being disliked, with creators able to purport a digital item is valuable or rare.

Purchasing an NFT grants supposed ownership of a unique digital item, however, Konami’s artwork can be obtained through cheaper means such as right-clicking on it and pressing save. 

SAMPLE_Castlevania Dracula's Castle Pixel Art(1)
This original pixel art based on the Dracula’s Castle map is one of the 14 NFTs. Image credit: Konami

This isn’t the first time a video game company has entered the NFT space, with Ubisoft and Square Enix evoking similar uproar from fans. 

However, it appears this won’t be Konami’s last NFT venture, as the company plans to “explore new developments and listen to player feedback following this initial collection”.

The collection will be auctioned from 12 January on the NFT trading platform OpenSea, with one copy of each digital item available. 

Winning bidders will have their nicknames displayed on the Konami website from February 2022 to 31 December 2022, although this period may be changed or extended. 

Castlevania first released for Japan’s Famicom Disk System in 1986, however, an NES port came to North America the following year and reached Europe in 1988.

Released in 2019 but shut down afterwards, iOS game Castlevania: Grimoire of Souls returned to Apple Arcade last September and is the franchise’s latest non-collection release.

Frederator Studios has produced four seasons of a Castlevania Netflix series, with a spin-off in the works.

Words by Julius Lawless-Master

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