Dean Takahashi is the lead writer for Gamesbeat. Having been a games journalist for over twenty-one years, he is a veteran of the video games industry. Dean has written two books, focused on Xbox, and runs the Gamesbeat conference which happens annually.
At these conferences, Dean invites some of the leading developers, thought leaders, and minds in the gaming space, to converge and simply talk about games, and that includes those in the web3 gaming space.
Interested by the convergence of mainstream gaming enthusiasts and more unconventional NFT led gaming, Dean explained how the pushback of web3 gaming created new opportunities for debate at his conferences:
“We had a debate, scheduled for Thursday at Gamesbeat. And we had a prominent indie game developer Rami Ismail debate with David Kim of Wax so we wouldn’t necessarily have had to do that if, we hadn’t seen the groundswell of opposition to the NFT resistance”
“There are not just uneducated people that are opposing NFTs now, but there are a lot of game developers who’ve studied it and concluded that it’s not for them. So I, I think that’s how people sort of mixed together at our event.”
Of course, much like the mainstream gamers, publishers and console manufacturers have also been reluctant to adopt web3 technology. Xbox seems the most likely to jump into the metaverse due to its strategic position, something Dean agrees with:
“Yeah. I do think that Microsoft has made some very interesting moves that can put it in the best position and I think Xbox Game Pass is one of those moves. They have an ongoing investment in HoloLens and that represents an attempt to embrace VR and AR in some way”
This could put Xbox in the leading position, ahead of Sony if they play their cards right in the metaverse space. Thus the metaverse offers the opportunity to expand Xbox’s offering:
“Microsoft has a very interesting second place position now in games, but I can see from the moves that it has made that it actually could quite easily move into first place, right? In the metaverse it has access to a lot of the things you need.”
On the contrary, Nintendo seems unlikely to get into the metaverse space, based on their previous history and stellar IPS such as Mario and Zelda:
“Yeah. I don’t think they’re going to dive into this. I think they’re going to continue to believe that their focus on core gameplay and fun is really going to carry them and that these things will be useful no matter what platforms you use.”
“I think, they’ve always believed that the trailing edge of technology and very low consumer prices are all they need to execute the gameplay innovations that they specialize in. And so they’re going to be the last ones to move into the metaverse.”
Nintendo is used to producing quality games, something web3 gaming is currently lacking. Quality is needed to successfully transition mainstream gamers over to the metaverse, which takes both time and execution, as currently, the sheer quantity of sub-par games is not convincing the masses:
“The game developers who are diving into this, they’re kind of taking a leap of faith. And if they can deliver what they intend in a few years, NFTs should be established, but it’s gonna take a while to actually get those games into the market. And in the meantime, we’re going to have a lot of games that sort of poison the well.”
When asked whether Gamesbeat has changed as a publication to stay up to date with the metaverse, Dean explained that although Gamesbeat at its core is very similar in its coverage, the site has started to shift its focus towards the metaverse:
“So I think you know, that some of our coverage has always remained the same focused on the core of games. But I generally lead the coverage that happens in the sort of emerging space. So I’ve always written a lot more about things like the rise of mobile games or the rise of VR and AR and now most of the coverage surrounding NFTs, and the metaverse.”
Thus, the rapidly growing nature of the space is not only changing games but media as well. We want to thank Dean for taking the time to interview with us. You can check out his video game coverage here.