Worms emerges from the mud to issue NFTs

(Image credit: Team 17)

Team17 has announced that, yes, it hasn't made quite enough scratch from Worms over the years: So it's crypto time, baby. The publisher is partnering with Reality Gaming Group, probably best-known for that dodgy looking Doctor Who NFT card game, to release NFTs based on the muck-dwelling annelids, which will cover the 26 year history of the series.

Probably the most interesting bit of this press release is incidental: The Worms games have sold over 75 million copies combined. At least three of which were to me.

As with all these things the press release kind of bends over backwards to make these digital images seem more special than they are. "Worms digital collectibles are one-of-a-kind and cannot be copied, which makes them scarce and potentially quite valuable." 'Potentially' doing a lot of heavy lifting there. Psst, try right-clicking.

Though I don't really know why you'd want to. These things are absolutely hideous. Yes I added the caption, sorry.

A horrible multicoloured worm.

(Image credit: Team 17)

There's also an unverifiable claim that these NFTs will be "low energy consuming" which seems unlikely when they're a "side-chain" of Ethereum and ultimately feeding that power-hungry ecosystem. The fact that the big crypto chains are bad for the environment is one of the critiques that's acquired purchase, and so most new projects are now trying to head it off at the pass: Another claim to ecological consciousness here is that a portion of each NFT's sale goes to an outfit called Coin 4 Planet, which based on the name I hate already. How about Time 2 Burn.

"The ultra-low energy technology Reality Gaming Group uses, together with their carbon neutral servers, played an essential part of the reassurances we sought before our agreement," said Harley Homewood, Team17's head of publishing. "We’re very much looking forward to giving Worms fans a chance to own a piece of our history."

Team 17's only the latest publisher to hop on board the NFT bandwagon, though feelings across the industry are split, to say the least. On the one side you have the crypto enthusiasts and companies like Ubisoft constructing their own NFT platforms (which they can't explain very well), promising this is the future and don't worry we're not burning rainforests to make a horrible little Worm gif. On the other you have those who see this as a grift, plain and simple, where the value only comes from persuading suckers to buy something that has no inherent worth. Time will tell how it all shakes out.

Rich Stanton

Rich is a games journalist with 15 years' experience, beginning his career on Edge magazine before working for a wide range of outlets, including Ars Technica, Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, Gamespot, the Guardian, IGN, the New Statesman, Polygon, and Vice. He was the editor of Kotaku UK, the UK arm of Kotaku, for three years before joining PC Gamer. He is the author of a Brief History of Video Games, a full history of the medium, which the Midwest Book Review described as "[a] must-read for serious minded game historians and curious video game connoisseurs alike."