Sega's NFT bombshell provokes fury from fans

(Image credit: Sega via @franciscoluis04)

Since NFTs exploded onto the digital art scene, they've been the source of considerable division due in part to their impact on the climate. And the most recent storm is directed towards Sega, which has announced its intention to start producing NFTs in the summer of 2021. 

Sega delivered the information to the world via the below tweet, and it's safe to say it did not go down well with fans. Citing the video game company's history of environmental messaging (especially in Sonic the Hedgehog), tweets began to flood in accusing Sega of hypocrisy and begging it to reconsider. Unsure what it is we're even talking about? See our guide to NFTs, which explains all.

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In case you're not well versed in Japanese, the tweet reads as follows:

"In collaboration with double jump .tokyo Co., Ltd., we will start selling NFT digital contents that utilize blockchain technology around the summer of 2021."

Now, the problem with NFTs is that they consume a monster amount of energy in the creation process. This is partly because NFTs are part of the Ethereum blockchain and current estimations (opens in new tab) put a single Ethereum transaction at hoovering up a monster 48.14 kWh. That's about the same as a day and a half's energy consumption from one standard US household. And that's only the transaction's energy, there's still the actual production to consider, which has been likened (opens in new tab) to the equivalent to one European Union resident's entire energy consumption for two weeks.


Tails navigating the Ocean Oil Zone (Image credit: Sega)

People are angry because Sega has form as a particularly environmentally-aware company – in its game content at least. Remember Ecco the Dolphin? And the names of those Sonic levels? Oil Ocean Zone, Chemical Plant Zone to name but two. And there's the fact Sonic spends his time releasing all those poor little animals from the evil Dr. Robotnik, of course. So its fanbase feels betrayed, and has expressed as much in no uncertain terms.

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However, there are some who aren't so quick to anger. Some suggest that Sega maybe planning to use another type of NFT – a BNB – which isn't so energy-heavy. Either way, given the amount of money changing hands for NFTs, it's likely Sega will enjoy a surge in revenue if it goes ahead with its plans. 

In happier Sega news recently, fans found out about the early return of a favourite character in the Sonic the Hedgehog 2 film. We wonder if the Red Echidna will feature in any of the controversial NFTs.

Want to make your own digital art? You'll need one the best drawing tablets around (you don't have to sell it as an NFT). 

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Georgia Coggan is currently Creative Bloq's Acting Deputy Editor. Georgia started her freelance career working for CB in 2018, and since then has worked across the site on news, ecom, SEO content... basically anything and everything. Now covering the Dep Ed role for three months, Georgia is a slave to the style guide, a logo geek and loves all things London Underground (its branding history, and not at rush hour).