Saturday, May 21, 2022

Paramount’s New Star Trek NFTs Completely Miss the Point of Star Trek

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Paramount launches its NFT marketplace / metaverse / annoying marketing stunt that fans are already mad about it with Star Trek non-fungible tokens (or NFTs.) The company partnered with Recur to create a platform called Paramount.xyz, which it says will “bring the beloved entertainment entities, brands and characters of Paramount to the metaverse.” will bring.”

Paramount follows what has worked for major NFT projects in the past; the Star Trek NFTs will feature “algorithmically generated spaceships” and can be purchased at the low, low price of $250 per pack. Packs, by the way, contain a single ship – which has only about an 11 percent chance of looking like the Enterprise. You can (but definitely shouldn’t) guarantee you’ll get a cool ship by buying the “Admiral Pack” instead of the “Captain Pack”, but you can only get it if you’ve applied for a Recur pass – yet an NFT that costs a minimum of $290.

Pictured: Certainly no predatory gambling tactics.
Image: Paramount

The ships are stored in what Paramount calls “Star Trek Continuum,” which the company describes as “an experience center that will house these first and all future seasons of Star Trek NFTs.” Those “future seasons” include gathering crew members and taking on vague, unspecified missions according to Paramount’s roadmap.

In terms of what that “metaverse” or those experiences will look like, Paramount’s press release contains many words that are essentially a handshake: “Recur and Paramount are building a roadmap of in-real-life utility across the Continuum holders will have access to exclusive perks, events and content that extend the usefulness of the NFTs digitally and in real life.”

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen Star Trek NFTs. The brand has been put on the blockchain in the form of digital Funko Pops and in licensed offers on other platforms† And, as my colleagues Chaim Gartenberg and Adi Robertson said, every time it happens, it feels like a slap in the face to anything that Star Trek is actually about. (I’m sure it’s just a coincidence that any video essayist using the post-scarcity “luxury automated space communism”, Star Trek images to describe it.)

This time, however, Paramount is going all in. It casts Star Trek Continuum as just the beginning of Paramount.xyz, and threatens… er, promises it’ll add Nickelodeon and Paramount Pictures franchises after this. Yes, that means we could see SpongeBob NFTs next. And yes, I think that means I’ve gotten to the point where in adulthood I see my childhood looted.


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