ArtStation Caves In To Pressure From Artists After Announcing Series Of NFT Drops From Several Notab
It has been reported that the platform announced the program was scheduled to begin yesterday and featured works from artists including Halo Infinite art director Nicolas “Sparth” Bouvier, retired NASA astronaut Nicole Stott, Assassin’s Creed franchise art director Raphael Lacoste, painter Craig Mullins, and Magic: The Gathering illustrator Alena Aenami.
However, a furious bombardment of criticism, all mentions of the announcement were pulled down and replaced with a short message on the website stating that “In light of the critical reception on social media regarding NFTs, it’s clear that now is not the right time for NFTs on ArtStation.”
The firm stated:
“We are very sorry for all the negative emotions this has caused. Despite our attempts to validate our approach, we clearly made a mistake and admit fault. It was our bad. We feel that NFTs are a transformative technology that can make significant, positive change for digital artists.”
Roham Gharegozlou, the founder and CEO of Dapper Labs, stated the decision to cave in was “short-sighted” adding that “for one, blocks will get mined anyway — for the other, the criticism basically doesn’t apply to proof of stake blockchains like Flow Blockchain [used by NBA Top Shot].”
A statement from ArtStation: https://t.co/hiVvs9W6XG — ArtStation.com (@ArtStationHQ) March 9, 2021
Likewise, ArtStation’s original plan appeared to use the ERC-721 token on Ethereum that remains a power-hungry Proof of Work blockchain until most transactions move to the more efficient Proof of Stake blockchain Eth2.
Flipping on its NFT announcement in less than 24 hours, @ArtStationHQ has replaced all announcement posts with an apology for its “mistake”. https://t.co/AVsIcw9X5j — Cointelegraph (@Cointelegraph) March 10, 2021
It’s not clear if the platform considered other blockchains that can host NFTs using a fraction of the power. This apology only appeased some of the community, with artists like Ashley Grace taking to Twitter again to voice their concerns about the apparent inconclusive wording of the post, likening NFTs to an “ecological nightmare pyramid scheme.”
glad to see the backpedaling (lmao), but the "now is not the right time" obviously means you still want to do it, just not right now while everyone is freshly pissed off. just don't? do it at all??? no one wants to be tokens in a goddamn ecological nightmare pyramid scheme https://t.co/MAYIPPDntP — Ashley Grace / previously a.g.irish (@willowsquest) March 9, 2021
After pulling down the initial announcement, ArtStation unsuccessful attempted to placate the push-back, adding that it will be “contributing to offset the carbon footprint costs of any given piece of digital art transacted on the platform.”
Twitter user “Bleached Rainbows” stated:
“ArtStation going into NFT and saying ‘but don’t worry! We’ll pay for carbon offsets’ is the equivalent of setting a house on fire then placing a single potted plant on the burned property as ‘compensation’.”
Moreover, the backlash came on top of other controversies including rumored sexism and adult content, with artists threatening to cancel their subscriptions. Other issues included the unregulated nature of the NFT space and the ability for scams to arise and criticisms of the move as a cash grab for the platform and most prominent artists.