Ubisoft Claims It Was Never Really Interested In NFTs

Ubisoft Claims It Was Never Really Interested In NFTs

A computerized skeleton has a headache and a UbiSoft logo on its face.
Enlarge / Galaxy brain, meet the Ubisoft brain…

If you’ve followed Ubisoft’s relationship with the NFT space over the past year, you’ll probably remember its absurd release of Quartz NFT in Ghost Recon Breakpoint was discontinued in April after only a few months. At the time, however, Ubisoft said players should “stay tuned for more updates with platform features and future drops coming with other games!”

In the months since, however, Ubisoft seems to have grown less enthusiastic about its future NFT projects. In a recent group Q&A following a press event at Ubisoft’s Paris headquarters (transcribed by GameIndustry.biz), CEO Yves Guillemot attempted to clarify that the company is “still in research mode , I would say, as far as NFTs are concerned”.

“We’re really looking at all the new technologies. We’re very much on the cloud, on the next generation of voxels, and we’re looking at all the capabilities of Web3. We recently tested a few things that give us more insight into how it can be used and what should be done in the world of video games, so we are testing a few games, and we will see if they really meet the needs of players.

The question of “meeting players’ needs” is particularly interesting in the wake of Ubisoft’s use of NFTs in Breakpoint. In the months since Ubisoft distributed thousands of usable in-game NFTs, an Ars analysis found only 96 successful second-hand sales for these in-game items on Objkt and Rarible (the only two marketplaces where such sales are permitted), with prices generally measured in the equivalent of tens of dollars. These third-party transfers were sold as one of the main use cases for NFTs in the first place, so the lack of sales shows how little interest players had in Breakpointof the NFT implementation.

Looking back, Guillemot said “we were probably not good at saying we were doing research”, suggesting that it was always more of a deeper experience than a major investment in a new field of research. exciting technological game. This restraint, however, was not communicated when Ubisoft launched its Quartz NFTs last December.

At the time, the company described the effort in a press release as “the first building block of our ambitious vision to develop a true metaverse.” At the time, Ubisoft also spoke of long-term plans for blockchain to “truly empower gamers in our games…putting in their hands the value they generate through the time they spend. , the items they buy or the content they create”. on line.”

Now, however, Guillemot talks about NFTs as another in the long line of goofy tech modes that Ubisoft likes to play with when new:

“As a company we got into virtual reality very early on, in the Wii we’re always trying new things,” he said. “Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, but it’s always to make sure that we can bring a new experience to players that will be innovative and interesting. The company’s goal is always to create the best experience, and new technologies are always good for that because there’s less competition and people are more interested in trying new things on new technologies.”

The weirdest part of Guillemot’s NFT remarks came when he spoke as if Ubisoft hadn’t launched its first NFT experience yet. “We should have said we were working on it, and when we have something that will give you a real advantage, we will bring it to you,” he said. “Exploring does not mean launching.”

Although we agree that exploring does not mean launching, we would say that Ubisoft actually launched NFTs in Breakpoint last December. The fact that Guillemot now says that Ubisoft expects to have “something that gives you a real advantage” above all further away “launch” tells you everything you need to know about how quickly the company’s sentiments on NFTs have changed.

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