Ubisoft Doubles Down On NFTs, Calls Them A ‘Major Change That Will Take Time’
Ubisoft, the company behind franchises like Assassin’s Creed and Far Cry, first broached the topic of NFTs back in early November, revealing plans to one day implement them into its games and also develop blockchain games. We learned a month later – this month – that Ubisoft’s comments in November were less a broach of NFTs and more preparation for a reveal of its NFT-based platform called Ubisoft Quartz.
Quartz is now live as a beta where players can earn NFT cosmetic items to use in Ghost Recon Breakpoint. However, the announcement and reveal of Quartz was met with criticism, with many calling for Ubisoft to back off the idea of NFTs in its games. A report from Eurogamer reveals that Quartz Digit recipients have sold a total of just 15 of these NFTs, likely a number much smaller than Ubisoft anticipated. Still, in a new interview with Decrypt, Ubisoft’s blockchain technical director revealed that the company is still committed to the technology, as reported by Video Games Chronicle.
“We have received a lot of feedback since the announcement and we hear both the encouragement and the concerns,” Didier Genevois said. “We understand where the sentiment towards the technology comes from, and we need to keep taking it into consideration every step of the way. This experiment is meant to understand how the value proposition of decentralization can be received and embraced by our players. We know it is a major change that will take time, but we will stay true to our three principles.”
According to Genevois, those three principles are:
- “Use the tech responsibly.”
- “Build a safe environment”
- “Only leverage energy-efficient proof-of-stake blockchains [and] focus on meaningful value propositions for players that benefit their gaming experience.”
Decrypt interviewed Genevois in light of yesterday’s announcement that Ubisoft was partnering with Aleph.im, a company that will give Ubisoft a place for decentralized storage for NFT assets, which Ubisoft calls Digits on the Quartz platform.
“Our main objective with Ubisoft Quartz is to showcase the true value of decentralization to our players,” Genevois told Decrypt. “Aleph.im played a key role in the realization of our vision by allowing us to go one step further and decentralize the storage of the Digits’ video asset and metadata.”
Aleph.im founder Jonathan Schemoul believes “most big publishers will end up proposing in-game NFT support,” according to Decrypt. It seems EA is intent on making it happen, at least, as its CEO, Andrew Wilson, recently said NFTs and blockchain games are “the future of our industry.” Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney said back in October that for now, the Epic Games Store welcomes games that use blockchain technology, too.
At the moment, the use of cryptocurrencies is largely viewed as harmful to the planet. Ethereum, one of the most-used cryptocurrencies, though, is working on something it calls “The Merge,” which it says will “start the era of a more sustainable, eco-friendly Ethereum.” Only time will tell how green Ethereum becomes.
What do you think of Ubisoft’s NFT initiative? Let us know in the comments below!