September 25, 2022
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Ubisoft is pretending it was never really that interested in NFTs

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


In case you’ve been following Ubisoft’s relationship with the NFT area within the final yr, you most likely keep in mind that its nonsensical release of Quartz NFTs in Ghost Recon Breakpoint was halted in April after only a few months. On the time, although, Ubisoft mentioned that gamers ought to “keep tuned for extra updates with options to the platform and future drops coming with different video games!”

Within the months since, although, Ubisoft appears to have turn into much less keen about its future NFT plans. In a current group Q&A following a press occasion at Ubisoft’s Paris HQ (transcribed by GameIndustry.biz), CEO Yves Guillemot tried to make clear that the corporate is “nonetheless in analysis mode, I’d say, on the subject of NFTs.”

“We actually take a look at all the brand new applied sciences. We’re very a lot on cloud, on the brand new era of voxels, and we’re taking a look at all of the Web3 capabilities. We examined a number of issues just lately which are giving us extra info on how it may be used and what we must always do within the universe of video video games. So we’re testing floor with some video games, and we’ll see in the event that they actually reply the gamers’ wants.

The bit about “answering the gamers’ wants” is very fascinating within the wake of Ubisoft’s use of NFTs in Breakpoint. Within the months after Ubisoft gave away 1000’s of game-usable NFTs, an Ars analysis discovered solely 96 profitable secondhand gross sales for these in-game objects on Objkt and Rarible (the one two marketplaces the place such gross sales are allowed), with costs typically measured within the equal of tens of {dollars}. These third-party transfers have been offered as one of many main use circumstances for NFTs within the first place, so the dearth of gross sales reveals simply how little participant curiosity there was in Breakpoint‘s NFT implementation.

Trying again, Guillemot mentioned that “we most likely weren’t good at saying we’re researching,” suggesting that this was all the time supposed as extra of a toe-dipping experiment slightly than a significant funding in an thrilling new technological playfield. That restraint wasn’t communicated when Ubisoft launched its Quartz NFTs final December, although.

Again then, the corporate described the hassle in a press release as “the primary constructing block in our bold imaginative and prescient for creating a real metaverse.” On the time, Ubisoft additionally mentioned long-term plans for the blockchain to “genuinely make gamers stakeholders of our video games… inserting again into their fingers the worth they generate via the time they spend, the objects they purchase or the content material they create on-line.”

Now, although, Guillemot talks about NFTs as simply one other within the lengthy line of wacky tech fads that Ubisoft likes to mess around with after they’re new:

“As an organization, we went into VR early, into the Wii early—we all the time strive new issues,” he mentioned. “Generally it really works, typically it would not work, but it surely’s all the time to verify we will deliver a brand new expertise to gamers that shall be modern and fascinating. The purpose of the corporate is all the time to create one of the best expertise, and new applied sciences are all the time good for that as a result of there’s much less competitors and persons are extra to strive new issues on new know-how.”

The weirdest a part of Guillemot’s NFT remarks got here when he spoke as if Ubisoft hadn’t launched its first NFT experiment but. “We should always have mentioned we have been engaged on it, and when we’ve one thing that provides you an actual profit, we’ll deliver it to you,” he mentioned. “Exploring doesn’t suggest launching.”

Whereas we agree that exploring doesn’t suggest launching, we might argue that Ubisoft truly launched NFTs in Breakpoint final December. The truth that Guillemot now says Ubisoft is ready till it has “one thing that provides you an actual profit” earlier than any additional “launching” tells you every thing you should find out about simply how rapidly the corporate’s emotions on NFTs have modified.

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