Ubisoft’s new NFT service hasn’t gone down well ever since it was revealed, but execs say that gamers just don’t get it.
During an interview with Finder, Ubisoft Strategic Innovations Lab vice president Nicolas Pouard said that gamers simply don’t understand the benefits of NFTs.
“I think gamers don't get what a digital secondary market can bring to them,” he said. “For now, because of the current situation and context of NFTs, gamers really believe it's first destroying the planet, and second just a tool for speculation. But what we [at Ubisoft] are seeing first is the end game. The end game is about giving players the opportunity to resell their items once they're finished with them or they're finished playing the game itself.”
Back in December last year, Ubisoft announced Quartz — its first foray into NFTs. This new service offers limited-edition cosmetic items in Ubisoft games, that can then be resold via third-party marketplaces for cryptocurrency.
But it’s gone down like a lead balloon, after its integration into Ghost Recon: Breakpoint raised eyebrows among gamers.
After the service launched on December 9, three limited-edition NFT items were added to the game, including a ‘Wolves’ skin for the M4A1 Tactical Rifle, a helmet, and a pair of pants. These three items are free to claim… but there’s a catch.
The rifle requires you to reach XP level 5 in Ghost Recon: Breakpoint, while the pants require 100 hours played in the game. The helmet requires a massive 600 hours in Ghost Recon: Breakpoint… all for a helmet with a number on it.
But while sales of Ubisoft NFTs haven’t exactly been great, Pouard insists that gamers just don’t understand.
“It was a reaction we were expecting,” he said of the backlash to Quartz. “We know it's not an easy concept to grasp. But Quartz is really just a first step that should lead to something bigger. Something that will be more easily understood by our players.”
Despite the major backlash, it looks as though Ubisoft is keen to continue its NFT journey. Even if nobody gets it.
“That's the way we think about it and why we will keep experimenting,” he added. “We will keep releasing features and services around this first initiative. And our belief is that, piece by piece, the puzzle will be revealed and understood by our players. We hope they will better understand the value we offer them.”
Despite downplaying NFTs environmental impact, Pouard previously stated that Ubisoft could reconsider its position if energy consumption issues aren’t solved.
Ryan Leston is an entertainment journalist and film critic for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter.
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