Ubisoft cools down on NFTs and blockchain, says it’s in ‘research mode’


Yves Guillemot, the CEO of French gaming giant Ubisoft, appears to have chilled the rhetoric behind the company’s NFT gaming project Quartz, noting in a recent interview that it was only in “research mode” regarding Web3 technology integrations. .

It’s a relatively different take from other Ubisoft execs in the past, including finance director Frédérick Duguet, who stated in October that blockchain integrations will allow users to own and earn content and the company wants to be “one of the key players be here”.

During a Sept. 10 interview with gamesindustry.biz, Guillemot appears to backtrack on some of those comments, stressing that at this stage Ubisoft is primarily looking to explore how NFTs can be applied to games and whether they will benefit gamers or not. .

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“We’re very cloud-based, on the new generation of voxels, and we’re looking at all the Web3 capabilities. We recently tested a few things that give us more information about how it can be used and what we need to do in the universe of video games,” he said, adding that:

“So we’re testing ground with some games, and we’ll see if they really meet the needs of the players. But we’re still in research mode, I’d say.”

Ubisoft announced its first foray into NFTs in December, following the launch of a beta version of Ubisoft Quartz, which aims to offer gamers playable NFTs that can be used in games such as Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Breakpoint.

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The move met with a lot of resistance from some members of the NFT-hating gamer community, with some accusing the company of “milking” every cent possible out of its popular gaming franchises by introducing NFTs into the mix.

Nicolas Pouard, the vice president of Ubisoft’s Strategic Innovations Lab, defended the company’s NFT efforts in January, stating, “I don’t think gamers understand what a digital secondary market can bring them.”

Reflecting on Ubisoft’s NFT rollout, Guillemot says the company ultimately failed to communicate the company’s approach to the project effectively enough.

“We probably weren’t good at saying we were investigating,” he said, adding that “we should have said we were working on it, and if we have something that gives you real benefit, we’ll bring it to you.” .”

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The Ubisoft CEO was also questioned about the environmental impact of blockchain technology, something often highlighted by gamers who generally mistake energy-intensive proof-of-work (PoW) chains as the industry standard for all projects.

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Guillemot noted that while he is “very cautious” about the sector’s environmental impacts, he is optimistic that these issues will be resolved over time.

“Like so many things, it’s not as good as it could be in the beginning, but like other new technologies, they will find their way.”