Ubisoft does not believe it should change its attitude on non-fungible tokens, according to an interview with two of the company’s executives driving the NFT campaign, but it is up to us to wake up and accept them. They are, after all, “very useful.”
While Ubisoft has been investing in blockchain titles through its Strategic Innovation Lab since at least 2018, and CEO Yves Guillemot is a founding member of the Blockchain Gaming Alliance, the studio was one of the first major developers to include NFTs in its games when Ubisoft Quartz platform was released last month.
The Quartz introduction video received a lot of backlash from gamers, and few people bought the NFTs, but Ubisoft stuck to its guns and insisted on sticking to its values. It now appears to be blaming gamers’ lack of comprehension in an interview with Australian site Finder (via Kotaku).
“I think gamers don’t get what a digital secondary market can bring to them. For now, because of the current situation and context of NFTs, gamers 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 allowing players to resell their items once they’re finished with them or they’re finished playing the game itself,” said Nicolas Pouard, VP at Ubisoft’s Strategic Innovations Lab.
“So, it’s really, for them. It’s beneficial. But they don’t get it for now.”
Many people think of NFTs in games as a cynical cash grab by the firms that implement them, but Pouard underlined that they’re about helping users make money, “so it’s not just about Ubisoft.” Of course, Ubisoft will profit from each item sold, so it’s a lot about the firm.
Poured was also asked about Stalker 2, a game whose NFT announcement caused such an outcry that the developers had to remove them. “It’s disheartening to see there’s still some misunderstanding-based pushback,” Pouard remarked.
Ubisoft isn’t the only one jumping on the NFT bandwagon. Square Enix, EA, Facebook, Coinbase, YouTube, and a slew of other companies are adopting them, seemingly ignoring the widespread criticism and outrage. However, Ubisoft, which was named the world’s most despised gaming company last year (based on tweets), has been outspoken in its defense—though criticizing players who “don’t get it” is a step too far.