In the latest industry news that may make you go “WTF”, Ubisoft will be planning to make blockchain games and non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
According to an International Business Times article, the company will integrate blockchain technology into its future games, while also employing play-to-earn techniques that allow players to earn “money” from playing Ubisoft titles. Here’s a quote from Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot.
“As you see, this industry is changing regularly with lots of new revolutions happening. We consider blockchain one of those revolutions. It will imply more play-to-earn that will enable more players to actually earn content, own content, and we think it’s going to grow the industry quite a lot. So we have been working with lots of small companies going on the blockchain, and we’re starting to have a good know-how on how we can impact the industry. We want to be one of the key players there.”
Are They Seriously Doing This?
It seems likely, as long as it involves money-making for a company on a possible grand scale. Ubisoft stated that it has been looking into blockchain for years, since 2018 via its Strategic Innovation Lab division.
Google search blockchain/cryptocurrency and NFTs and you’ll see a lot of articles weighing the good and (mostly) bad side of it. To be fair, blockchain tech has been established for quite a long number of years, since 2008. It has made a number of folks in the business rich time and again, though a majority of these groups and companies may seem dubious due to them just jumping on the bandwagon without any clear understanding of the concept.
As for NFTs? That new form of “goods” on a digital ledger can be summed up as “pretty expensive JPEGs that could be of someone else’s original artworks”. NFTs are also partly responsible for ongoing planet damage due to millions of carbon dioxide generated from mining this, as well as for cryptocurrencies.
On a related note, big-time video game publisher and distributor Valve have removed blockchain and NFTs on Steam. However, companies like Epic Games and Gamescom (via Gamescom Asia) are open about the idea, though Epic Games’ CEO said that NFTs is “tangled up with an interactable mix of scams”.
Time will tell how this will go. I’ll say this: Ubisoft basically owns all the artwork and assets of all of its big and small titles, so it has a huge portfolio to make NFTs out of legally, like it or not.