The future of Quartz, Ubioft’s platform which markets the first eco-responsible and playable NFTs in AAA games based on the Tezos blockchain, is uncertain.
Yves Guillemot, CEO of the French publisher Ubisoftannounces that it wants to take its time with NFT after the setbacks of Quartz and its Digits. The goal now is to study the fintech market as a whole in order to identify the major trends:
We’re looking at all the new technologies and we’re very cloud-focused, next-gen voxel, and we’re looking at all the web 3.0-related capabilities as well. We recently tested some elements that give us more information on how they can be used and what we should do in the universe of video games. So we’re on the proving ground with a couple of games that…we’ll see if they really meet the needs of gamers, and then they come to market. But we’re still in research mode, I would say.
Ubisoft’s foray into the blockchain, a regrettable misstep for Yves Guillemot
Yves Guillemot understands the bad feedback following Quartz’s announcement to sell Ghost Recon Breakpoint weapon and gear skins in the form of NFTs called Digits:
We probably didn’t know we were doing research. We should have said that we are working on it, and that when we have something that will give you a real benefit, we will present it to you. Our company experimented with VR very early on, we were among the first on Nintendo Wii, we are always trying new things. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, but we always want to bring new experiences to the player that are innovative and interesting. Our goal is to create the best possible experience, and new technologies are a very interesting vector thanks to less competition and the appeal to the most curious players of technological innovations.
Environment and NFT, a non-issue for Ubisoft
One of the main points of contention with this new technology is of course its impact on the environment, which goes against Ubisoft’s efforts to encourage sustainable development. The company has hosted events to raise awareness about the climate crisis within Riders Republic (including a digital climate change protest march), executive bonuses are tied to reducing the publisher’s carbon footprint, and Guillemot’s speech in Paris mentions that 95% of the electricity supplied to I3D – the server company acquired by Ubisoft in 2018 – comes from renewable sources (and the heat produced by its server farms is channeled to warm neighboring buildings) .
Exploring does not mean throwing. This industry is changing rapidly, and you have to be very careful about the impact it will have. Like many things, at first it’s not as good as it could be, but like other new technologies, they will find their way.
A Ubisoft spokesperson adds that decentralized technologies are no exception to the company’s commitment to the environment, noting that the Strategic Innovation Lab which leads its blockchain research collaborates with the team responsible for corporate social responsibility in everything it does. The latter added that high power consumption is mainly an issue for first-generation blockchains based on the “proof of work” protocol, while Ubisoft focuses on working with “proof of stake” blockchains, less so. energy hungry.
Ubisoft Quartz, our first large-scale experiment with this technology, is based on the Tezos “proof-of-stake” blockchain, which consumes less energy per transaction than sending emails. A standard email is equivalent to 4g Co², while a transaction on Tezos is equivalent to 2.5g Co².
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Ubisoft takes a step back with NFTs
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