Remember: at the end of 2021, the company announced that it would create a node on the Tezos blockchain, launch its NFT store called Quartz and add skins of weapons and equipment in the form of NFTs in the game Ghost Recon: Breakpoint. A launch which is relayed in most of the specialized media, we are also invited to the premises of Saint-Mandé to attend a long presentation of the interest of these NFTs, from which we emerge perplexed. If the promise not to harm the environment was kept thanks to the protocol of the proof of stakeeach transaction on Tezos producing only 2.5 grams of CO2 equivalent (less than an email), it is the interest for the player that still seemed to be clarified.
Above all, Ubisoft was launching into the blockchain via a two-year-old game, poorly received and little played, as if it only wanted to dip a toe to take the temperature and not invest too much money in the adventure. However, the official speech was much more ambitious than that. the Press release was talking about though “the first step in our ambitious vision for the development of a true metaverse.”
Unsurprisingly, the reception from the public is icy. After several communications, Nicolas Pouard, head of the innovation strategy laboratory at the origin of the project, announces “still believe that you can convince the interest of NFTs” and says that “the public has yet to grasp secondary market interest in blockchain”. However, Quartz closes a few months after its launch, in April 2022. It must be said that the number of exchanges that have taken place is ridiculous: only 96 successful transactions, according to Ars Technica.
During a press interview, the CEO of Ubisoft returned to half-words on the incursion into the blockchain, which is not even mentioned in full. Responding to a question from Eurogamer, Yves Guillemot said:
“We are interested in all technologies. This is the case of the cloud, the next generations of voxels or Web3. We’ve been testing several things recently for research and informational purposes, to determine how we should use them for gaming. So we’re experimenting with a few games, and seeing if it meets the players’ needs. But I would say we are still in the research stage.”
“Our company experimented with VR very early on, we were among the first on 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 for this thanks to less competition and the appeal to the most curious players of technological innovations.”
It is hard to believe, reading these lines, that Ubisoft has embarked on the blockchain. Yet this is what transiently happened with Quartz. A predictable failure for the company’s analysts, as Virgile reported to us in his excellent survey on the use of data in video games. He quotes Yanisse (the name has been changed), former data analyst from Ubisoft:
“Based on social network data, for example, we analyzed the positions generally observed. We did a little study where we siphoned off a few things on Reddit with summaries of the positions of gamers who were talking about NFTs, it was very negative. Obviously, we weren’t going to have people throwing up their hands and saying, “yeah, give us NFTs in Ghost Recon”. In fact, it’s a study that was done a bit in a hurry because we didn’t have a lot of time to try to tell Yves Guillemot not to do that.
His colleague, Marc (whose name has also been changed), adds:
“If you know the character of Yves a little, he was thoroughly. As soon as it’s bullshit marketing that can bring in money, it’s gone. So he asks our department if we have any information on NFTs. The director then asks a team leader, who will in turn ask someone from my team, who will launch an analysis for her by collecting data from social networks and cross-referencing it with other data. He gives his analysis to the team leader who then retorts: “Oh no, we can’t say that to Yves”. There you go, end of story.”
At Ubisoft, it seems that we are no longer except for a contradiction.
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Yves Guillemot backtracks: NFTs were only launched for research purposes by Ubisoft
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