Ubisoft has announced a new platform, Ubisoft Quartz, where it will offer players non-fungible tokens (NFTs) called Digits. These will be available as in-game items for Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Breakpoint such as vehicles, weapons and other cosmetics.
Each Digit will be unique and keep track of who has owned it. They will be released "as part of limited Editions, each composed of a fixed number of cosmetic items." Players will be able to resell their Digits, the first three "drops" of which will be free to acquire on Dec. 9, Dec. 12, and Dec. 15. Any 18-year-old playing Breakpoint on Ubisoft Connect for Windows that has reached level five in-game will be able to receive them, and more drops are coming in early 2022.
Digits will not provide gameplay benefits, functioning solely as cosmetics.
NFTs are digital items tied to the blockchain, where their official ownership information is securely stored. Those ties to the blockchain make NFTs an environmentally dicey prospect, as the computing required to keep the wheels of the blockchain turning amounts to more energy usage than that used by some entire countries.
Ubisoft says Quartz will be powered by Tezos, which is a proof-of-stake blockchain, as opposed to the proof-of-work framework used by the likes of Bitcoin or Ethereum.
"One transaction on [Tezos'] network uses the same amount of energy as streaming 30 seconds of video, while the previous generation of blockchain networks can consume the same energy required for one year of non-stop streaming," said Ubisoft blockchain technical director Didier Genevois in a news release. "This low carbon footprint means that both our developers and our players can prioritize innovation without compromising sustainability."
This is Ubisoft's latest step into blockchain technology after signaling its interest during a recent earnings call, and investing in the blockchain gaming company Animoca Brands earlier this year. The company says Digits are part of "Ubisoft's four-year exploration of blockchain technology," which likely means more coming down the pike.