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Ubisoft Boss Says Gamers 'Don't Get' NFTs

Ubisoft NFTs are here to stay, says one executive.
Ubisoft NFTs are here to stay, says one executive. / Photo courtesy of Ubisoft

When Ubisoft announced its own NFT platform, Quartz, online reaction was overwhelmingly negative. Now, a Ubisoft executive has said that reaction was caused in large part by ignorance about what they say gamers will gain from NFTs.

Quartz will host resellable in-game items for Ubisoft's biggest titles, each with its own unique code, using blockchain technology that Ubisoft says will use "a million times less energy than a bitcoin transaction." Despite that assurance, fans attacked the effort as building out a useless fad fueled by speculation.

Now, the Australian financial site Finder has interviewed the pair of executives behind Ubisoft's NFT push. One of those executives, VP of Ubisoft's Strategic Innovations Lab Nicolas Pouard, described the initial reaction as the result of gamers simply not understanding NFTs.

"I think gamers don't get what a digital secondary market can bring them," said Pouard. "For now, because of the current situation and context of NFTs, gamers really 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 giving players the opportunity to resell their items once they're finished with them or they're finished playing the game itself."

Pouard described Quartz as "not an easy concept to grasp," and said requiring players to own the game in question and have played it for at least two hours would cut down on speculation.

Pouard did not address how blockchain integration was necessary to the reselling of digital goods, which has taken place in countless MMOs over the past few decades. But he did say Ubisoft was digging in its heels.

"We so strongly believe that what we are doing goes in the right direction. So we will keep integrating. Obviously listening to what our fans are telling us, and how they're telling us, as we go, so we can also adapt what we're doing and where we're going. So that's the next move. To make sure what we're doing will make even more sense to gamers."

Other Ubisoft employees have criticized the company's move into NFTs, as has a French trade union representing the staff at Ubisoft Paris.