They were two worlds condemned to understand each other. The latest creation of blockchain technology , NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens, unique digital objects with a certificate of authenticity) and the world of video games were two tectonic plates that were going to collide sooner or later. With the announcement this afternoon by the French developer Ubisoft (responsible for hits like Far Cry or Assassin’s Creed ) to market their own NFTs in their video games, these two digital universes make their marriage official.
Although until now there has been some approach from the independent scene or from small studios ( Alien Worlds , CryptoBlades Game or Axie Infinity ), with this announcement Ubisoft becomes the first large-scale developer (to understand us, creator of large digital blockbusters, known as AAA games) that bets on blockchain technology and NFTs. To the platform where players will get their NFTs (which Ubisoft calls digits ) and where they will upload their creations, the French company, which has been researching how to use this technology for four years, has dubbed it Quartz.
“Ubisoft Quartz is the first pillar of our ambitious vision to develop a true metaverse,” in the words of Nicolas Pouard, vice president of the company’s innovation lab. The reference to the metaverse is not something accidental, and reflects, a month after the announcement of the president of Facebook, Marck Zuckerberg , that taking positions in the future virtual ecosystem will be a priority for many digital companies.
In the case of this Ubisoft announcement, it focuses on the multiplayer game Ghost Recon (first-person shooter), and it is about vehicles, weapons and pieces of equipment that function as collectibles and that from today will begin to reach the market. If consumable objects of this type (vehicles or weapons, for example) are already common in the paid or freemium game model(games with free base and option to pay for improvements), so what is the difference that these NFTs make? Well, since they are unique items, the player can not only buy them, but can also sell or exchange them with other players, thus creating in practice a market for unique items in which players can trade (and invest). In the coming months, the French company plans to launch other games and applications based on NFTs, such as the One Shot League football collection cards , in effect, the digital version of a lifelong sticker album.
According to the company, one of its great fears ( one of the great fears of the entire universe related to NFTs ) is the speculation associated with this parallel market. To avoid this, and in conversation via Zoom, company officials say that they will apply a series of barriers to ensure that the buyers and users of the digits are “players, and not mere investors.” Among these measures, in addition to being of legal age, will be the obligation to reach a certain level in the game. Ubisoft’s blockchain technology will be based on the Tezos cryptocurrency and the company ensures that its objective is to use only low-energy technologies (the massive consumption of energy is one of the big problems that the cryptocurrency market has around the world).
Another of the great companies in the world of video games, EA (responsible for successes such as FIFA or Star Wars: Battlefront ) announced last month to its investors, although without specifying a specific action, that NFTs are an inescapable part of the future of leisure digital, so with total security during the next year there will be announcements similar to the one Ubisoft does now. It is the beginning of a path that is taking its first steps and that presents as many opportunities as challenges but that, surely, many companies will end up traveling sooner rather than later.