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Ubisoft defends NFTs, says players "don't understand them"

Ubisoft has defended its NFT push despite pushback from fans over its NFT venture Digits and marketplace Quartz launched last year.
Ubisoft defends NFTs, says players "don't understand them"

The concept of "Non-Fungible Token" or NFTs is a reasonably new yet confusing concept for the uninitiated. And while a few gaming studios and publishers are hopping on the crypto bandwagon, many players are not interested in this latest business opportunity, nor do they want NFTs anywhere near gaming.

Last December, French publisher Ubisoft remarked over the criticism received after launching its NFT venture, Digits and Quartz. Ubisoft defended their decision, stating that NFTs will be "beneficial" to their players but said, "they don’t get it.” 

Ubisoft is "accustomed" to negative criticism over NFTs

In an interview with Finder, Ubisoft's VP of Strategic Innovations Lab, Nicolas Pouard, discussed the poorly-received launch of Quartz in defence of the publisher's foray into the market.

Accordingly, Pouard said, "I can understand why gamers are wary. But I personally do not share the anger. In fact, I was excited by the launch of Quartz and Digits, albeit with an asterisk."

ubisoft nfts quartz digits launch outline plan criticism interview
In a recent interview, Ubisoft defended its stance on its NFT venture, stating that players "don't get it". (Picture: Ubisoft)

While Ubisoft expected the reaction from the gaming community to be generally "negative" in response to their NFT venture, they stated it's a response they've been "accustomed to".

Despite the negativity towards the venture, the publisher fought back, saying that they'll continue to experiment with the concept of NFTs until it's "easily understood" by the players.

"We so strongly believe that what we are doing [with Quartz and Digits] 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," Pouard commented.

ubisoft nfts quartz digits launch ghost recon breakpoint
The French publisher launched NFTs for its shooter game, Ghost Recon Breakpoint, in December 2021. (Picture: Ubisoft)

The publisher announced their NFT endeavour, Digits and its management marketplace, Quartz, in December 2021, much to the shock of players globally. However, the video promoting the NFT was widely disliked, that Ubisoft delisted the video on its YouTube channel.

What made the situation worse was the publisher receiving criticisms from its employees over concerns about its latest business direction. Messages from the publisher's internal messaging hub, which Kotaku obtained, saw many raising concerns over Ubisoft's cryptocurrency venture.

One employee wrote, "How can you look at private property, speculation, artificial scarcity, and egoism, then say 'yes this is good, I want that, let's put it in art?'" Another employee revealed that the announcement was instead "upsetting" to hear.

Ubisoft isn't the only studio to publicly discuss integrating NFTs in gaming, including Take-Two Interactive and Square Enix.

Other prominent gaming figures, including Hazelight Studios founder Josef Fares and Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer, have voiced concern over the "exploitive" use of NFTs in gaming.


Featured image courtesy of Ubisoft.