Ubisoft: Gamers "don't get" what NFTs could do for them

VP Nicolas Pouard says the company expected a negative reaction, will continue pursuing NFT plans

Ubisoft's NFT push has drawn backlash from gamers because they don't understand what it could do for them, Ubisoft Strategic Innovations Lab VP Nicolas Pouard told Finder.

"I think gamers don't get what a digital secondary market can bring to them," Pouard said.

"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 also addressed the backlash to last month's initial rollout of Ubisoft's Quartz and Digits NFT offering into Ghost Recon: Breakpoint.

"Well, it was a reaction we were expecting," Pouard said. "We know it's not an easy concept to grasp. But Quartz is really just a first step that should lead to something bigger. Something that will be more easily understood by our players.

"That's the way we think about it and why we will keep experimenting. We will keep releasing features and services around this first initiative. And our belief is that, piece by piece, the puzzle will be revealed and understood by our players. We hope they will better understand the value we offer them."

It's not just customers who are unsure what Ubisoft is doing with NFTs. A report of messages on Ubisoft's internal social media hub last month showed the company's own employees found the NFT push "confusing" and "upsetting."

One employee said they "still don't really understand the 'problem' being solved here," asking, "is it really worth the (extremely) negative publicity this will cause?"

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Latest comments (5)

Matt Small Creative Director, Vector Unit Inc.3 months ago
Seems to me the audience understands perfectly well. Being able to resell IAPs is precisely "just a tool for speculation". It's just not that compelling to anyone besides publishers.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Matt Small on 28th January 2022 4:47pm

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Azlin Kassim Old Time Gamer, Bio Quality and Audit3 months ago
Genuine question. What happens if the rights of the NFT purchased by gamers gets transferred? Example Ubisoft gets bought or loses the rights for a game such as Assassin's Creed, then the players may inevitably lose the rights to the NFT as well if they have an NFT of Altair doing a leap of faith?
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Roland Austinat roland austinat media productions|consulting, IDG, Computec, Spiegel Online3 months ago
@Matt Small: Especially as "The representative said Ubisoft will not take transaction fees on any such sales." will most certainly NOT be the publishers' endgame.
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Show all comments (5)
The audience is pretty confused about this technology that got into the wrong spotlight. Some see it as a meta-game, some see it as a way to speculate, some think it's bad for such or such reason without exactly knowing which or why.

Game publishers know exactly how to exploit this and make a profit, at the expense of global energetic and storage resources, and at the expense of game experience. It's baffling to see how so many customers are still asking for it (allegedly), and it would be great time they were educated on the topic.
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Eyal Teler Programmer 3 months ago
Considering that games where players were able to sell stuff to one another existed for decades before NFTs were invented, Ubisoft's claim sounds rather disingenuous. Had Ubisoft really wanted to allow players to get money back, it could certainly offer that option without any problem. Obviously what Ubisoft wants is to fleece users for more money.
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