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Ubisoft adding NFTs to Ghost Recon

Beta test of publisher's blockchain initiative will let players have cosmetic items with serial numbers

Ubisoft today announced the first implementation of blockchain technology into one of its games with the addition of NFTs to the PC version of Ghost Recon Breakpoint.

Later this month, the publisher will run a beta test of Ubisoft Quartz, its new platform for acquiring NFTs -- which the publisher refers to as Digits -- that are associated with cosmetic in-game items like weapons and vehicles.

An Ubisoft representative told its NFTs "will always be cosmetic items that have no impact on gameplay," but they will unlock blueprints for the relevant item if the player hasn't done so already.

Each NFT will have its own serial number visible in the game, and can be sold to others outside of Ubisoft's platform. The representative said Ubisoft will not take transaction fees on any such sales.

Additionally, if a player is banned from the game, they will still be able to sell their NFTs, but will not be able to acquire new ones for the duration of the ban, whether they try to get them through Ubisoft Quartz or secondary sales channels.

"Ubisoft Quartz is the first building block in our ambitious vision for developing a true metaverse," said Ubisoft Strategic Innovation Lab VP Nicolas Pouard. "And it can't come to life without overcoming blockchain's early-form limitations for gaming, including scalability and energy consumption."

Ubisoft's NFTs use the Tezos proof-of-stake blockchain, with the publisher saying a transaction uses the energy of streaming 30 seconds of video compared to a year of streaming for proof-of-work blockchain technology.

Ubisoft Quartz requires that players be 18 years of age.

As for whether the publisher intended to bring this to consoles or games that feature cross-platform play with consoles, the representative said, "Ubisoft Quartz is still an experiment. Right now, we're focused on launching it for Ubisoft Connect PC players of Ghost Recon Breakpoint, and hearing their feedback."

UPDATE: The Ubisoft Quartz Terms of use specifically state that "[Ubisoft], or our designees, may take a fee based on the total value of the transaction for each transfer of a Digit that you make through any Marketplace."

When asked for clarification, an Ubisoft representative said, "Ubisoft Quartz is an experiment, it is possible that it evolves as it develops and our Terms of Use are written to reflect that. As announced, at launch and for the foreseeable future, all Digits will be free for players to claim on Ubisoft Quartz and Ubisoft will not take any fee on the secondary market."

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Brendan Sinclair avatar
Brendan Sinclair: Brendan joined in 2012. Based in Toronto, Ontario, he was previously senior news editor at GameSpot.
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