Ubisoft says it wants to be a key player in blockchain gaming, and sees lots of potential for play-to-earn mechanics.
Ubisoft is just one of the many publishers looking into blockchain (Square Enix and EA are also doing it). The decentralized network affords unique opportunities for gaming including play-to-earn, a nebulous concept that could give out pieces of cryptocurrency in exchange for playing a game.
So how will this work exactly? Ubisoft is vague on details, but says blockchain is "very attractive for the long term" and that they're interested in creating ne digital economies. It's likely blockchain will offer a new form of monetization as we predicted back in 2018.
"As you see, this industry is changing regularly with lots of new revolutions happening. We consider blockchain one of those revolutions. It will imply more play-to-earn that will enable more players to actually earn content, own content, and we think it's going to grow the industry quite a lot," Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot said in a Q2 earnings call.
"So we have been working with lots of small companies going on blockchain, and we're starting to have a good know-how on how we can impact the industry. We want to be one of the key players there."
The truth is Ubisoft has been experimenting with blockchain for years. Ubisoft's Strategic Innovation Lab--a division that investigates tech like AI, machine learning, crypto, and blockchain--has been looking at blockchain since 2018. The team even created a game called HashCraft that doles out premium currency that can be traded for Bitcoin.
Ubisoft's Chief Financial Officer Frederick Duguet, who oversees monetization and the company's billion-dollar books, said this about blockchain:
"What to keep in mind is that we are learning how to design [blockchain] economies but also we need to learn more about the impact to the environment as well as compliance and regulation.
"We are just at the early stage of this very promising venue, but we need to of course learn more about a number of topics.
"That's why we combine organic experiences, development incubation, and partnership with leading companies and strategic investment where we can leverage our expertise while exposing us positively to the sector."
Earlier this month, Ubisoft invested $65 million into NFT and blockchain startup Animoca Brands.
Guillemot closes by saying they will team up with leaders in blockchain while also creating their own games based on the technology.
"On blockchain, we plan to do both. Invest in companies and also work organically to create games so that we can do the best games that are adapted to this audience.
"We're speaking to many companies and we're looking to see what we can do inside [blockchain]."
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