Ubisoft calls its new Tezo-based Quartz NFT platform "experimental," assuring gamers (and investors) that the initiative will evolve and change over time.
Ubisoft's toe-dip into NFTs has seemingly further damaged an already-tenuous relationship with gamers (first there was microtransactions, then the sexual harassment scandals heated things up, now its NFTs). The publisher is trying to establish a foot-hold in an emerging market in order to fulfill its promise to "become a leader in blockchain gaming." Things aren't going so well PR-wise, and the new Quartz NFTs are seen as a money-hungry cash-grab by gamers who already feel Ubisoft over-monetizes all of its core games.
So where does Ubisoft go from here? They learn and keep trying. At least that's what Ubisoft Blockchain Technical Director Didier Genevois says.
"We have received a lot of feedback since the announcement, and we hear both the encouragement and the concerns. We understand where the sentiment towards the technology comes from, and we need to keep taking it into consideration every step of the way," Genevois told blockchain site Decrypt.
"This experiment is meant to understand how the value proposition of decentralization can be received and embraced by our players. We know it is a major change that will take time, but we will stay true to our three principles."
The Quartz NFTs aren't taking off like Ubisoft had hoped, but that was always to be expected. The idea behind Quartz is gamers would spend time to earn in-game NFTs that could then be sold separately on other markets for Tezos, a cryptocurrency backed by the blockchain with the same name. Ubisoft would ideally earn a cut from every sale.
It's kind of like eBay, only for game items.
Not a lot of people are buying Ubisoft's NFTs. The first minted digital goods were one of Ubisoft's most unpopular games, Ghost Recon Breakpoint.
So far users have sold:
- 15 Ubisoft NFTs on Rarible for a total of 268 Tezos ($1,259).
- 10 NFTs sold on Objkt for 126.49 Tezos ($591)
The reality is, long-term, NFTs aren't going anywhere--at least until the industry proves they aren't worth anything.
Play-to-earn is the latest frontier that practically every publisher will explore through 2022 and beyond simply because there's a lot of money--and interest--in the new business model. Analyst firm DappRadar recently reported that NFT trading hit a massive $22 billion in 2021 and gaming startups have raised $4 billion for prospective P2E and GameFi (Game Finance, a new term for games backed by crypto coin trades) video game projects.
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