In News No One Asked For, Ubisoft Is Adding Cosmetic NFTs To Ghost Recon: Breakpoint

In News No One Asked For, Ubisoft Is Adding Cosmetic NFTs To Ghost Recon: Breakpoint
Not that impressive, I can remember names too. Screenshot: Ubisoft / YouTube.

What’s better than buying a helmet via micro-transactions in a video game? Obviously, buying a unique video game helmet NFT, its rareness dictated by the tiny little number on the helmet itself.

Everybody’s favourite, unproblematic video game publisher Ubisoft have announced the Ubisoft Quartz Beta, an initiative described by the company as “playable and energy-efficient Ubisoft NFTs”. According to an announcement trailer from Ubisoft, the NFTs exist as “Digits” and are playable in-game, unique, and “will allow you to complete your missions in style!”. The beta will begin in Ubisoft‘s 2019 release Ghost Recon: Breakpointand will allow for the buying and selling of cosmetic NFTs that “remember their owner’s names” and “have a serial number on them”.

The attitude towards micro-transactions in video games has historically been mixed, with games involving gratuitous micro-transactions being scorned by the gaming community yet said games making a lot of their profits from said micro-transactions. They usually exist in the form of loot boxes, which is essentially gamer gambling (in my opinion) that sees some players pouring eye-watering amounts into the possibility of a “good item”.

Micro-transactions are a lot more common now, and one could say that people looked at them with the same eye of disgust that they look at NFTs with. One could say that many still look at them this way, because they are both scummy stains on the video game world. One could say this. With NFTs in video games, the value comes from the uniqueness of the product. The owners of the in-game NFTs can resell them for a value of their choice, potentially making a profit which is really what video games are all about.

Ubisoft made its interest in the blockchain and NFTs clear months ago. Now we see that interest beginning to manifest itself.

In a recent piece for Bloomberg, Jason Schreier makes multiple great points when it comes to the blockchain in gaming, saying,

“In gaming right now, blockchain is confusing and short-sighted. And that’s even before you consider the potentially devastating environmental impact or the costs of each transaction. Perhaps gaming executives are just telling investors what they want to hear. But unlike most of the other gaming fads we’ve seen come and go, this one could really hurt people.”

Notable members of the gaming community also had strong thoughts surrounding the announcement.

From my view, what does the addition of NFTs do to gaming other than turn video games into a financial endeavour for the player rather than an entertaining gaming experience? Does everything have to be a monetary investment? I do believe that as long as there’s a way for the blockchain and NFTs to function without having a vastly negative effect on the planet, there’s no issue and it’s actually quite revolutionary. This all depends on whether this is a system being used by adults who understand what they’re getting into and, well, it all feels a bit… murky at the moment.

Comments

  • I wonder how many orders of magnitude of hate they would of received if they announced this today for Rainbow Six Seige… cause the thing to remember the is a “beta” for Quartz, even if it tanks 5he last remaining players in Breakpoint, they will just modify and full roll-out to R6S, maybe Far Cry 6.

    Like why givve players weekly xhallenges for unique loot, just pump you fully paying customers for Crypto (its not real money unless you buy and sell it on Ubisoft market store for a 30% commission and mint frees)

  • This is cringe.

    This does not improve the game, it does not add anything to the game. It exists purely as a speculative investment designed to line the pockets of Ubisoft.

    NFTs are and always will be cringe.

      • The unnerving escalation that multiplies FOMO, Scarcity, under the illusion there is a real money value that’s held up by falsehoods. That more development resources assigned to managing crypto code and NFT assets will not return significant value to cover costs without them cutting features fro games to maintain the delusion.

        CSGO in its peak resulted in account hacking, theft, fraud, gambling, under-age gambling… the knock on effect was that most microtransactions removed real money trading. The last being Diablo III auction house, that a closed system with full account management protects customers and the business.

        Just look at recent dramas with EA Ultimate Teams in relation to crimes and this is the NFT future.

      • Microtransactions aren’t a speculative investment.
        Microtransactions don’t incentivise Money Laundering.
        Microtransactions arent a bubble that is gonna pop
        The company that made the microtransaction can enforce its ownership of it, You cannot enforce your ownership of an NFT.

  • Square Enix sold a million NFTs (ie. a million of literally nothing) so there’s no way on earth these vampires wouldn’t be getting in on it.

    Meanwhile, they refuse to meet their workers’ demand to stop promoting and transferring rapists.

  • You’re living in a fantasy world if you don’t think all in-game mtx will be on L1 blockchains within the next year.

      • Hard to do, when Ubisoft is beta testing this on a game that has such a small player base.

        Still given the flak they took for Ghost Recon Battleroyale that they quietly mothballed it… being loud may work.

  • Looking over the web site, I notice a few things:

    1. It seems unlikely the game will be consulting the blockchain directly for ownership. It’s likely that a central database run by Ubisoft is the primary source of truth as far as the game is concerned, and players trust that that database will be updated when transactions occur on the blockchain.

    2. While you can acquire new items from Ubisoft (presumably for real money too at some point), Ubisoft has outsourced the sale/trade of items to third parties. That also means those third party markets are taking on most of the fraud and money laundering risks.

    3. That doesn’t mean they’re giving up on the revenue from trading: it says they’ll collect a commission on trades of at least some items. There doesn’t seem to be much reason to do this if they don’t end up charging a commission on most items though.

    So it basically seems like an attempt to implement Steam’s Inventory service with a “cash out” facility, without dealing with the fraud risks and liability of supporting cash out. It’s not clear how successful it’ll be in avoiding liability though…

  • Meanwhile Australian Federal Police says Australian citizens have lost over $100 million dollars in crypto currency fraud, scams and theft this year.

    So totally safe ?!?!?!

  • Ugh! Ubisoft. All those mediocre titles they’ve developed in recent years, that people seem to enjoy… FarCry, Assassin’s Creed, WatchDogs.

    Games for the boring ones.

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