As we reported yesterday, Ubisoft is getting right into the business of NFTs, a space that is both an environmental catastrophe and an enormous pump-and-dump scam. And because that’s a shitty space to be in, people have been quick to let the company know their feelings.
The trailer for Ubisoft Quartz, “an NFT initiative which allows people to buy artificially scarce digital items using cryptocurrency”, was uploaded to the company’s YouTube page yesterday. It runs for 1:19, saying some things but also nothing at the same time:
What it didn’t show, of course, is that Ubisoft have no idea what they’re doing, and Quartz’s fine print says as much, revealing that because so much of the work is being handed off to the blockchain Ubisoft has no power to “reverse or cancel transactions”, has “no liability” for claims or damages, are aware that the blockchain “may be subject to specific weaknesses, which make them possibly targets for specific cybersecurity threats” and has “no liability in the risks implied by the use of this new technology”.
Oh hey, look at this amazing Ubisoft Quartz! Let's quickly check the terms to see how amazingly empowered they're making me and how much better than a normal store this is! pic.twitter.com/TD3to5GpeC
— Robert Anderberg (@bobbydigitales) December 7, 2021
Everything, from top to bottom, sucks about this, from the endorsement it gives to the scam to the contempt it shows Ubisoft holds for its customer base. And one place people have chosen to voice their disgust at this initiative is on YouTube.
Although YouTube made a public gesture of removing the dislike button from the platform last month, ostensibly in the name of protecting creators from harassment, another reason was also surely to protect corporations and big names from the PR stain of having a massively disliked video on their page.
And while that may be possible in the long run, at the moment users are still able to view YouTube dislikes a number of ways, from poking around the page to using a browser plugin. Doing that reveals that the Quartz announcement video has not been a hit with fans.
At time of posting the video has been viewed 148,881 times, with 1000 likes and 24,000 dislikes. That’s a 96% dislike ratio, which by my maths says people do not like what this video is about, not one bit.
Here’s a selection of some of the top user comments, just for context:
Ubisoft, once again, giving us something we didn’t ask for, don’t want and won’t enjoy.
Ubisoft are always discovering new and innovative ways to be the most hateable company in gaming.
I’ve never seen a game company so in love with greed, laziness, and complacency. For the sake of your employees, I don’t wish for Ubisoft to go out of business, but I seriously hope those behind the Ubisoft Quartz idea are held accountable for their actions.
Maybe you can even feel a tad of shame in knowing that the court of public opinion is almost wholly against you.
I saw some people saying yesterday that this wasn’t that bad, that the Ghost Recon game these NFTs are being made available in is a minor release and so isn’t going to be a concern for most folks. To which I’d counter, look at this menu screen from Assassin’s Creed Valhalla — one of the company’s biggest games — and tell me you can’t see a line pointing from Ghost Recon Breakpoint’s NFTs straight to this.