Yves Guillemot, the CEO of French gaming giant Ubisoft, has appeared to have cooled the rhetoric behind the company’s nonfungible token (NFT) gaming project Quartz, noting in a recent interview that it was merely in “research mode” concerning Web3 tech integrations.
It has been reported that it’s a relatively different take from other Ubisoft execs in the past, including chief financial officer Frédérick Duguet who in October stated that blockchain integrations will enable users to own and earn content and the firm wants to “be one of the key players here.”
However, Guillemot appears to be walking some of those comments back, emphasizing that at this stage, Ubisoft is primarily looking to discover how NFTs can be applied to games and whether they will benefit gamers or not.
“We are very much on cloud, on the new generation of voxels, and we’re looking at all the Web3 capabilities. We tested a few things recently that are giving us more information on how it can be used and what we should do in the universe of video games. So we are testing ground with some games, and we’ll see if they really answer the players’ needs. But we are still in research mode, I would say.”
The report said that Ubisoft announced its first foray into NFTs in December after launching a beta version of Ubisoft Quartz, aimed at offering gamers playable NFTs that could be utilized in games such as Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Breakpoint. The move was met with strong pushback from some members of the NFT-hating gamer community, with some accusing the firm of “milking” every cent possible out of its popular game franchises by introducing NFTs into the mix.
Nicolas Pouard, the Vice President at Ubisoft's Strategic Innovations Lab, said:
“I think gamers don’t get what a digital secondary market can bring to them. We probably were not good at saying we are researching. We should have said we were working on it, and when we have something that gives you a real benefit, we'll bring it to you.”
The Ubisoft CEO was also questioned about the environmental impacts of blockchain tech, something which is often highlighted by gamers who generally confuse energy-intensive proof-of-work (PoW) chains as the industry standard for all projects.
Thus, Guillemot noted:
“Like so many things, at the beginning it’s not as good as it could be, but like other new technologies they will find the right way.”