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Published: December 22, 2021

Written by: David Kent

  • Ubisoft’s NFT strategy faces great challenges from the start amid mounting public criticism
  • The company is determined to hold its ground and argues that NFT adoption will take its time
  • Ubisoft is not interested in the “money-grabbing” move ascribed to its decision to launch NFTs, but rather seeks to establish a sustainable ecosystem

Since Ubisoft’s Ghost Reckon Breakpoint Quartz NFTs launched in early December, only 15 have been sold, begging the question if the company got anything wrong.

Ubisoft Faces Tepid Adoption of NFTs

Ubisoft is one of the developers to jump on the non-fungible token (NFT) trend and try to bring it to its own franchises. However, the company’s first forays in this space have proven a bit of a misfire, citing the latest data from the Ghost Reckon Breakpoint virtual item sales which have not made much of an impression on gamers.

Since they launched in early December, only 15 NFTs have sold, marking a rather slow response from the community. The lack of action has brought on a lot of bad-mouthing dubbing the move a poor decision on the part of Ubisoft.

Ubisoft is aware that its NFT strategy may have fallen a little short of the mark. Part of the failure to see mass adoption may be rooted precisely because Ubisoft is not a trend-follower, but rather a trend-setter.

The Ubisoft Quartz NFT platform was debuted with the idea to serve as an exchange medium in which people can acquire various digital goods, such as weaponry, vehicles, and other cosmetics, known as Digits. Yet, criticism has been piling on. A total of 2256 NFTs have been minted, said Liz Edwards, an Apex Legends developer who has been following the NFT launch.

Minted on the Tezos blockchain, the value of most NFTs is all over the place. Some are put up for as low as $380 while others want to sell for as high as $40,000. Yet, with modest sales, Ubisoft may have to acknowledge that things didn’t go according to plan.

Mistakes Were Made

There are several reasons why the NFTs may have failed to make an impression on the community. First, Ubisoft faced a lot of criticism from the start. Bias had settled in before Ubisoft could discuss the project with the public much.

Players called the decision a sensationalist move and attempt to extract more money riding the latest fad. Yet, Ubisoft decided to push forward – unlike the guys over at GSC who are behind the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 game and decided to scrap their NFT plans altogether.

Ubisoft, though, believes that NFTs will be a long-lasting part of the game. Effectively, NFTs are deeds of ownership which add to the uniqueness and individualism of the gaming experience (which we now get through the purchase of individual cosmetics in video games, for example).

High Prices, Lack of Accessibility, Environmental Impact

However, NFTs are taking it up a notch further. Sure, the somewhat gross sale prices of these NFTs are reasoned enough for anger among community members, but they are not all. Another reason for the possible lack of success is the fact that Ghost Reckon Breakpoint isn’t the studio’s busiest game.

But perhaps most crucial of all, Ubisoft made it so that while NFTs can be resold through partner websites, to name Rarible and Objkt, but there is a rub. Only people who play Ghost Reckon Breakpoint are able to buy the goods.

Not least, the introduction of the Quartz NFT prompted criticism from a French trade union that argued that NFTs add unnecessary weight to the environment because of their non-eco-friendly nature. The union stated: “blockchain is a useless, costly, ecologically mortifying tech which doesn’t bring anything to video games.”

Clearly, this argument is over the top and erroneous at its core stemming from a lack of understanding and equating blockchain to cryptocurrencies that use a Proof of Work concept. Regardless, Ubisoft has faced difficulties in its NFTs rollout.

Speaking to Decrypt, the company argued that it would seek to remedy the situation but argued that ultimately – the adoption of NFTs will take time and it’s not something that is supposed to be an overnight success.

In many ways, Ubisoft has refuted the claims that it’s looking for a quick money grab by following into the latest fad.

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