Remember: in late 2021, the company announced that it would create a node on the Tezos blockchain, launch its NFT store called Quartz, and add skins of weapons and equipment in the form of NFT in the game Ghost Recon: Breakpoint. A launch that is broadcast by most of the specialized media, we are also invited to the premises of Saint-Mandé to attend a long presentation of the interest of these NFTs, from which we emerge perplexed. If the promise of not damaging the environment has been kept thanks to the protocol of the proof of participationeach transaction on Tezos producing only 2.5 grams of CO2 equivalent (less than an email), is the interest for the player that still seemed clear.
Above all, Ubisoft was throwing itself into the blockchain via a two-year-old, poorly received and under-played game, as if it just wanted to take a dip to get the temperature and not invest too much money in the adventure. However, the official speech was much more ambitious than that. The press release spoke “the first step in our ambitious vision for the development of a true metaverse.”
Unsurprisingly, the reception from the public is frosty. After several communications, announced Nicolas Pouard, head of the innovation strategy laboratory at the origin of the project “I still believe I can convince the interest of NFTs” and says it “the public has yet to grasp the interest of the secondary market for the blockchain”. Quartz, however, closes a few months after its launch, in April 2022. It must be said that the number of exchanges that took place is ridiculous: only 96 successful transactions, according to Ars Technica.
In the course of a press interview, Ubisoft’s CEO returned to half-words on the foray into the blockchain, which is not even talked about in full. Responding to a question from Eurogamer, Yves Guillemot said:
“We are interested in all technologies. This is the case of the cloud, of the next generations of voxels or Web3. We recently tested several things for research and information purposes, to determine how we should use them for games. So we are experimenting with some games and see if it meets the needs of the players. But I would say that we are still in the research phase ”.
“Our company pioneered virtual reality very early on, we were among the first on Wii, we always try new things. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, but we always want to bring new experiences to the player that are innovative and interesting. Our goal is to create the best possible experience and new technologies are a very interesting vector for this thanks to less competition and the appeal to the most curious players of technological innovations. “
It’s hard to believe, reading these lines, that Ubisoft has embarked on the blockchain. Yet this is what happened transiently with Quartz. A predictable failure for the analysts of the company, as Virgile reported in his excellent survey on the use of data in video games. Cita Yanisse (name changed), ex data analyst from Ubisoft:
“On the basis of data from social networks, for example, we analyzed the positions generally observed. We did a little study where we subtracted some stuff on Reddit with player position summaries talking about NFT, it was very bad. Obviously, we wouldn’t have people throwing their hands up and saying “yeah, give us NFT in Ghost Recon”. In fact, it’s a study that was done in a bit of a rush because we didn’t have much time to try and tell Yves Guillemot not to.
His colleague, Marc (whose name has also been changed), adds:
“If you know a little about the character of Yves, he was really so. As soon as it’s shit marketing that can bring in money, it’s gone. So he asks our department if we have any information on NFTs. The director then asks a team leader, who in turn will ask someone on my team, who will initiate an analysis for her by collecting data from social networks and crossing it with other data. He does his analysis to the foreman who then replies: “Oh no, we can’t tell Yves”. There you have it, end of story.
In Ubisoft it seems that we are no longer if not for a contradiction.
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