Ubisoft’s dive into the chilly, murky waters of NFTs didn’t go over properly with followers, who in a short time expressed overwhelming dislike for the thought. They are not the one ones: The French commerce union Solidaires Informatique, which represents some staff at Ubisoft Paris, criticized the choice in an announcement calling blockchain expertise “a ineffective, pricey, ecologically mortifying expertise.”
“Ubisoft has not too long ago entered the blockchain and Non-Fungible Tokens (NFT) market. A choice that has been broadly criticized by our gamers, bringing no enhancements or advantages to our video games,” the union mentioned in an announcement. “Many people within the firm really feel the identical means and say that blockchain is dangerous, nugatory, and and not using a future.”
It is not simply the technological facet of NFTs that Solidaires Informatique has an issue with: Sketchy NFT creators and video games, which have been rife with scams and rip-offs, additionally come underneath fireplace. “You want dividends, subprimes, monetary derivatives, crises, hypothesis, quick buying and selling, cash laundering, and so forth?” the union mentioned. “That is the assured and unstated promise of NFT. We’re removed from the enjoyment of videogames.”
As if that is not sufficient, Solidaires Informatique additionally identified that the implementation of NFTs as collectible cosmetics in Ubisoft video games actually is not something new: The massive innovation of the blockchain, the union mentioned, “is to do the identical, however inefficiently.”
📢 UBISOFT and NFTBlockchain is a ineffective, pricey, ecologically mortifying tech which does not deliver something to videogames. pic.twitter.com/H3LPS94Q5yDecember 14, 2021
It is vitriolic however not completely unjustified, no less than primarily based on what Ubisoft has revealed of its NFT program to this point. As Wealthy famous when it was introduced, a hat that you may put on in Murderer’s Creed, Ghost Recon: Breakpoint, Riders Republic, and For Honor may no less than be seen as leveraging the potential of NFT expertise. However we’re not getting that: We’re getting beauty objects that solely work in a single recreation, which is successfully one thing that recreation studios have been providing for years.
The union mentioned the NFT technique has been “questioned and denounced internally” at Ubisoft Paris as properly. Administration is seemingly nonetheless making an attempt to promote the plan, however the union rejected your entire premise outright, saying its members perceive the expertise and do not want explanations as a result of they’re against it as a matter of precept.
“We do not have concrete statistics, however within the inside Ubisoft discussion board, the announcement of NFTs was broadly commented on, with one thing like a 5% ratio of optimistic feedback. The remainder had been destructive,” Solidaires Informatique chapter rep Marc Rutschlé, who can also be a senior designer on Ghost Recon Breakpoint, instructed PC Gamer in an e mail right now.
“[Ubisoft CEO] Yves Guillemot made a video convention this morning to help the NFT mission. I’m not certain how many individuals attended the assembly ([Ubisoft Paris is] round 700+-plus individuals). Some buddies checked and located 4 individuals who had been completely satisfied. The remainder had been destructive feedback/questions. Devs are usually not completely satisfied.”
Regardless of the union’s sturdy stance, the chances are we’ll see extra of this form of factor sooner or later, not much less. Ubisoft is the primary main writer to include NFTs right into a recreation, however Digital Arts CEO Andrew Wilson not too long ago described them as “the future of our industry,” whereas Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick mentioned he is a “big believer” in NFTs, though not essentially as they at present exist. Peter Molyneux, Lifeless By Daylight, and Funko Pops have additionally embraced NFTs.
Avid gamers do not appear inclined to observe their lead simply but. The sturdy pushback in opposition to Ubisoft’s NFT plan was matched earlier right now by the response to GSC Recreation World’s announcement that Stalker 2 will also incorporate NFTs. And that, greater than worker discontent, could also be what in the end convinces recreation corporations to alter course. It is one factor for individuals who make video games to be sad, in any case, nevertheless it’s one thing else completely if that unhappiness spills over to the individuals who purchase them.
Satirically, Nicolas Pouard, the vp of Ubisoft’s Strategic Innovation Lab, not too long ago mentioned one thing very comparable: In a submit on VentureBeat in regards to the significance of participant buy-in, he wrote, “Blockchain is a recreation changer, however provided that used the proper means and with gamers at its core will we collectively harness the true potential of this innovation.”
Nevertheless that in the end shakes out, it seems for now that Ubisoft is absolutely dedicated to its NFT plan.
“This morning, Guillemot has reaffirmed that Ubisoft will nonetheless develop blockchain/NFT,” Rutschlé mentioned. “There are extra issues to come back. He talked about his steady will and enthusiasm for Net.3, metaverse, and self-regulated digital worlds. Simply to match, throughout the entire sexual harassment scandal, he did not make such a transfer. It is loopy.”
Solidaires Informatique filed a lawsuit in opposition to the corporate over allegations of “institutional sexual harassment” in July.