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In a recent interview, Yves Guillemot, the CEO of French gaming giant Ubisoft, stated that the company's NFT game project Quartz was just in "research mode" about Web3 technology integrations.
In October, chief financial officer Frédérick Duguet indicated that blockchain integrations will enable users to own and earn content and that the company intends to "be one of the leading players in this space."
During an interview with gamesindustry.biz on September 10, Guillemot appeared to take back some of his previous statements, emphasizing that at this moment, Ubisoft is only interested in determining how NFTs may be used in games and whether they would benefit players.
“We are highly focused on the cloud, the next generation of voxels, and the Web3 capabilities. We’ve recently tested a few things that are providing us with additional knowledge about how it can be utilized and what we can do in the realm of video games,” he stated, adding that:
We are still in the research phase, but we are now evaluating a few games to determine if they meet the demands of the gamers.
Ubisoft launched its first venture into NFTs in December with the release of a beta version of Ubisoft Quartz, which sought to provide gamers with playable NFTs that could be deployed in games like Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Breakpoint.
Some members of the NFT-hating gaming community reacted negatively to the decision, accusing the company of “milking” as much money as possible from its successful game brands by introducing NFTs.
In January, Nicolas Pouard, vice president of Ubisoft’s Strategic Innovations Lab, defended the company’s NFT initiatives, adding, “I don’t believe players understand what a digital secondary market might provide them.”
Guillemot reflects on Ubisoft’s NFT deployment and concludes that the corporation failed to articulate its project approach successfully.
“We were probably not excellent at announcing we were conducting research,” he said, adding, “we should have stated we were working on it, and when we have anything that provides a meaningful value, we’ll bring it to your attention.”
The CEO of Ubisoft was also questioned on the environmental impacts of blockchain technology, an issue frequently raised by gamers who mistake energy-intensive Proof-of-Work (PoW) networks for the industry norm for all projects.
Although Guillemot is “extremely concerned” about the environmental implications of the industry, he is confident that these difficulties will be resolved over time.
“As with so many things, at first it’s not as good as it might be, but as with other new technology, they’ll figure it out.”