Ubisoft Quartz introduces 'energy-efficient NFTs' this week

An inevitability is coming to pass, as Ubisoft becomes one of the first AAA publishers to jump into the NFT waters.


The infusion of NFTs into video games has felt like an inevitability a long time. It was just a matter of which gaming publisher was going to be the first to go that extra mile and start injecting non-fungible tokens into mainstream games. If you guessed the next publisher to make headlines in this realm would be Ubisoft, collect your prize. On Tuesday, the publisher announced the launch of Ubisoft Quartz, which will deal with "energy-efficient NFTs," starting with Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Breakpoint.

Some might be wondering, "Wait, how can NFTs be energy-efficient?" That's a very good question to be asking. Let's see what the Ubisoft Quartz website has to say on the matter.

Digits are the first Ubisoft NFTs, playable in a HD game and stored on the Proof-of-Stake (PoS) blockchain Tezos. Compared to the Proof-of-Work protocol used with Bitcoin, the PoS protocol offers a more advanced and environmentally sustainable alternative. PoS blockchains work on a consensus mechanism that does not rely on complex computational efforts to validate transactions and therefore does not incentivize extreme amounts of energy consumption. For illustration purpose, one transaction on the Tezos blockchain consumes as much as streaming a video for 30 seconds.

That seems slightly vague, so let's dive in further by looking at the Ubisoft Quartz FAQ:

At Ubisoft we have been exploring blockchain technology for a number of years and the environmental impact of its early form has been one of the first limitations we identified. This observation led us to explore more advanced, energy-efficient alternatives, based on the Proof-of-Stake protocol, notably the one developed by Tezos, which powers the blockchain that Ubisoft Quartz relies on. Contrary to other blockchains such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, which are based on Proof-of-Work protocol, Tezos needs significantly less energy to operate. As an example, one transaction on Tezos consumes as much energy as 30 seconds of video streaming while a transaction on Bitcoin consumes the equivalent of one year of video streaming.

Whether the Tezos blockchain proves to be environmentally friendly over the long run remains to be seen, but Ubisoft appears fairly confident that it will. Because of that confidence, it looks like the publisher is ready to jump into offering NFTs for AAA games. The first of these games is Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Breakpoint, which is a game that could probably use a boost anyway. Breakpoint NFTs will be offered as part of the Ubisoft Quartz beta, which will launch this Thursday, December 9.

This appears to be just the beginning for Ubisoft and its NFT aspirations. We'll be watching Ubisoft Quartz, as well as its impact on any future Ubisoft releases, in the months ahead. Keep it on Shacknews for the latest updates.

Senior Editor

Ozzie has been playing video games since picking up his first NES controller at age 5. He has been into games ever since, only briefly stepping away during his college years. But he was pulled back in after spending years in QA circles for both THQ and Activision, mostly spending time helping to push forward the Guitar Hero series at its peak. Ozzie has become a big fan of platformers, puzzle games, shooters, and RPGs, just to name a few genres, but he’s also a huge sucker for anything with a good, compelling narrative behind it. Because what are video games if you can't enjoy a good story with a fresh Cherry Coke?

From The Chatty
  • reply
    December 7, 2021 10:35 AM

    Ozzie Mejia posted a new article, Ubisoft Quartz introduces 'energy-efficient NFTs' this week

    • reply
      December 7, 2021 10:39 AM

      Digits are the first Ubisoft NFTs, playable in a HD game and stored on the Proof-of-Stake (PoS) blockchain

      Oh it’s definitely a PoS

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      December 7, 2021 1:56 PM

      So this is like TF2 hats, except the hats will now have serial numbers on them to make them "unique"

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        December 7, 2021 1:59 PM

        Putting serial numbers on something digital. Something never before done and totally impossible!!! 1111

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          December 7, 2021 2:14 PM

          The blockchain this is on, Tezos, this is owned entirely by Ubisoft, right? Do all these NFTs cease to exist when Ubisoft undergoes a significant change that would impact their running of Tezos, such as closure or an acquisition by or merging with another company involving significant restructuring?

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            December 7, 2021 2:55 PM

            Ignoring this. Think of the money a bunch of Ubisoft people just made on essentially insider trading.

            Step 1 Create your own coin
            Step 2 Announce it as part of your gaming service

            Step 3 sell it

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              December 7, 2021 3:01 PM

              given some of the regulatory scrutiny aimed at loot boxes it's a little surprising companies are interested in taking on this risk right now of adding an even more explicit element of gambling and cash transfers between players. Wizards of the Coast has carefully avoided ever referencing the price of Magic cards on the secondary market for fear of stoking concerns that this sort of model is gambling for children.

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        December 7, 2021 2:43 PM

        for videogames NFTs do basically nothing that microtransaction cosmetics don't already do unless the publisher intends to somehow allow the NFT to transfer to other publisher/developer ecosystems. And even if you wanted to enable that there's no reason you couldn't have some mechanism to link for instance your Ubi and EA accounts to share content (which is more likely the solution Ubi and EA would want than an NFT since it would likely enable more data sharing/harvesting of user data between the two companies).

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          December 8, 2021 1:10 AM

          There are a few benefits.

          1) Authenticity. It might be hard to authenticate a digital item now if I was to sell it on a 3rd party system. If I want to buy an NFT in a game from someone, I can verify the contract. This can’t really be done through a lot of traditional digital sales areas. This eliminates all outside digital sales of the item.

          2) If the NFT is allowed to leave the Ubisoft chain, a few things can happen. Ubisoft could receive a transaction fee everytime the NFT is traded. If it’s ETH backed or another chain that supports staking, you could make money off it.

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      December 7, 2021 2:39 PM

      god I hope this crashes and burns hard. didn't we kind of already go through this with the Real Money Auction House in Diablo 3? (or was it 2?)

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