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Ubisoft dials back on NFT push, claiming it's in 'research mode'

In a recent interview, Yves Guillemot admitted Ubisoft should have handled its messaging on NFT research better.

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Many will remember how late in 2021 and into early 2022, when the conversations around NFTs, play-to-earn, and Web3 in video games were hot, Ubisoft seemingly went all in on seeking to integrate NFTs into its ecosystem. It even launched a beta NFT project in the form of Ubisoft Quartz. However, Ubisoft has been quiet about NFTs or updates on Quartz for a while now and there’s a reason for that. Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot shared in an interview that he doesn’t think the company handled its messaging on NFT projects well and that the company is still in ‘research mode.

Guillemot shared his thoughts on NFTs and Ubisoft’s progress with them in a recent interview with GamesIndustry.biz. In said interview, Guillemot spoke to the craze of NFTs and Ubisoft’s initial push into the market, as well as its current mood on the subject.

“We really look at all the new technologies. We are very much on cloud, on the new generation of voxels, and we're looking at all the Web3 capabilities. We tested a few things recently that are giving us more information on how it can be used and what we should do in the universe of video games… but we are still in research mode, I would say.”

Ubisoft Quartz ad featuring in-game NFT gear for Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Breakpoint.
Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Breakpoint was a test bed for the beta launch of Ubisoft Quartz, which integrated NFT gear into the game.
Source: Ubisoft

While Guillemot claims the company is still in research mode, Ubisoft’s efforts earlier this year seemed very foot forward. The publisher launched the beta for its Ubisoft Quartz NFT program, and when fans cried foul, one of Ubisoft’s executives even claimed that critics don’t understand why NFTs are good for gaming. During the interview, Guillemot claimed all of it could have been handled better.

“We probably were not good at saying we are researching,” Guillemot shared. "We should have said we were working on it, and when we have something that gives you a real benefit, we'll bring it to you.”

With that in mind, while Ubisoft has cooled its jets on NFTs and Web3, it’s hardly done with the technology.

“As a company, we went into VR early, into the Wii early – we always try new things,” Guillemot continued. “Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't work, but it's always to make sure we can bring a new experience to players that will be innovative and interesting.”

Whether NFTs will eventually work out for Ubisoft remains to be seen. However, it seems Ubisoft is still set on continuing to research the possibilities of Web3 for the foreseeable future.

Senior News Editor

TJ Denzer is a player and writer with a passion for games that has dominated a lifetime. He found his way to the Shacknews roster in late 2019 and has worked his way to Senior News Editor since. Between news coverage, he also aides notably in livestream projects like the indie game-focused Indie-licious, the Shacknews Stimulus Games, and the Shacknews Dump. You can reach him at tj.denzer@shacknews.com and also find him on Twitter @JohnnyChugs.

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