Ubisoft have announced they aim to be a major player in NFTs, developing blockchain, and “play-to-earn” concepts in video games.
For those unfamiliar, NFTs are “non-fungible tokens.” Fungible means something that can be exchanged for something that is equivalent to it. NFTs (as the BBC explains) allow digital works to be one-of-a-kind, creating a form of digital certificate (the token) to verify it as such. While the data itself can be copied and shared, the token cannot.
This has fueled the value of NFTs with high value sales of the Nyan Cat GIF ($500,000 USD), Grimes’ digital artwork ($6 million USD), and Beeple’s record breaking digital art ($69 million USD). Even Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey’s first ever tweet. Other celebrities have also begun selling NFT images and more; despite criticism of environmental damage, and being accused outright of being a scam.
The International Business Times reports Ubisoft have invested into blockchain gaming company Animoca Brands, along with announcing they will integrate blockchain technology into its video games in the future. The exact nature of how this technology would be used was not specified.
The aforementioned “play-to-earn” is a concept that will involve developers giving cryptocurrency for those who play the game. On our own speculation, this currency could be earned via achievements, and then be spent on digital goods either in-game or more generalized items direct from Ubisoft.
Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot stated in a recent earnings call that blockchain is “very attractive for the long term,” and that Ubisoft wanted to create digital economies.
“As you see, this industry is changing regularly with lots of new revolutions happening. We consider blockchain one of those revolutions. It will imply more play-to-earn that will enable more players to actually earn content, own content, and we think it’s going to grow the industry quite a lot.”
“So we have been working with lots of small companies going on the blockchain,” Guillemot continued, “and we’re starting to have a good know-how on how we can impact the industry. We want to be one of the key players there.” Ubisoft Chief Financial Officer Frederick Duguet echoed statements by Guillemot.
Sega announced they plan to sell NFT digital content via blockchain technology. While Steam announced they would ban blockchain and NFT games from their platform, Epic Games welcomed them. Nonetheless, a group of NFT developers have openly requested for Steam to let them on their platform.