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Ubisoft is on the NFT sauce again: A new partnership with Web3 platform Immutable aims to create 'a fresh new experience that players will love'

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A year ago it looked like Ubisoft's ardor for NFTs was cooling, but now it seems that the heat is back on. The Assassin's Creed publisher has entered into a new partnership with blockchain gaming platform Immutable "to create a new gaming experience that will further unlock the potential of Web3."

Ubisoft's history with NFTs has not been an especially good one. Bullish rhetoric and half-assed efforts like numbered helmets in Ghost Recon: Breakpoint didn't impress anyone, Ubisoft employees included, and in September 2022 the company seemed to change tack, saying (not entirely convincingly) that it was really all just for research, and that "when we have something that gives you a real benefit, we'll bring it to you."

It didn't take Ubisoft long to find the "benefits" it was looking for. In May of this year, Ubi teamed up with a company called Integrated Reality Labs to create a series of Assassin's Creed-themed "Smart Collectibles," which are essentially little figurines encased in plastic with companion NFTs. And now it's taking aim again at full-on games in this deal with Immutable.
"As the platform of choice for many leaders within the Web3 community, Immutable offers both cutting-edge technology and a unique expertise in seamlessly integrating decentralized technologies into games," Ubisoft’s Strategic Innovation Lab vice president and Blockchain Initiative head Nicolas Pouard said. "We’re excited to partner with them and look forward to bringing that level of fluidness within a full-fledged game, so players only have to focus on the fun of the experience."

Immutable's current game lineup includes Metalcore, an open-world mech shooter; Shardbound, a multiplayer "collectible tactics game"; Infinite Victory, an arcade-style basketball game; and Guild of Guardians, the nature of which isn't really clear. All of them have a focus on NFT ownership: Metalcore, for instance, is "built around NFTs and [is] on the blockchain so that players can evolve with the technology and become not just players but owners and investors in the game and its in-game assets."
There's no indication as to what sort of game Ubisoft has in mind with the Immutable partnership, but that idea of 'owning' elements of the game is clearly central to the concept.

"We couldn’t be more excited to explore with Ubisoft the benefits of Web3 and digital ownership for players," Immutable co-founder and CEO James Ferguson said. "We plan to bring the full weight of our ecosystem to bear to ensure the partnership’s success. We are confident that we will bring to life a fresh new experience that players will love."

Maybe the most interesting thing about the Immutable deal at this point is what it might mean for Quartz, Ubisoft's own NFT initiative. Quartz didn't go over particularly well when it was announced, and Pouard didn't smooth those waters when he said in January 2022 that the problem isn't NFTs, but that gamers don't understand them. Things have been quiet on the Quartz front since Ubisoft pulled the plug on the Ghost Recon: Breakpoint NFTs in April 2022, and given the previous deal with Integrated Reality Labs, it looks like Ubisoft may be leaning toward external partnerships with established NFT platforms rather than building its own.
In a statement provided to PC Gamer, Ubisoft said the Quartz program remains active as "underlying infrastructure."

"Ubisoft Quartz is a platform launched by our Strategic Innovation Lab for players to acquire Digits, free digital collectibles that are playable in Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Breakpoint," a Ubisoft representative said. "The last Digit for Ghost Recon Breakpoint was released on March 17, 2022. We learned a lot from this experiment, from both a technical perspective as well as from community feedback.

"Ubisoft Quartz remains an underlying infrastructure for us and we're continuing to work with partners in the industry to offer the best possible experiences to players interested in these features."
Most major game companies have eased off their initial enthusiasm for NFTs, leaving Ubisoft the only major players that's still really leaning into them. I'm not sure why, but it makes me think that maybe the internet's bullying wasn't quite as effective as we thought. It's possible that a good game (or at least an interesting one) could emerge from this partnership—but maybe what's really needed are a few more online swirlies and wedgies to really get the message across.
 

Skifi28

Gold Member
There's being late to the party and then there's arriving in style after everyone else has already died from old age.
 

Zannegan

Gold Member
The worst part is, NFTs had the potential to do a lot of interesting things for gaming, IMO, but these big publishers were so worried about monetizing them out of the gate that they smothered their potential in infancy.

"Oh, limited quantity microtransactions? Say no more. We'll make some hideous skins, number them, and sell them as if they were any other digital content." Morons. All they had to do was let players make and sell original content and take a little slice off of each sale, then sit back and reap for the next decade. Not a huge influx all at once, but the potential for steady income.

Watch Nintendo make a killing off of NFTs by integrating them into Pokemon and Animal Crossing. They're crazy enough to do it.
 

Robb

Gold Member
The Office Reaction GIF


Sorry for the people who work at Ubi but that company kind of deserves to go bankrupt, either that or they need to get a new CEO. Although the former seems more likely.
 

SJRB

Gold Member
web3 is a huge scam. Overwhelmed by empty buzzwords like "decentralization", "token" and "blockchain" people in companies like Ubi with zero technical knowledge stumble over each other to incorporate something they don't understand because they think they'll make big bucks because a bunch of fratboys and c-tier celebs bought a picture of a fucking ape for 500,000 dollars.
 

salva

Member
Ubisoft still doing all they can to try and make money instead of just focusing on making good games
 
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