Ubisoft exec talks NFTs, says gamers 'don't get it'


He says that this is part of a ‘paradigm shift’ in gaming

Ubisoft’s speedy move into the NFT space has already caused a bit of a backlash. In a new interview with Finder, Ubisoft Strategic Innovations Lab VP Nicolas Pouard says that gamers just “don’t get it for now.”

Between its Quartz program and its investment in other companies, Ubisoft has been pretty clear about wanting to move into the crypto and NFT space. CEO Yves Guillemot confirmed the company wants to both create its own blockchain games and invest in others. And Ghost Recon Breakpoint has already received its own NFTs, though even developers within the company are criticizing them.

In this new interview, Pouard addresses the negative reaction, saying it was a reaction they were expecting. “We know it’s not an easy concept to grasp,” said Pouard. “But Quartz is really just a first step that should lead to something bigger.”

Pouard emphasizes that Ubisoft will keep “experimenting” and “releasing features and services,” and then the interview segues into the potential positives. This is part of a “paradigm shift” in gaming, according to Pouard, and he says gamers don’t get what a secondary market could provide.

“For now, because of the current situation and context of NFTs, gamers really believe it’s first destroying the planet, and second just a tool for speculation,” said Pouard. “But what we [at Ubisoft] are seeing first is the end game. The end game is about giving players the opportunity to resell their items once they’re finished with them or they’re finished playing the game itself.

“So it’s really, for them,” Pouard continues. “It’s really beneficial. But they don’t get it for now.”

Aside from the comment that skirts the environmental aspect of NFTs, it is interesting to hear that critics of NFTs “don’t get it for now.” Especially when options to buy and sell products on a marketplace have existed in this space for some time now, and that game developers have laid out exactly why the dream of assets moving across AAA games is, well, a dream.

For solid reference, Quartz itself doesn’t seem to be doing great. Later on in the interview, Pouard says Ubisoft will let each team decide whether to use Quartz or not.