French video game publisher Ubisoft announced its first foray into nonfungible tokens (NFTs) via a new platform called Ubisoft Quartz to launch in beta this week with Ghost Recon Breakpoint for PC players on Ubisoft Connect.
According to a statement shared on the Ubisoft website, players can get collectible pieces of Ubisoft game worlds called Digits, which are “the first NFTs playable in AAA games and running on energy-efficient technology.” Digits, such as in-game vehicles or weapons, will be released in limited quantities and editions and rewarded to early adopters for free on December 9, 12, and 15 in the United States and Canada. Quartz will also be available in Brazil, Spain, France, Belgium, Germany, Italy and Australia.
Ubisoft Quartz’ energy-efficient technology is leveraged on the proof-of-stake blockchain Tezos. Didier Genevois, Ubisoft’s blockchain technical director, expressed the company’s commitment to reducing its global footprint in an interview published on the corporate website:
“This type of blockchain achieves the same results while using significantly less energy than proof-of-work protocols. To give you an idea, a transaction on Tezos is equivalent to 30 seconds of video streaming, while on Bitcoin, it is equivalent to watching one year straight of video streaming!”
Previously, Ubisoft had partnered with distribution platform Ultra to leverage its games on the UOS blockchain. Ubisoft confirmed to Cointelegraph that Ultra continues to be one of their block producers.
In the same interview with Genevois, Ubisoft’s blockchain product director Baptiste Chardon added his take on NFTs and gaming:
“This new approach can even, on a longer term, open up new opportunities such as interoperability between games. [...] We see blockchain as a means of placing back into the hands of players and creators the value they generate through their engagement with their games.”
Ubisoft ranks among the top 25 largest gaming companies worldwide in terms of market capitalization, hovering over $5.8 billion. And it is significant that a AAA gaming company is championing blockchain technology when other companies like Valve have recently removed blockchain games from their marketplaces.