Ubisoft’s Quartz and Digit NFTs Are Unsustainable

Ubisoft's Quartz and Digit NFTs Are Unsustainable
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The beginnings of these efforts have not received universal appeal, to say the least, despite the fact that NFTs and gaming are seemingly heading up to establish an enlarged relationship in 2022 and onward. When STALKER 2: Heart of Chernobyl announced NFT integration with “metahuman” NPCs, fans reacted so averse that the NFT implementation was completely removed within hours of the studio doubling-down on its functionality. More recently, Square Enix’s president and their belief in the “play to contribute” playerbase and its possible benefits were more recently revealed. Ubisoft is one of the first corporations to jump into NFTs and blockchain in a wide way, so far.

Digits, the NFTs that players will be able to claim and trade, are all unique blockchain-based items in-game that each carry their own serial numbers, just like art pieces. Ubisoft Quartz is a platform that the publisher is developing. The problem remains, Ubisoft’s implementation of NFTs is unsustainable, even in addition to the inherent negative impact on the environment from NIFTs and blockchain. Despite the fact that this is a beta/trial period for the company, Ubisoft Quartz’s initial launch breaks no sense.

Ghost Recon Breakpoint Is A Strange Foundation For Ubisoft NFTs

For one thing, Ubisoft betting on Ghost Recon Breakpoint to be the first to implement such an ambitious system is a perplexing notion, especially if Ubisoft is committed to its NFT/blockchain efforts. The game Ghost Recon Breakpoint was not well-received when it was released, and the game has since progressed post-launch to the point where players are retreating to the game or singing praises for any improvements.

Putting aside any opinion on NFTs as a whole, attempting to establish a digital gaming ownership in a game that suffered a poor reception, as well as the delay of Ubisoft’s entire AAA release schedule by months, doesn’t align with Ubisoft’s vision of “an ever-greater connection between you and the game worlds you love.”

The prerequisites required to purchase these Digits in Ghost Recon Breakpoint in the first place, as well as the problematic terms of “ownership” associated with them, are also there. It just seems unrealistic to any genuine NFT and/or Ghost Recon fan between the limited amount of time to claim these Digits, as well as the need for up to 600 hours of playtime to purchase three NFT items in a critically panned release. It’s not even that far-fetched to think that any of the players who spent around 600 hours in Ghost Recon Breakpoint were not playing so under the motivation that they genuinely love the game, especially in this short of a time frame.

Value And ‘Interoperability’ Of Digits In Quartz

There’s the problem of Digits’ genuine “ownership,” which for NFTs is the intended benefit of investing in blockchain technology for gaming (and other industries) in the right place. The problem is with Digit assets’ reliability in terms of having and being empowered, as well as their mutability within the Ubisoft publishing portfolio. Ownership of Digits is still very much linked to the game’s playerbase, particularly in Quartz and Digits’ current implementation by the publisher. When there are no multiple games to employ these Digits other than strictly within Ghost Recon Breakpoint, the inherent “value” or “uniqueness” of Digits doesn’t make sense.

Bapte Chardon, a Blockchain Product Director atisoft, specifically highlighted the possible “interoperability” of in-game assets and the capability of blockchain technology to provision a more “decentralized” gaming experience. Quartz is still a “beta” experience, so the prospect of using this capability with Digits holds potential, but there is no infrastructure in place to try it at first. If players want to trade or attain a Digit from Ubisoft Quartz, they must first have Ghost Recon Breakpoint.

Digits are only possible in the context of Ghost Recon Breakpoint and its playerbase, regardless of their inherent value. Players will keep ownership of the Digits if Ghost Recon Breakpoint goes offline, but they become effectively unusable, as laid out in Ubisoft Quartz’s Terms of Use article 10. These Digits can be purchased on typical NFT marketplaces, but with the caveat of these items not being usable in any in-game context, what would the value of these Digits do? Despite being tradeable elsewhere, NFTs’ rarity or value can be extremely volatile, meaning Digits may not hold any value beyond the game context.

Of course, there remain the elements of anti-NFT sentiments and negative factors, such as the impact of blockchain technology, NFTs, and cryptocurrency on the environment. A large number of NFTs and blockchain platforms, including Ubisoft Quartz and Tezos (the blockchain foundation that Quartz is based on), are claimed to be “energy efficient” alternatives to most blockchain and NFT efforts. That being told, the carbon emissions created by machines maintaining blockchain infrastructure are still serious threats to the environment. As it stands currently, Ubisoft Quartz and Digits are very much looking like a failure to launch, or at the very least that the interest is waning or non-existent at the moment. Based on what Ubisoft has announced, there is some degree of promise in what Ubisoft Quartz is attempting, but the current implementation requires a serious overhaul if it’s even going to remotely resemble a promising new technology and functionality.

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