Last year, when videogame company Ubisoft announced that it would be dipping its toes into web3 and releasing NFT projects, it was not met with the greatest responses. Many of its customers and fans were vocal about their distaste for NFTs and what Ubisoft was trying to do.
Now, it seems that all the criticism has led to results as the company is backtracking on its NFT endeavours. In a recent interview, Yves Guillemot, the CEO of Ubisoft, distanced the company from NFTs, instead saying that they were simply conducting research.
Ubisoft Dumping NFTs?
According to Guillemot, the company is currently experimenting with web3 and NFTs to see if there is any use potential and for general data gathering.
“So we are testing ground with some games, and we’ll see if they really answer the players’ needs. But we are still in research mode, I would say,” he said.
This is a far cry from previous comments that were made about NFTs by executives within the company. For example, its CFO has previously said that Ubisoft wanted to become a top player in the NFT space. Nicolas Pouard, the vice president of Ubisoft’s Strategic Innovations Lab, also claimed that a lot of the players criticising NFTs were not aware of how much it could benefit them, especially in the secondary market.
But now Guillemot has said that the company did not communicate its research plans well to customers. As he puts it, Ubisoft should have told customers that they were simply researching NFTs and would do more in the space if there were apparent benefits for them.
Further backtracking from NFTs, Guillemot touched on the environmental impact of blockchain technology during his interview. Blockchain, which is the underlying technology of NFTs, has been extensively criticized in the past over its energy use and its impact on the environment. In his interview, the CEO echoed similar sentiments, saying that he is cautious about blockchain for this reason but is not entirely writing off the idea.
“Like so many things, at the beginning it’s not as good as it could be, but like other new technologies they will find the right way,” he said.
So what does this mean for Ubisoft’s future in the NFT space? Will its Quartz project be rolled back entirely? For now, it is too early to tell but this could be taken as the company distancing itself from NFTs as a concept.
These days, it is quite common to see big, mainstream firms getting involved with NFTs and initially, the Ubisoft announcement was an example of this. But at the same time, we need to remember that not all of these endeavours will succeed.
Some might not connect with fans, some might suffer from technical issues, and some might see aggressive pushback from their audience, as with Ubisoft. While this might spell the beginning of the end of NFTs from Ubisoft, many more companies will continue to explore the space and release NFT projects.