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NFTs come to Ubisoft games, starting with Ghost Recon Breakpoint

Ubisoft will drop free NFTs to PC players when beta begins on Thursday

Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

NFTs are coming to Ubisoft’s Ghost Recon Breakpoint as unique, collectible, in-world cosmetics, the publisher announced Tuesday. Ubisoft described the implementation of NFTs in its game as a “experiment,” heading off concern about the environmental impact of the technology by calling its new venture as “energy-efficient” and “environmentally sustainable.”

Digits, as Ubisoft calls them, will be the first NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, “playable in an AAA game,” the publisher said. Digits will be introduced to Breakpoint’s Windows PC versions via the Ubisoft Connect platform. Ubisoft is also setting up another platform, called Ubisoft Quartz, to manage the acquisition of these NFTs.

“Each Digit is a unique collectible that features its own serial number for others to see in-game,” Ubisoft said in a statement announcing Quartz, “also keeping track of its current and previous owners for years to come, making players an integral part of the game’s history.” The statement said Digits are playable cosmetic items that “provide players the ability to personalize their experience and complete their missions with style.”

“With Digits, items are no longer bound to a player’s game inventory since they can be put on sale for other eligible players to acquire outside of the Ubisoft ecosystem,” the company said.

Tuesday’s announcement said Ubisoft’s Digits will stored on the Tezos blockchain, which is a “proof of stake” blockchain, as opposed to the more energy-intensive “proof of work” blockchains of Ethereum or Bitcoin. “A single transaction on Tezos uses roughly the same amount of energy as streaming 30 seconds of video,” Ubisoft asserted.

Digits can be claimed through Ubisoft Quartz when that platform’s beta launch begins on Dec. 9 at 1 p.m. EST in the United States and Canada. Quartz will also be available at the same hour, local time, in Brazil, Spain, France, Belgium, Germany, Italy, and Australia.

Ubisoft said free Digits drops will occur Dec. 9, Dec. 12, and Dec. 15 “to reward the early adopters among players.” The newly launched Ubisoft Quartz website has more on eligibility and registration. Other drops are planned for early 2022, Ubisoft said.

Ubisoft first revealed its plans for blockchain and NFT development in a call with investors at the beginning of November. “We have been working with lots of small companies going on the blockchain, and we’re starting to have a good know-how on how we can impact the industry,” Ubisoft chief executive Yves Guillemot told investors. “We want to be one of the key players there.”

Ubisoft’s announcement on Tuesday said Quartz culminates the company’s “four-year exploration of blockchain technology through in-house research and development and close collaboration with renowned specialists within the startup ecosystem.”

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