NFTs come to Ubisoft games, starting with Ghost Recon Breakpoint

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.”


No Fucking Thanks

OK for real though it’s wild how many people are jumping on this shit as like, some kind of solution to… what exactly? What does this do that you can’t do with regular ass skins and accounts? It being on the blockchain doesn’t do anything.

It’s a system that does the same thing that Valve has done for years with the Inventory and marketplace. Only more efficient since they don’t need maintain a database over the long term.

Is it really more efficient? Ubisoft is still maintaining the actual backend of it to make sure they control the token and make sure the actual NFTs have some kind of in-game connection.

I don’t think this is true at all.

So, Ubisoft connect seems to be the platform tracking the ownership of these NFTs. So, I’m sure that connect is querying the blockchain to see if you own a particular nft, and then it allows your account to pull that cosmetic and use it in game.

If Connect doesn’t exist, which is the correlation to steam inventory to validate you own it, then you can’t use your item.

Ubisoft isn’t going to build a blockchain parser into the game directly that then loads the NFT items into your inventory. That’s not to say that a company couldn’t build a game that works this way, but this isn’t why Ubisoft is doing this. (and the long term feasibility of blockchain parsing in a game seems like a landmine you’re laying)

I would bet that the way that NFT’s work, Ubisoft is getting a percentage of the sale of these items if they ever transfer hands. That’s the real reason they want NFTs.

The blockchain is less efficient because it’s decentralized. That’s literally why Bitcoin and other proof of work crypto-currencies use so much energy: they process transactions incredibly slowly because they have to go back and verify every link in the chain. The inefficiency is actually the point, it’s baked in. And in this case, the NFTs are for Ubisoft related shit so there’s no reason for it to be decentralized. Which makes it pretty clear Ubisoft is just doing this because it’s buzzword nerdbait bullshit.

I think the answer, if you’re at the top of this scam, is make more money!

Beat me to it.

The problem this solves is that idiots with too much money are apparently googling "nft" and buying whatever comes up in the search results, and Ubisoft realized that they did not have a mechanism set up to collect any of that money.

Boy, AAA studios are really racing each other to see who can do the most terrible stuff before year’s end, aren’t they?

I sorta feel at some point the continued coverage of this NFT shit as if it’s in any way legitimate or newsworthy is getting to be pretty damaging in and of itself. I’m not saying to ignore that this grift is metastacizing, but maybe there’s worth in reporting on these things with the sort of clarity – skepticism – derision they deserve. The Verge has basically become a billboard for new crypto grifts, and reports on them much in the same way other entertainment sites report on press releases for new productions, it would be a shame if Polygon followed in those footsteps.

I assume I’m in the minority, but I appreciate this reporting because it lets me know which companies’ games to no longer purchase.

But the reporting could (and should) reflect that utility, and it doesn’t. Depending on the commentariat (such as it is, such as it’s seen) to provide the usefulness that the articles (and the editorial staff) should be including by default isn’t a good way forward.

This piece is functionally no different from any other "reworded press release" style piece at any other lesser entertainment outlet/fansite. Covering NFTs as if they’re legitimate in the slightest, and trying to perpetuate coverage from a neutral position is ultimately damaging.

This thing is a grift, has never not been a grift, and assisting in its becoming just part of the fabric or texture of our lives by normalizing its coverage is bad. Again – it’s already a fucking shame that’s how it goes over at Verge. I hope it doesn’t become the same thing here.

Yeah. The article’s reference to how one blockchain is less environmentally wasteful runs dangerously close to normalizing NFTs. Is this what we can expect from Polygon ’s coverage going forward?

But they’re literally only reporting on what Ubisoft said? Also proof of stake is less energy consuming than proof of work technically not that it’s any less of a grift if Ubisoft holds the most coins at any moment which is obviously what’s going to happen

"Less energy consuming" you know what’s even less energy consuming though? Just not making NFTs or using crypto at all.

One hundred percent this – the reporting here completely misses the fact that the verification of ownership of this asset costs more power when, as other’s pointed out, the current solution uses next to no power.

report what they say, then report what is actually happening

The thing is this is a news article. The critique belongs in the editorial section. It’s perfectly normal for a site to have both. It’s doesn’t make sense to turn every article into an editorial as long as there still is space for additional articles that critique.

The thing is this is a news article. The critique belongs in the editorial section.

Nah. You can report on how bullshit this grift is on a factual level without it becoming an editorial. The falsehood that to do so is somehow anti-journalism is literally a product of media-manipulation (and an almost institutional-level lack of context on the part of those who have largely only grown up in an environment that literally promotes and rewards media illiteracy) over the course of decades.

You dont’ have to turn every article into an editorial in order to factually report on how utterly horseshit this grift is. You don’t. That we’re all conditioned to believe the factual, inarguable truth of this being a fucking disgusting grift is somehow "editorial" writing (or related, that there isn’t a factual, inarguable truth to the tilt towards fascism in straight political reporting) is a failing of the internet age, of deregulation, and of our own part in holding the fourth estate accountable for their slide into corporate-owned irrelevance.

A respected outlet shouldn’t have to cede their authority and influence and responsibility to the truth to the editorial pages (or worse, to some fucking "rant" video on YouTube) before legitimately educating their readers.

We as a readership are conditioned to a ridiculous degree to, as our first reaction, make excuses for why people who know better won’t do better, and it’s alarming to see how automatic that instinct is.

Which news you actually communicate is also a choice. There’s no "complete" news section over here.

We could just whip up a sticky article and a list for that. Now we have to keep track:D

Kotaku, perhaps somewhat surprisingly, has been on the nose about how shit and scummy NFTs are. And I do appreciate them so much for it.

NFTs are just the newest form of scam. Just like Tupperware parties, Amway, Avon, Market America and all the other greatest hits like vacation timeshares. You benefit by convincing someone else to pay more than you were stupid enough to pay, and the chain continues until some poor sap is stuck with something with no real value that they paid way too much for.

I don’t think scam is the right word, or that the comparison with Tupperware parties is accurate. I don’t think it’s quite a pyramidal scheme, it’s more straightforwardly speculation. And it’s much worse.

What it really is is wanton capitalism. It’s a sequel to mortgage subprimes. The physical world can’t create infinite value. NFTs, the metaverse, all these "innovations" are pointless. They don’t provide a new service, they don’t enhance an existing service. What they do is allow corporations to create value ex nihilo. It’s mortgaging tomorrow for profit today.

Will they make NFTs out of the copies of the sexual misconduct charges? Cause they should totally make profits off of the sexual misconduct charges.

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