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While surveys suggest that most game developers don’t want to integrate NFTs in their games, some of the largest devs are going all-in with crypto. Ubisoft announced its first NFT drop in Ghost Recon Breakpoint late last year to widespread criticism. That didn’t stop the company from adding “Digits” items to the game, but that phase of Ubisoft’s infatuation with NFTs is already over. There won’t be any more updates or items for Breakpoint, and the company is threatening, er… promising NFTs in more games soon, according to a statement on the Quartz website.
You would have to be living under a rock with poor wireless reception to have missed the massive interest in NFTs (non-fungible tokens) over the past few years. These crypto-backed digital items are unique and can be bought, sold, and traded like assets. That has led to some of them becoming very valuable, at least to other crypto enthusiasts. You can’t do anything with most NFTs, but Ubisoft’s hook for its Quartz platform is to enable ownership of items you can use in the game.
Most gamers responded with something between fury and disinterest when Ubisoft announced NFTs in Breakpoint, but Ubisoft reps have said it expected that. The company line right now is that its customers just don’t understand the value of adding NFTs to games, as if there is an approach to adding crypto investment vehicles to a game that won’t be infuriating. That’s probably why it started with Breakpoint, which was widely panned on release, forcing Ubisoft to rework and re-release the game — it wasn’t losing much by cramming that title full of NFTs.
Since activity on the Tez blockchain is public, we can see the trading activity for Ghost Recon Breakpoint Digits, and it’s a ghost town. Items rarely sell, and those that do are not worth very much. So, there won’t be too many upset NFT owners now that Ubisoft has announced an end to development of Breakpoint. Yes, just a few months after handing out its first NFTs, the game has been abandoned. The final NFT drop was last month. It’s unclear if owners will be able to transfer these unique items to other games, but Ubisoft never promised that would be an option.
Hey Ghosts, we have an important message we would like to share with you all 👇 pic.twitter.com/kYeyVWVtgi
— Ghost Recon (@GhostRecon) April 5, 2022
Ubisoft has embraced microtransactions in a big way, so it’s no surprise it’s investing heavily in NFTs. People regularly pay thousands of dollars for what is essentially a link to a JPEG that anyone can right-click and save. Something that has functionality in a game could attract similarly big fish, even if they’re only buying in-game items as investments. Is that really good for games? I’d wager not. We’re going to find out when Ubisoft gets around to announcing its next round of NFTs. One of its bigger franchises like Assassin’s Creed or Far Cry could easily be next.