The Chicago Journal

Ubisoft backtracks on their NFT enthusiasm, says company is in ‘research mode’

While non-fungible tokens (NFTs) have been successful since their appearance in 2021, they have also received criticism online.

Even the big brands that jumped on the NFT hype have faced backlash from fans, and Ubisoft is the latest to find out what that feels like.


Yves Guillemot, CEO of the gaming giant, seems to be detracting from the company’s enthusiasm for NFTs.

The decision comes months after a steep downturn for Ubisoft’s NFT project, Quartz.

In a recent interview, he said the company was in “research mode” regarding web3 technology integrations.

Previous enthusiasm

Guillemot’s words are far from what Ubisoft executives said earlier.

In October, CFO Frederick Duguet said blockchain integration would allow users to own and earn content.

Duguet also noted that Ubisoft wants to be “one of the key players here.”

Backtrack on sentiments

In an interview on Saturday, Guillemot pointed out that the company’s current focus is to determine how NFTs are applied to games and the potential benefits they bring to players.

“We are very much on cloud, on the new generation of voxels, and we’re looking at all the Web3 capabilities,” he said.

“We tested a few things recently that are giving us more information on how it can be used and what we should do in the universe of video games.”

“So we are testing ground with some games and we’ll see if they really answer the players’ needs,” he added.

“But we are still in research mode, I would say.”

First push with NFT

Ubisoft got involved in NFTs last December when they released a beta version of Ubisoft Quartz.

Ubisoft Quartz was developed to provide playable NFT discs for use in games such as Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Breakpoint.

The decision has drawn heavy criticism from members of the gaming community, especially those firmly opposed to NFTs.

Critics have accused the company of “milking” every penny possible from its popular game franchises with the release of NFT.

Nicolas Pouard, vice president of Ubisoft’s Strategic Innovations Lab, defended the NFT’s efforts.

“I think gamers don’t get what a digital secondary market can bring to them,” he said.

Referring to the company’s NFT implementation, Guillemot says the companies ultimately failed to effectively communicate their approach to the project.

“We probably were not good at saying we are researching this,” he explained.

“We should have said we were working on it, and when we have something that gives you a real benefit, we’ll bring it to you.”

Gamers also urged Ubisoft’s CEO on the environmental impact of blockchain technology.

Since the NFT boom, gamers have generally confused power-hungry Proof-of-work (PoW) chains as the industry standard for all projects.

Guillemot also said he was cautious about the industry’s impact on the environment, adding that he was optimistic that the problems would be resolved over time.

“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.”


Ubisoft cools off on NFT and blockchain, says it’s in ‘research mode’