Ubisoft has announced today that it is launching a new platform named Quartz, which will be for buying and selling Non-Fungible Tokens or as they are more commonly known NFTs which can be used in various AAA titles. This service will call its own proprietary NFTs “Digits,” the first ones being usable in Ghost Recon: Breakpoint.
In a press release from Ubisoft, the company touted the concept of these “Digits,” describing them as unique cosmetic items that can be sold for real money. I personally have covered multiple companies that are moving into blockchain technology and NFTs such as EA Games and the upcoming MMO World Eternal Online.
Ubisoft however, claims to have made improvements on the concept. Quartz uses the blockchain Tezos, which uses a proof-of-stake algorithm to allow for new blocks to be added into the chain. This means that the computing user in control of the largest percentage of the coin from the chain is the user allowed to mint a new coin.
This allows Tezos to get around blockchain technologies proof-of-work algorithms which are expensive computational puzzles that use large sources of electricity. Ubisoft claims that their transactional method will only use the electrical equivalent of streaming around 30 seconds of video.
On the one hand, blockchain allows in-game items to be of real value to the player. In a world where plays are encouraged to pay for battle passes and cosmetic microtransaction, the idea that some of these items might have legitimate monetary value sounds enticing. On the other hand, these items do not actually have value until somebody willingly gives you money for the product. Non-Fungible Tokens in most cases are digital codes that allow you to access unique content however should whatever house that data be closed that token becomes valueless, take the case of streaming platform Ultraviolet.
Blockchain technology has become the new trend in gaming over the last year. Most major companies have begun exploring ways to inject the idea into their games or ecosystems, and this drive might have been one of many things that broke up the long-standing partnership between EA Games and the FIFA organization. It remains to be seen if players will actually be receptive to the new form of marketplace.