Well, damn, I guess it’s my turn to write about these dumb Ubisoft NFTs. The publisher’s first virtual items on the blockchain, unique numbered items for players of Ghost Recon Breakpoint, are not exactly in high demand. Nope, not even that helmet with the 600-hour playtime requirement.
Ubisoft’s Digits are part of its Ubisoft Quartz “experience,” and instead of slightly different pictures of poorly drawn monkeys, Digits are in-game cosmetic items with unique serial numbers. The initial offering, distributed free to players who met certain playtime or account level requirements, include a gun skin that requires players reach XP level five, a pair of pants requiring 100 hours played, and a mask only obtainable by spending 600 hours in a game that was a complete disaster at launch.
The idea was these limited NFT items would be distributed to players, who could then resell them at one of Ubisoft’s two authorized resellers, Rarible.com or Objkt.com. But as Apex Legends senior character artist Liz Edwards pointed out over the weekend on Twitter, there’s not a lot of reselling going on.
It isn’t a supply problem. There are several Ubisoft items for sale on the sites, with asking prices going as high as digital currency Tezos’ equivalent of 400,000 U.S. dollars (One Tezos equals 4.02 U.S. dollars as of this writing). But there aren’t many transactions occurring, and those that do are nowhere near as expensive. Both authorized resellers only show a handful of sales having occurred, with a total volume of 94.49 Tezos, which is roughly $380.
Why so few sales in a moment of energy-hungry NFTs spiraling out of control on the worldwide marketplace? First off, and I am just guesstimating here, but only five people play Ghost Recon Breakpoint, give or take. Secondly, chances are a large portion of the people who actually play the game aren’t big fans of non-fungible tokens. Considering the fan uproar that recently caused S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 devs GSC Game World to announce, then quickly cancel its NFT plans, that’s a likely scenario.
Third, and probably the most impactful, is Ubisoft designed its Ubisoft Quartz program so that only players of the game the NFTs are created for can purchase Digits. That includes purchases from those authorized reseller sites. In order for your average NFT buyer to buy the Ghost Recon Breakpoint items, even from a player reselling one, they have to actually play Breakpoint. Barely anyone wants to play the game as it is, so getting non-players to log hundreds of hours in order to “own” a helmet they can only resell to other players who’ve logged hundreds of hours is an exercise in futility. Why do any of that when you can drop cash on horrible ape art and be done with it? If someone’s looking to speculate there are more accessible, much more profitable NFT options available to do so with.
Is this the end of Ubisoft NFTs? With CEO Yves Guillemot recently descending from on high to preach the good word of NFTs to his underlings, probably not. Now that the company has successfully implemented nearly worthless non-fungible tokens, who knows what sinister plans it has in store?
Correction: 12/20/2021 7:38 p.m. ET: Fixed a typo in the Tezos/USD exchange rate.