If NFTs are a scam—and they are, I’m just going through the rhetorical motions in building a sentence here—then The Sandbox is one of the biggest engines driving them in the video game space. So it makes perfect sense that it’s the location for Ubisoft’s next foray into the world of all this bullshit.
If you’re not familiar with The Sandbox, while pitching itself as a “game” (which it originally was before being purchased in 2018 and turned into what it is today), it’s more of a clearing house for every aspect of the blockchain grift, from NFT sales to virtual real estate speculation.
Here’s an example, just so you can be aware of the kind of place we’re talking about:
It’s the same setup as so many other big dumb ideas that meet at the intersection of the blockchain and the metaverse. PlayStation Home, only worse. “Players” get to walk around, communicate, emote and end up in “best moments” pictures that look like a kid’s MMO from 2011:
It’s also a place where words are assembled together in such a way as to make a normal person’s eyeballs turn to ash:
Now that I’ve subjected you to this knowledge, it should come as little surprise that, after a disastrous launch in its own games, Ubisoft has decided to collaborate with The Sandbox by releasing Rabbids into its platform and “[allow] anyone to create their own experiences with the Rabbids franchise in the Open Metaverse!”. It looks and feels as dystopian as you would imagine.
My day has gotten considerably worse for having seen this.
Ubisoft’s ongoing NFT odyssey continues to bewilder and demoralize not just longtime fans but also its own developers. The company recently held another workshop aimed specifically at addressing the concerns of skeptical employees, yet also started giving out special NFTs to some members of the Ghost Recon team to “celebrate” the series’ 20th anniversary. One developer likened it to the staff saying “We hate this crypto stuff,” and Ubisoft responding with, “OK, come get some.”