Ubisoft renders its incompetent NFTs less competent.
Those of you who read MMO Fallout know that I’m not a big fan of “I told you so” posts or dancing on the grave of the failure of others, but just give me a minute while I don this t-shirt I had printed out for the occasion and set up the boombox. You’re free to join me up here on the grave if you want and we’ll get this hoedown started.
Ubisoft was pretty much the first AAA developer to not just announce, but implement NFTs into their games. Don’t mention mobile gacha games, those are barely developers let alone AAA. And I’ve pointed out a few times in the past that they did it in the most cowardly way possible; by putting it in the game that would cause them the least amount of strife with the community. They picked Ghost Recon Breakpoint, an unabashed failure of a title. I noted that were Ubisoft to have any confidence that its NFT plan would be received well, that they would have chosen Rainbow Six Siege as that would have not just the highest potential for income, but the highest potential for severe financial repercussions if customers hated it. Take risks, get rewards.
But they put them in Breakpoint, a game nobody cares about. Don’t email me if you care about Breakpoint. And as a result of this half-assed venture, nobody cared about the Breakpoint NFTs. In a world where speculators trade photos of monkeys to other speculators to artificially inflate their value, Ubisoft couldn’t even bring in that crowd. You could count the weekly Breakpoint trades on one hand, often using no fingers at all.
Ubisoft announced its NFT plans in the first week of December, and were so embarrassed by the resulting blowback that they hid the video like cowards. This week we learned that Ubisoft has ended content development for Breakpoint including, you guessed it, the retirement of NFT drops. The last NFT drop happened on March 17, meaning the whole endeavor lasted about three months.
In the intervening months, Ubisoft appears to have taken the cautious strategy and simply outsourced everything. The approach going forward seems to be that Ubisoft won’t utilize NFTs in their own games, but will instead invest in other companies implementing the tech into their own titles. All the potential for income with none of the barrage of “everyone laugh at Ubisoft’s failure” headlines. As of yet, Ubisoft has not announced a single other game (to our knowledge) that they are planning NFTs for. The Quartz website still only lists Breakpoint.
Ubisoft NFTs were rejected by everyone; gamers, the press, non-gamers, your grandma, Ubisoft employees, and even NFT traders. If Ubisoft management is smart, they’ll let this whole Quartz thing go down in history as nothing more than part of the future “10 dumbest ideas in gaming” listicles that will come out every December for the next decade. As suppressed a memory as the time you said “you too” when the waiter said “enjoy your meal” at IHOP.
But what do I know, I fell in the toilet.