Ubisoft recently wrapped up its Q2 results call, a weird occasion in which the company’s relatively good financial numbers were overshadowed by delays, workplace complaints, and queries regarding free-to-play. The talk of blockchain, on the other hand, seemed to please both Ubisoft and investors.
Ubisoft’s future blockchain plans were addressed several times during the call, as well as in its earnings announcement. Ubisoft is sponsoring blockchain gaming business Animoca Brands, which bills itself as “the global leader in branded blockchain gaming,” according to its website.
Revv Motorsport, Revv Racing, and the future game Formula E: High Voltage are three Animoca products that use the same token, “REVV,” to allow users to “possess” digital assets and accumulate NFT in-game items. There’s also a game called The Sandbox, which takes place in a virtual world full of NFTs called “Sand.”
To ‘enable more play-to-earn, Ubisoft plans to create its own blockchain games
Ubisoft, in addition to funding Animoca, is a founding member of the Blockchain Game Alliance and has been researching blockchain technology since its inception. On the call, CFO Frédérick Duguet referred to blockchain as a “revolution.” Everyone seems to be talking about blockchain these days, but what does it imply for Ubisoft games?
During the call, CEO Yves Guillemot acknowledged that Ubisoft wanted to invest in blockchain startups as well as produce its own games organically, while Duguet hinted that it might end up in Ubisoft games in the future as a new monetization strategy: “[Blockchain] will enable more play-to-earn that will enable more players to actually earn content, own content, and we think it’s going to grow the industry quite a lot,” Duguet said. “We’ve been working with lots of small companies going on blockchain and we’re starting to have a good know-how on how it can impact the industry, and we want to be one of the key players here.”
As blockchain, NFTs, and everything related to them have garnered popular prominence in recent years, they’ve been incredibly divisive, primarily due to their massive negative environmental impact, but also because of the red-alert-levels of scam inherent in the NFT industry as a whole.
If you’re still unsure what NFTs and blockchain are or why they’re causing so much consternation, The Verge has an excellent explanation here, and GamesIndustry.biz has its own industry-specific breakdown.
Duguet attempted to deflect such accusations by emphasizing the necessity of studying “environmental effect” and stating that Ubisoft was still in the early stages of exploration. However, it’s possible that we may turn at Animoca Brands’ games for a rough notion of what Ubisoft would want to do in the future to include blockchain monetization tactics into its properties like Assassin’s Creed, Far Cry, Watch Dogs, Tom Clancy games, and others.
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