Speaking of the current hot words "Meta Universe" and "NFT", game enthusiasts probably have some beautiful imaginations:
In the meta universe, even if the King of Glory goes bankrupt someday, the game skins and equipment I bought for real money will still belong to me and will not suddenly disappear into the air. It can even break the various "walls" of the Internet and use it on other game platforms…
On December 8, Ubisoft, a major gaming manufacturer with IPs such as "Assassin's Creed" and "Just Dance", launched an NFT platform called "Ubisoft Quartz" , which allows you to leave these wild imaginations Closer.
Is it a trend or money to make game equipment into NFT?
Ubisoft officially stated that Ubisoft Quartz will provide players with a brand-new experience and establish a closer connection with their favorite game world. Here, the game skins and equipment you were familiar with in the past will exist in the form of a limited-release NFT.
These NFT equipment is called Digis. Each piece is unique. It is engraved with a serial number and records the owner's changes. The proof of ownership will be stored on the blockchain.
They are not only the equipment that can be used in the game, but also a unique digital collection. Players can trade on designated third-party platforms (Rarible or Objkt) at any time.
"Ghost Recon: Breakpoint" is the first game to support NFT equipment.
Ubisoft has prepared 3 rounds of Digis airdrops for this purpose, which will be distributed free of charge on December 9, 12 and 15. They are M4A1 rifles, helmets and trousers. Players who are currently over 18 years old, are in the United States, Canada, Spain, France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Australia, and Brazil, and have a game level of more than 5, can receive it after opening an encrypted wallet.
▲ The rifle NFT has been robbed, limited to 2000
Before this, there were actually other blockchain games using NFT equipment. But this is the first time that a traditional game maker has come out to test the waters. It is also the first time that NFT has been introduced into a 3A masterpiece—referring to large-scale games with high development costs, large productions, rich content, and excellent quality.
▲ "Ghost Recon: Breakpoint"
Nicolas Pouard , Vice President of Ubisoft's Strategic Innovation Lab, said that Ubisoft Quartz is the first step for Ubisoft to develop a true meta-universe.
After a long period of exploration, we understand how the decentralization of the blockchain can truly enable players to become game stakeholders. That is: return to them the value they generate by spending time, buying equipment, and creating content online.
In order to allay gamers' worries about the new Digis, Ubisoft officially added some other information.
Ubisoft Quartz uses Tezos blockchain technology. The energy consumption of each transaction is equivalent to watching a 30-second video, which is about one millionth of the energy consumption of a Bitcoin transaction, which is more energy-efficient and sustainable.
In addition, Ubisoft Quartz will coexist with the existing game store system. Digis will not affect the player's basic game experience, it exists like "cosmetics" or a nice piece of clothing. Even if Ubisoft Quartz or the game itself is shut down, Digis will still exist on the blockchain and it will still belong to you.
Although Ubisoft has spent a lot of writing describing the vision of decentralization, meta-universe, and providing players with new value, most gamers say they don't like this "bold and avant-garde" initiative.
As of December 11, Ubisoft Quartz's release video has reached 228,000 views , only 1,522 people liked the news, and 39,000 people "pedd" it. In the YouTube comment area and Twitter, netizens generally hold negative attitudes and even scold Ubisoft for making money.
A developer named @jake s said that for a small number of important problems, blockchain and NFT are really cool solutions, but people often stuff them into unwanted products. Game development is supposed to be a passionate project, and how to make players have fun should be considered; and if NFT is used in the game, issues such as hype to make money and business model will make the game taste bad.
Netizen @tehMoonwalkeR pointed out that the reason for the various negative reactions is not that people really hate NFTs, but that people are worried that the game makers have changed-they have become racked their brains to squeeze every penny from the players instead of taking it seriously. Think about how to make games that people like and how to improve the gaming experience.
In the world of NFT, for every resale transaction, the original creator will receive part of the royalties. Regarding this point, Ubisoft Quartz's relevant clauses are indeed vague . Ubisoft officially did not indicate whether there will be a rake, only saying that "it may be possible under certain circumstances."
Game Maker x NFT: Some people actively embrace, some ban it
Speculative hype caused by scarcity, NFT’s multi-million-dollar out-of-circle news gimmicks have always left the public with the impression of a "contemporary tulip".
Now Ubisoft introduces NFT into the 3A masterpiece. Although it says it wants to give players a new experience and control, it is really easy to think of other motivations.
How hot and attractive the combination of NFT and games is can be seen from the addictive "Axie Infinity" game in Southeast Asia.
▲ Axie Infinity
Axie Infinity is a pet breeding battle game inspired by Pokémon. You need to buy 3 NFT pets before you can start the game, you can breed new varieties, you can earn crypto tokens during the battle, and the NFT pets can be sold.
This game mode is called "play to earn". Filipino youths earn a house with this game.
DappRadar data show that in the third quarter of 2021, the total NFT transaction volume reached 10.67 billion U.S. dollars, of which 19% came from Axie Infinity. It is said that the current number of Axie Infinity daily active players is close to 3 million, and the highest price NFT pet sold is about 2.33 million US dollars.
▲ Axie Infinity
Faced with this new technology, game manufacturers have different attitudes.
Ubisoft is almost the most active in blockchain technology. Before launching Ubisoft Quartz, it has been exploring this area for 4 to 5 years. Ubisoft has a Ubisoft Entrepreneurs Lab acceleration program, which aims to provide support for potential entertainment startups, many of which are crypto game companies. The developers of Axie Infinity also participated in this program.
In October of this year, Ubisoft also invested in Animoca Brands, an encryption company; in December, it announced its plan to develop blockchain games at the financial report conference, calling it a "revolution" in the game industry and saying Special interest in earning.
Square Enix, the game developer of Final Fantasy, also recently announced plans to develop NFT games. And for EA (Electronic Arts), which has IPs such as "Red Alert" and "FIFA", CEO Andrew Wilson said that NFT and earning while playing are "the key to the future of the gaming industry."
Unlike Ubisoft, EA, etc., Valve explicitly prohibits the use of blockchain, NFT or cryptocurrency in Steam platform games . The Epic Games Store allows blockchain games to be put on the shelves , but requires compliance with laws, disclosure terms, and age ratings, but it says that they will not use NFT and encryption technology in their games.
Some believe that the world of NFTs and cryptocurrencies is full of scams and improper transactions, which is the biggest reason Valve and Epic Games remain cautious.
To give a simple example, the NFT project Evolved Apes originally claimed to develop blockchain games , but in October this year, the founder disappeared from the Internet with 2.7 million US dollars worth of ether.
▲ The Evolved Apes “Evolved Apes'' project that absconded in volume
For real game enthusiasts, they may be more concerned about whether future NFT equipment is truly cross-game and cross-platform than speculative hype.
Ubisoft Quartz is like setting up the infrastructure first, waiting for the boundary to expand one game after another-but at present, Ubisoft has not disclosed relevant ideas in detail on this point.
At present, some third-party projects hope to realize the vision of "universal game skins". For example, the avatar platform Ready Player Me, which hopes to become your "Meta Universe Pass", currently has more than 680 apps and games that support login or import.
▲ Ready Player Me, can quickly generate virtual images
Recently, Clone-X, launched by Takashi Murakami and RTFKT studio, also provides 3D files so that buyers can use it for NFT games, AR filters, Zoom conferences, and meta-universe platforms in the future.
▲ NFT project Clone-X
The NFT project Loot, launched by the co-founder of Vine, should be more thorough: use 8 lines of randomly generated text to describe the characteristics of equipment such as helmets, weapons, and necklaces.
The txt with white characters on a black background may seem inexplicable, but every game developer can interpret and re-create it. To a certain extent, it is actually a more basic "universal".
▲ Add Loot’s text and equipment description brain, the picture is from @supergremplin
In any case, this time the game maker Ubisoft ended up doing its own NFT, which still released a signal to connect to the future.
With the first big game company to eat crabs, will the second, three, four, or five be able to keep up soon? Will the days of sharing skins in "Honor of Kings" and "League of Legends" come soon? As stated in the Ubisoft Quartz release video, everything has just begun.
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