Yves Guillemot, CEO of French gaming giant Ubisoft, appeared to cool the rhetoric behind NFT Quartz’s game project when he noted in a recent interview that he was only in “research mode” regarding the integration of Web3 technologies.
It’s a relatively different view from other Ubisoft executives in the past, including CFO Frédéric Duguet, who said in October that blockchain integration will allow users to own and monetize content, and the company wants to “be one of the key players here.”
During a September 10 interview with gamesindustry.biz, Guillemot appears to be walking back some of those comments, emphasizing that at this stage, Ubisoft is primarily trying to figure out how NFTs can be applied to games and whether they will benefit players or not.
“We’re very much into the cloud, the next generation of voxels, and we’re looking at all the possibilities of Web3. We’ve been testing a few things recently that are giving us more information about how they can be used and what we should be doing in the video game universe,” he said, adding, that:
“So we’re testing the terrain with some games and seeing if they really fit the needs of the players.” But I’d say we’re still in research mode.”
Ubisoft announced first foray into NFT in Decemberfollowing the launch of the Ubisoft Quartz beta, which aims to offer players playable NFTs that could be used in games such as Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Breakpoint.
The move was met with strong opposition from some members A community of players who hate NFTswith some accusing the firm of “milking” every penny possible from its popular gaming franchises by introducing NFTs into the mix.
Nicolas Pouard, Vice President of Ubisoft Strategic Innovation Laboratory defended the company’s NFT efforts in January, stating, “I think players are not getting what the digital secondary market can bring them.”
Guillemot reflects on Ubisoft’s introduction of NFT, saying that ultimately the company didn’t communicate the company’s approach to the project effectively enough.
“We probably weren’t good at saying we’re researching,” he said, adding that “we should have said we’re working on it, and when we have something that will really benefit you, we’ll bring it to you.”
The Ubisoft CEO was also asked about the environmental impacts of blockchain technology, something that is often highlighted by gamers who generally mistake energy-intensive Proof-of-Work (PoW) chains as the industry standard for all projects.
Guillemot noted that while he is “very cautious” about the sector’s environmental impacts, he is optimistic that these issues will be resolved over time.
“Like many things, it’s not as good as it could be in the beginning, but like other new technologies, they find their way.”