French gaming giant Ubisoft Entertainment SA’s new nonfungbile token (NFT) project Quartz is facing strong pushback from the gaming community.
Ubisoft unveiled the Beta launch of Quartz via a brief YouTube video on Dec. 8 that has 214,721 views at the time of writing. The project aims to combine NFTs and blockchain technology with existing Triple-A game titles, and announced Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Breakpoint as its first game to officially integrate NFTs.
The video introduces Quartz as a platform that enables gamers to “collect the first playable and energy-efficient Ubisoft NFTs” that are dubbed as “Digits.”
YouTube recently changed its policy to hide the number of dislikes a video on the platform gets, however the number can still be accessed by Google Chrome extensions. Upon using an extension, the video currently shows 1,400 likes and 37,000 dislikes which equates to a dislike ratio of roughly 96%.
One of the top comments on the video from user “OperatorDrewski” currently has 2,600 likes with zero dislikes, and blasts Ubisoft’s NFT project as a quick cash grab as opposed to improving the overall gaming experience:
“To me, this is a blatant signal that you’re just milking the Ghost Recon franchise for literally every cent while putting in minimal effort into the actual game itself. Not playing a GR game in the future if there’s this level of degeneracy in the team.”
“You took a solid franchise and absolutely made it a laughing stock,” they added.
This opinion appears to be shared by a significant number of the community, with users on Twitter also lashing out at the firm in response to its latest announcement as they threatened to uninstall the firm’s games and boycott Ubisoft completely.
Because of my personal view of NFTs and not because of the environmemt entirely, I will now proceed to uninstall anything related to you right now and cease further purchases of your games.
That is all. For people that dislike Current Ubi’s marketing, just stop buying.
— Skyeeeely – Lazy VStreamer Cat (@Sukaaaily) December 7, 2021
A Dec. 8 post over on the r/gaming page on Reddit shows a concerted effort to boycott the new NFT project. The post titled “do not support “Quartz”, the new NFT Ubisoft marketplace” from “u/WolverineKuzuri93” currently has 2,500 comments and an upvote ratio of 93% at more than 13,400 upvotes.
The Redditor highlights similar issues to the top commenter on YouTube, noting that:
“We have to stand against this practice. […] This is just another way to nickel and dime players with cosmetics rather than focusing on making quality products with depth. We have to let companies know this is anti-consumer.”
“I’m not entirely against the concept of using an NFT style system for digital games. For example, actually owning your digital copy rather than just a license so you can sell it to another user’s account. That’s actually the future of digital gaming. What I’m against is how Ubisoft are doing it with in-game items,” they added.
Gamer backlash to NFTs
This is not the first time a major firm has been flamed for looking at, or launching into the world of NFTs. Cointelegraph reported last month that community messaging app Discord was forced to walk back its Ethereum-based NFT integration plans, after the gamer community bombarded CEO Jason Citron.
Citron initially teased his firm’s plans via a screenshot of a beta feature showing Ethereum NFT wallet support, however he was promptly hounded with thousands of comments calling on him to abandon the plans along with users threatening to cancel their paid Nitro subscriptions.
Reddit: OpenSea walks back on IPO plan following community backlash
Unlike the case of Ubisoft, where the community appears to be peeved by what they assert is a cash grab, the crypto-skeptics on Discord believe NFTs are a Ponzi scheme and damage the environment due to the energy required to mine cryptocurrencies.
Cointelegraph has reached out to Ubisoft representatives for comment, and will update the story if they respond.