According to Kotaku, who have apparently seen messages from the internal Ubisoft social media hub, a post announcing Quartz on MANA, quickly filled up with questions and concerns from developers across the company about the new direction.
“I still don’t really understand the ‘problem’ being solved here,” wrote one employee. “Is it really worth the (extremely) negative publicity this will cause?” Another asked, “How can you look at private property, speculation, artificial scarcity, and egoism, then say ‘yes this is good, I want that, let’s put it in art?’”
“I normally try to stay positive on our announcements but this one is upsetting,” wrote a third.
Developers also shared environmental concerns (which plague any and all NFT conversation) over Quartz’ use of cryptocurrency Tezos, which derives its value from proof-of-stake technology.
Ubisoft Quartz first made an appearance in Ghost Recon: Breakpoint. The first item (or Digit) was a mask that players can use in-game, while the second was the Wolf Enhanced Helmet A that required 600 hours of playtime to achieve. The third, requiring just 100 hours, was the Wolf Enhanced Pants. Each Digit comes with a unique serial number and are limited, with only 250 Wolf Enhanced Helmets being made available. These Digits can also be sold to other players.
However, in the days following the news, Ubisoft delisted the announcement video and has hidden the amount of downvotes it had received. “I don’t even need to see the dislikes anymore, you can just FEEL them,” reads the top comment under the video.
In November, it was reported that Ubisoft was considering NFTs a large part of the future of its business.
Speaking on an earnings call (as spotted by IBT), CEO Yves Guillemot said that the games industry “is changing regularly with lots of new revolutions happening,” and that Ubisoft “consider[s] blockchain one of those revolutions.”
Guillemot added that use of blockchain technology “will imply 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.”