Chief Executive Officer at Ubisoft Yves Guillemot recently discussed his intentions about NFTs and the blockchain, explaining that his company is currently planning a little bit of a backtrack on the matter. The executive said that Ubisoft thus far has only been “in research mode.” Guillemot claimed that most of the contention around NFTs and the blockchain has been a result of poor communication on the part of the company.
“We really look at all the new technologies. We are very much on cloud, on the new generation of voxels, and we’re looking at all the Web3 capabilities,” Guillemot previously remarked. “We tested a few things recently that are giving us more information on how it can be used and what we should do in the universe of video games. So, we are testing ground with some games and we’ll see if they really answer the player’s needs. But we are still in research mode, I would say.”
“We probably were not good at saying we are researching,” Guillemot told GamesIndustry.biz during a more recent interview. “We should have said we were working on it and when we have something that gives you a real benefit, we’ll bring it to you.” The executive went on to explain that “as a company, we went into VR early, into the Wii early. We always try new things. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t work, but it’s always to make sure we can bring a new experience to players that will be innovative and interesting. The goal of the company is always to create the best experience and new technologies are always good for that because there’s less competition and people are more interested to try new things on new technology.”
“Exploring doesn’t mean launching,” Guillemot somewhat unconvincingly pointed out. “This industry is evolving quickly and it’s very cautious about the impact it will have. Like so many things, at the beginning, it’s not as good as it could be, but like other new technologies, they will find the right way.”
Ubisoft has been pushing NFTs and the blockchain pretty hard up until now. The company previously brushed aside concerns, Vice President at Ubisoft Strategic Innovations Laboratory Nicolas Pouard notoriously noting how “gamers don’t get what a digital secondary market can bring to them” before adding that “for now, because of the current situation and context of NFTs, gamers really believe it’s first destroying the planet and second just a tool for speculation. But what we’re seeing first is the end game.”
“That’s the way we think about it and why we will keep experimenting,” Pouard said at the time. “We will keep releasing features and services around this first initiative. And our belief is that piece by piece, the puzzle will be revealed and understood by our players. We hope they will better understand the value we offer them.”
The trick is that nobody was buying any of the hype, including employees at Ubisoft. When asked their opinion during a poll, one worker said they “still don’t really understand the ‘problem’ being solved here,” asking “is it really worth the extremely negative publicity this will cause?” In the words of another employee, “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?”