Ubisoft has taken the plunge into blockchain gaming with the launch of Quartz, a non-fungible token platform for in-game items. The announcement, made in a YouTube trailer for the Quartz beta, makes Ubisoft the first major video game publisher to formally launch a crypto project.
The French publisher's first line of products under Quartz are called Digits, which are in-game cosmetic items like armor and clothing for the 2019 game Ghost Recon Breakpoint. Ubisoft says Digits will feature a unique serial number displayed n the game that corresponds to the accompanying NFT.
Digits is the French publisher's first NFT project as part of its Quartz crypto platform. Image: Ubisoft
Ubisoft says Digits will be released in limited-edition runs, and players who purchase them will be able to resell them. The first three cosmetic drops will be free, Ubisoft says, and they'll be arriving on Dec. 9. The YouTube page for Quartz also reveals that the Ubisoft Strategic Innovation Lab created the platform, and the company is ensuring players that these NFTs are energy efficient.
A number of big game publishers and developers have acknowledged blockchain gaming and NFTs more broadly, but none save Ubisoft have yet to launch or even tease an official product. That makes Quartz and Digits a rare first among traditional game makers.
Meanwhile, scores of new startups like Sky Mavis, the maker of the Pokémon-like crypto game Axie Infinity, have exploded in popularity and put the blockchain gaming sector on the map in the past 12 months. A number of large venture capital firms, including Andreessen Horowitz (an investor in Sky Mavis), have begun pouring money into the space in the hopes that unique collectibles and real-world currencies can become the next big business in the gaming industry.