Earlier this month Ubisoft established a way for players of its games to acquire and trade non-fungible tokens (NFTs). It introduced this initiative under the name of Ubisoft Quartz and decided to call its NFTs by the perhaps more friendly term of "Digits". It seems that sales have not gone well and Ubisoft are yet to cover its costs.
So, how well are Ubisoft's plans for raking in cash from NFT sales doing thus far? On Monday Liz Edwards, Senior Character Artist on Apex Legends, took a look around the various marketplaces where Quartz Digits are sold and found there had been just 15 sales in total. Adding the prices of these Digits together, we see that Ubisoft has netted the princely sum of US$396.43.
Further digging shows that Ubisoft minted over 2,250 NFTs on the Tezos blockchain. Edwards calculates that Ubisoft NFT minting preparations cost it over $700 (£530) in blockchain fees (to which we must add the time and resources spent setting all this up). However, you have to speculate to accumulate, right?
Rather than reinvent the wheel, Ubisoft piggy-backed its Quartz initiative on the Tezos proof-of-stake blockchain, and it minted a large number of Digits ready for distribution and trading. The first Ubisoft game to get the NFT treatment via Quartz was the PC edition of Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Breakpoint. More "Digits enhanced" titles are on the way, though Ubisoft hedges somewhat by describing this venture as an "experiment."
A whimper, not a bang
If you head on over to the Ubisoft Quartz market, it is easy to be underwhelmed by the Digits on offer. At the link you will find a very large collection of more-or-less identical looking helmets, pants and rifles which are apparently differentiated by a "unique engraved serial number visible to all."
It might be too early to dismiss the Ubisoft Quartz / Digits /NFT experiment. Some of the available Digits require 650+ hours of in-game activity, for example, so might gain good resale values among big fans of this title. Another thing to note is that if the game were more popular, and the available Digits were a bit more appealing (with greater differentiation perhaps), both sales volume and prices might rise.
Ubisoft Digits are currently only available on Ubisoft Connect for Windows PC in select regions. Some have been dropped to gamers for free, and there are more free Digits planned for early 2022 – so buying Digits with cash isn't the only way to get them.