Assassin’s Creed publisher Ubisoft announced its first three in-game NFTs, which will be available on December 9, 12 and 15, respectively. NFTs, also known as nonfungible tokens, are digital tokens that verify one’s proof of ownership over a digital asset on a blockchain.
But what are they? — To put it simply, Ubisoft’s first in-game NFTs are equippable cosmetic items for its Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Breakpoint shooter game. Interestingly, Ubisoft is leaning away from the NFT moniker, instead calling its non-fungibles “Digits” instead.
The first Digit NFT is a black and red weapon skin called “Wolves” for the M4A1 Tactical weapon, which is releasing the day of The Game Awards on December 9 at 10am PT. The second is the “Wolf Enhanced Helmet A,” a black tactical mask that releases December 12 at 10am PT. The third item is the “Wolf Enhanced Pants,” which are — you guessed it — a pair of black pants. Overall, the items are pretty underwhelming aesthetically, but at least they’re free.
Unique, sort of — Upon first glance, these items don’t look one-of-a-kind, unlike most other NFTs. For Ubisoft’s first release, it doesn’t seem like players will get a unique item from an aesthetic standpoint beyond a unique serial number, which defeats the purpose of an NFT in some ways.
However, gamertags will be attached to the blockchain record of each Digit NFT, so that if it is resold (Ubisoft hasn’t told us yet how that will work), the player’s name will remain on its ownership history. Essentially, there will be a digital receipt of all past and present owners for each item.
Play to unlock — Each Digit has been assigned an in-game achievement requirement that must be reached in order to unlock each item. The weapon skin requires XP Level 5, the helmet requires at least 600 hours of global playtime and the pants require at least 100 hours.
While these values might seem random or arbitrary, it appears that Ubisoft is setting a precedent for how it will enable NFT redemption in the future. Gamers 18 and up will be able to acquire one of each Digit NFT via the Ubisoft Quartz mobile app, which hasn’t been released yet.
Ubisoft’s tech — For these Ghost Recon: Breakpoint NFTs, Ubisoft has chosen the Tezos blockchain. Tezos is smaller and more centralized than larger, decentralized platforms like Ethereum, the most popular NFT blockchain.
Sustainability claims — Ubisoft appears to have chosen Tezos in part because it is more energy efficient than other blockchains. Likewise, Singer Doja Cat released some NFTs on Tezos back in September, stating she believed it was an environmentally-conscious option. But Ubisoft has already told IGN that they will reconsider future NFT projects if they are proven to be unsustainable.
A crypto commitment — Ubisoft’s Digit NFT announcement comes just a few months after the company’s recent earnings presentation, where Ubisoft confirmed its interest in blockchain gaming. Last year, the game publisher tested out an NFT collection for Rabbids, with proceeds going to UNICEF. In October of this year, Ubisoft announced its investment in Animoca Brands, the blockchain gaming company behind The Sandbox metaverse, which garnered support from celebrities like Snoop Dogg and deadmau5.
While other gaming companies like Valve have openly rejected the prospect of in-game NFTs, Ubisoft is doubling down. As the company said in its announcement video, for Ubisoft, “this is just the beginning.”