Ubisoft exec inexplicably blames gamers for dire NFT reception

In December, Ubisoft announced a new blockchain and NFT platform for its games called Ubisoft Quartz. The idea behind Quartz is to sell gamers unique in-game NFTs called Digits in limited edition batches, that can then be resold when players are done with the game in question. Gamers so far have seemed pretty hostile to the idea of games with NFTs baked in and, with that in mind, they had an unsurprising reaction to Ubisoft Quartz.

Although the massive pushback from gamers on the topic has been enough to dissuade other developers from implementing NFTs in their games (such as STALKER 2 developer GSC Game World), Ubisoft is doubling down on the concept. In fact, the company is doing more than just doubling down, because in a new interview with Australian website Finder, Ubisoft executives are blaming the overwhelmingly negative reaction to Quartz on the notion that gamers just "don't get" NFTs.

"I think gamers don't get what a digital secondary market can bring to them," said Nicolas Pouard, who is the VP of Ubisoft Strategic Innovations Lab. "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 [at Ubisoft] are seeing first is the end game. The end game is about giving players the opportunity to resell their items once they're finished with them or they're finished playing the game itself."

"So, it's really, for them," Pouard continued. "It's really beneficial. But they don't get it for now. Also, this is part of a paradigm shift in gaming. Moving from one economic system to another is not easy to handle. There are a lot of habits you need to go against and a lot of your ingrained mindset you have to shift. It takes time. We know that."

It should be noted that the "end game" scenario Pouard outlines in his comment has already been revealed by Ubisoft. The ability to resell Digits in the future was in Ubisoft's announcement trailer for Quartz, so we have a hard time believing that gamers are genuinely missing the point here. If Ubisoft's end game really is just that – selling players NFT items that they can resell at a later date – then it's safe to say that it didn't actually go over the heads of gamers as Pouard claims.

But hey, you don't have to take our word for it, because we've embedded that announcement trailer up above. You can watch it for yourself and see that it's a pretty cut-and-dry presentation. It seems less that gamers are missing the point, and more that they simply don't want what Ubisoft is trying to sell them here.

Earlier in the interview, Pouard says that Ubisoft was expecting a negative reaction to Quartz because "it's not an easy concept to grasp," once again suggesting that gamers are out of the loop on NFTs. Another swing and another miss, we'd say.

It's worth noting that gamers aren't the only ones who aren't buying what Ubisoft is selling. Quartz has even apparently generated a negative reaction from some Ubisoft employees, per this Kotaku report from December. It seems the only people who truly "get" Ubisoft's strategy are Ubisoft executives, and that should probably make the rest of us at least a little suspicious.

Even if we really don't understand what Ubisoft's angle here is, we're sure that talking down to your audience is not the way you get them on board with something so controversial. It'll be interesting to see how Ubisoft tries rebounds from this one, because so far it's doing a terrible job of selling people on Quartz as a platform.