Hope you're ready for the latest terrible trend that will dominate gaming for the next few years.
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Ubisoft has officially announced their entry into the wonderful world of blockchain powered technologies and NFTs. They're calling it Ubisoft Quartz and it will offer players some limited cosmetic items for Ubisoft titles that can then be resold on third-party markets in exchange for cryptocurrencies. A beta for Ubisoft Quartz begins on December 9 with some items available for Ghost Recon Breakpoint.

Ubisoft has coined their limited cosmetic items as Digits. Each Digit has a unique serial number that is visible somewhere on the item itself. Also included within each Digit's metadata is your Ubisoft Connect username. As Digits are sold to other players, their names are then added to the metadata, which creates a history of ownership for the NFT. Each Digit also comes with a video file that shows the item being used in-game.

The first Digits available on December 9 include:
  • "Wolves" skin for the M4A1 Tactical rifle
  • A helmet
  • A pair of pants
These first Digits will be given away for free, but must be claimed within specific periods of time on December 9, 12, and the 15th. There are also specific requirements to be eligible to get the items in the first place. The rifle requires that you reached level 5 in Breakpoint. The pants require that you played the game for 100 hours. The helmet seems to be the "big ticket" item and requires that you have at least 600 hours clocked in the game.

Players are also only able to claim just one of each Digit. This limitation along with the rather steep requirements ensures that these stay "limited" to a small group of players. The forced scarcity probably means that they will sell for some inflated prices compared to other items.

If you're all about this blockchain powered NFT in-game cosmetic nonsense, you'll be able to sign up for the Ubisoft Quartz beta should you meet the necessary requirements. These requirements are that you need a Ubisoft Connect account, have a crypto wallet set up with a third-party system, and be 18 or older. The beta will only be available in: The United States, Canada, Brazil, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Belgium, and Australia.

There are already plans for further drops of Digits throughout 2022. While some examples of future Digits could include gameplay impacting items such as weapons, the focus right now is purely on cosmetics.

Ubisoft's push into this whole NFT thing is an effort to make players become "stakeholders." Does this mean that Ubisoft wants players to have a say in pressuring Ubisoft to stop being such a toxic company? Probably not.

"Our long-term efforts led us to understand how blockchain’s decentralized approach could genuinely make players stakeholders of our games, in a way that is also sustainable for our industry, placing back into their hands the value they generate through the time they spend, the items they buy or the content they create online," said Nicolas Pouard, VP of Ubisoft’s Strategic Innovation Lab. "Ubisoft Quartz is the first building block in our ambitious vision for developing a true metaverse."
Oh sweet, they're dragging in the idea of a "metaverse" into this whole thing too? So, we've got NFTs, crypto, blockchains, and metaverses? The future of gaming is looking just... so great.

One of the biggest issues with NFTs and blockchain technology is the negative impact they have on the environment. Ubisoft claims that a Quartz transaction uses "1 million times less energy" than a Bitcoin transaction. They claim that their technology is roughly equal to 30 seconds of video streaming.

Even with this supposedly minor impact on the environment, could we just like, maybe not with this whole idea? Can we just nip this in the bud right now before we have another horse armor situation on our hands?