NFTs and blockchain technology seem to be losing favor with game makers. After the initial burst of enthusiasm, both indie studios and major publishers are considering slowing down their practices, or moving away from NFTs altogether. One exception is Ubisoft, which seems determined to advance the technology despite negative reaction from gamers and employees.
a new one Bloomberg Friction between Ubisoft’s management and employees intensified on Thursday after the company made another announcement on its internal message board announcing its blockchain technology strategy, the report said. The message sparked negative responses from hundreds of employees, the report said.
One employee said it was a “very embarrassing day” at Ubisoft, while another asked management if it was “competing with EA for the title of ‘the most hated game studio by the public'”. Ubisoft’s handling of the company’s wide-ranging allegations of workplace misconduct also emerged: “Our confidence in management has been shaken by the handling of harassment allegations, now?” an employee asked.
The message itself was apparently a problem: An anonymous employee told PC Gamer that the wording of management’s latest update was “fucking condescending” and didn’t contain any new information, which is a big reason why employees were so angry about it.
In an email to PC Gamer, a Ubisoft representative said the company’s Strategic Innovation Lab “has received a lot of feedback on this matter,” for better or worse, “and we take both encouragement and concern to heart.”
“How players benefit from it has always been at the heart of our thinking,” the representative said. “At Ubisoft, we value these internal communications and believe they help make our games and our company stronger. However, sharing secrets Information, including from internal forums, violates our employment agreement and, more importantly, violates the trust team members place with each other to be able to express themselves freely and have frank, productive discussions. Given this, we will not go any further Comment.
This is a reasonable statement: technology is a means, not an end, and achieving desired goals sometimes requires long and difficult conversations. Ubisoft’s biggest problem so far is its inability to explain what the “end” is in this case. In December 2021, the French trade union Solidaires Informatique criticized blockchain technology as “useless, expensive, [and] ecologically humiliating,” and said it “did not bring any improvement or benefit to our game”.
Nicolas Pouard, vice president of Ubisoft’s Strategic Innovation Lab, countered this claim in January, saying “gamers don’t have access to what a digital secondary market can bring them.” However, as we pointed out at the time, the proposed system Doesn’t seem to offer anything that isn’t already available in video games. What it offers — unique numbers on otherwise identical cosmetics — isn’t exactly compelling.