Following an announcement from game developer Ubisoft that they will soon be bringing non-fungible tokens (NFTs) to one of their games, gaming fans were quick to express their outrage at the company’s decision.
According to their website, the company is touting Ubisoft Quartz as a place “where you can acquire Digits, the first Ubisoft NFTs (non-fungible tokens), playable in a HD game and relying on an energy-efficient technology.”
The first batch of items will become available in beta form beginning Dec. 9 with three free cosmetic drops for their game Ghost Recon: Breakpoint.
NFTs are essentially a form of digital collectibles made up of a unique string of code on a digital ledger known as a blockchain, with the value fluctuating depending on the demand and scarcity, according to CBS News. While NFTs are touted by some as putting the power back in the hands of artists, their association with crypto technology makes them controversial for the environmental toll such technology is thought to exert.
Traditionally, NFTs and cryptocurrencies utilize much computing power to generate, resulting in the exorbitant use of energy and subsequent greenhouse gas emissions, some argue.
Despite Ubisoft insisting their version of NFTs are “energy efficient,” that has not stopped some from already declaring the company’s break into the market as being reprehensible.
One user even asked how to “uninstall” Ubisoft.
Another Twitter user pointed out what they viewed as a fairly redundant move for the company, given the fact that microtransactions in their video games for things like cosmetic skins already resembling digital collectibles, but without the negative affiliations associated with cryptotechnology and “artificial scarcity.”
Another user stated they didn’t play many Ubisoft games as it is, but now they definitely won’t.
Nicolas Pouard, VP of Ubisoft’s Strategic Innovation Lab, stated in a recent interview that the company would reconsider their new NFTs if the environmental impacts aren’t solved, according to IGN.
The article went on to state that while the publisher’s blockchain system may be low energy in itself, it’s likely the NFTs will still be able to be sold on a third-party cryptocurrency marketplace, for instance. This could possibly open the door to the NFTs being purchased with Ethereum, which as far as cryptocurrencies go, is widely thought to be one of the more environmentally-damaging variants.