After all the stuff about Ubisoft putting NFTs into Ghost Recon: Breakpoint came out, some journalists were able to speak with Ubisoft staff on how they felt about it. The answers are unsurprising in that the staff aren’t that pleased with the fact that their games and work are being monetized further in a way they’ll likely never see money from as much as Ubisoft will. There are, of course, many different reasons that staff aren’t keen on this, but a lot of it simply stems from what NFTs are and how they’re pretty bloody bad for the planet. For the company you work for to make this decision, it must feel incredibly demoralizing.
For anyone that doesn’t know. An NFT is a token, sold as a piece of art or in the case of Ghost Recon: Breakpoint a cosmetic item in the game with a serial number on it. That item is purchased for say, £100. Then you own that specific version as an original, even though there are likely hundreds of originals that look the same and just have a different code on them. The only way to ensure ownership of this, because it’s digital, is for a program to run constantly in the background somewhere on the internet and update the ownership files. It will always say you own it until you sell it, then the new person’s details will be added, and that’s the definitive way of defining ownership.
This program requires a server, and it uses a lot of power. As NFTs become more and more common, there will be more machines running like this, using up all of our power and killing our planet. We’re only able to produce, as a species, about 75% of what we need in electricity from renewable energy. The rest comes from other non-renewable sources like fossil fuels that kill our planet further when making the electricity. It’s terrible, and we need to stop it. Making more industries that suck up power that only really matters to the super rich is a dumb thing to do. If I were a Ubisoft employee I’d say that I don’t ever want to work on anything that helps NFTs, but Ubisoft has staff in its grip because it pays their bills. Think about that when you even consider an NFT.