Last week, Ubisoft revealed plans to release Assassin’s Creed phygital NFTs. The announcement came following the unsuccessful launch of Ubisoft Quartz, the publisher’s previous NFT platform.
Integral Reality Labs, a partner of Ubisoft, will introduce “smart collectibles” that allow owners to possess a real-world custom Assassin’s Creed figure while having proof of its existence on the Polygon blockchain.
Equipped with unique identifiers, the customized figure is enclosed in a transparent cube and shipped to the owner while simultaneously being minted on the blockchain. An upcoming app will allow users to track and authenticate their collectibles.
Owners can customize their figures with various poses, weapons and outfits related to the Assassin’s Creed franchise. The companion app will allow users to “interact with your character and engage in a rewarding collector experience, complete achievements, and level up.”
“Our goal is to add new layers of collecting to allow fans to truly showcase their personality and rarity tastes. Digital identifiers pairing with physical identifiers will allow for this,” the announcement reads.
The exact details and features of this gamified experience are yet to be disclosed as the app and smart collectibles are still in development. While the notion of a rewarding collector experience is emphasized, the specifics regarding the customization process, rarity tier system and blockchain integration also remain uncertain.
Integral Reality Labs has a longstanding partnership with Ubisoft, previously creating customizable figures for games like Rainbow Six Siege. These figures, similar to Xbox Design Lab controllers, allowed players to customize operator stances and gear.
Paying for past mistakes
Ubisoft Quartz didn’t go as the company had hoped. Facing €500 million in losses and undergoing business restructuring, the company decided to eliminate NFTs and crypto from their ventures just earlier this year before seemingly backtracking their decision with the Assassin’s Creed NFTs.
As the Quartz project led Ubisoft experiencing significant failures in sales revenues and reputation, the publisher was also forced to introduce measures to reduce risk and spending in light of the uncertain global economy and decreased consumer spending on games.
On top of the €540 million loss in non-IFRS operating income for the fiscal year ending March 2023, the company also canceled three games and delayed Skull and Bones.
Additionally, Ubisoft also revealed plans to divest non-core assets, potentially selling unwanted or unused video game IPs. Given the volatility of cryptocurrencies and the lack of guaranteed returns, investing in NFTs and crypto during such challenging economic conditions was deemed too risky.
Moreover, the potential loss of value and uncertainty surrounding the survival of NFTs and crypto-based goods further contributed to the retconned decision.
Ubisoft also sought to avoid brand disruption and PR fiascos. However, with existing pressure on popular video game franchises to monetize, innovate and increase player spending, the burden of NFTs, crypto and blockchain proved too overwhelming for Ubisoft’s core business practices.
Even though Ubisoft’s previous attempt at an NFT platform faced significant challenges and criticism, the publisher expressed its intention to pursue more NFT games and related projects.
The introduction of Assassin’s Creed NFTs serves as evidence of this commitment. fans can explore the collectibles on the website to gain a better understanding of the upcoming offering.