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French trade union criticises Ubisoft Quartz as "a useless, costly, ecologically mortifying tech"

Devs unhappy with NFTs.

A French trade union representing Ubisoft Paris staff members has heavily criticised the company's move into blockchain technology.

Last week Ubisoft announced its new NFT platform, Quartz, for unique items in AAA games it promises will run on "energy-efficient technology".

However, in a statement shared on Twitter, trade union Solidaires Informatique called blockchain "a useless, costly, ecologically mortifying tech".

"Ubisoft has recently entered the blockchain and Non-Fungible Tokens (NFT) market. A decision that has been widely criticised by our players, bringing no improvements or benefits to our games," reads the statement. "Many of us in the company feel the same way and say that blockchain is harmful, worthless, and without future."

The union states that NFTs bring nothing to the video game industry.

"You like dividends, subprimes, financial derivatives, crises, speculation, fast trading, money laundering, etc? This is the assured and unspoken promise of NFT. We are far from the enjoyment of videogames," the statement continues.

So far the technology has been used as a "simple shop between players" and blockchain's innovation "is to do the same but inefficiently using energy".

The use of NFTs and blockchain technology has been "questioned and denounced internally" at Ubisoft Paris, according to the statement.

"We don't have concrete statistics, but in the internal Ubisoft forum, the announcement of NFTs was widely commented on, with something like a five percent ratio of positive comments. The rest were negative," Solidaires Informatique chapter rep Marc Rutschlé told PC Gamer. Rutschlé is a senior designer on Ghost Recon Breakpoint.

"[Ubisoft CEO] Yves Guillemot made a video conference this morning to support the NFT project. I am not sure how many people attended the meeting ([Ubisoft Paris is] around 700+-plus people). Some friends checked and found four people who were happy. The rest were negative comments/questions. Devs are not happy."

The use of NFTs has been heavily criticised by players and the media, despite more and more developers using the technology.

Stalker 2 will include a "metaverse" of NFTs, while EA and Peter Molyneux are also exploring blockchain tech.

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Ed Nightingale

Deputy News Editor

Ed has an interest in streaming, people and communities, and giving a voice to marginalised people.