Ubisoft does a world's first, launches 'playable' NFTs in video games
- Ubisoft launched a platform allowing players to acquire NFTs in video games. Start with Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Breakpoint.
French video game giant Ubisoft on Tuesday launched a platform allowing players to acquire and play non-fungible tokens (NFTs) in its games, in the gaming industry's first large-scale experiment with blockchain technology. The online tactical shooter game "Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Breakpoint" -- whose production budget is similar to that of Hollywood films -- will be the first to use them.
NFTs are unique digital items that can be traded and are shaking up the worlds of culture and entertainment, having been used in contemporary art, cinema and music projects.
Players in nine countries will be able to acquire "Digits" in limited editions on the Ubisoft Quartz platform from Thursday.
Digits are unique collectable objects with their own serial numbers which other players can see.
They can be vehicles, weapons or equipment and can be resold to allow other players to acquire them, even those outside the Ubisoft ecosystem.
"It's the industrial revolution of tomorrow. With new tools like blockchain and the development of cryptocurrencies, we will be able to create new rules that will apply worldwide," Ubisoft chief executive Yves Guillemot told the French newspaper Les Echos.
Blockchain technology, which authenticates digital transactions including those of cryptocurrencies, will ensure the tracking of current and future owners of Digits through a property certificate.
Ubisoft has been working on introducing the Digits for four years as part of its goal of working within a "metaverse" virtual reality platform.
"Blockchain is laying the foundations of a new digital economy," Ubisoft's blockchain initiatives manager Nicolas Pouard told AFP.
"As a video games actor, we cannot not seize these tools. We see added value for our players in NFTs," he said.
Keith Richards guitar -- plus NFT -- vies with Paul McCartney bass at auction
Could one of rock's oldest rivalries be settled by a non-fungible token?
A Rolling Stones guitar -- accompanied by a video of Keith Richards signing his Gibson ES-335 -- is expected to exceed the price of Paul McCartney's autographed bass when the instruments go on sale in Beverly Hills next month.
"The same old adage, 'the Beatles or the Rolling Stones?' 'Are you a Beatle or a Rolling Stone fan?'... The two can collide and you can actually enjoy both, of course," said Martin Nolan, executive director of Julien's Auctions.
"I think that Keith Richards will win out on this one, simply because it's so fun and because of the NFT."
NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, are unique digital objects that confer ownership -- in this case, of the four-second video of Richards penning his autograph.
The new darling art form for some collectors and investors, NFTs have become staples of auction houses.
According to Julien's Auctions, the auction item will be Richards' first-ever NFT, and is expected to yield $6,000-8,000.
McCartney's signed Hofner violin bass guitar is the same model he used during their final concert on the London rooftop of Apple Corps in 1969 -- a gig recently shown in full for the first time in Peter Jackson's Disney documentary "The Beatles: Get Back."
Its pre-auction estimate is $4,000-$6,000.
Both are on sale as part of the charity auction for MusiCares, which offers health and recovery programs for members of the music community.
In a sign of the changing times, the auction's highest estimate comes from a far more recent musical phenomenon -- South Korea's BTS.
The K-pop band members are selling the seven custom-made white, orange and black suits they wore at their 2021 Grammy Awards performance, for an expected $30,000-$50,000.
"They have such a massive fan base all over the world," said Nolan.
The auction will take place on January 30 in Los Angeles and online.
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