We Tracked Down the People Who Are Actually Buying Ubisoft’s NFTs

A lot of justifiable fuss has been made about Ubisoft’s decision to start producing NFTs for Ghost Recon Breakpoint in the form of cosmetic items, like guns and armor, with unique serial numbers attached. There’s a tremendous amount of money tied up in NFTs right now, but the whole thing reeks of a cash-in, with every video game executive praising the potential of NFTs in video games, presumably because it might make investors come running with bags of money.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/y3vbmx/we-tracked-down-the-people-who-are-actually-buying-ubisofts-nfts
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It’s nice that Waypoint helps shed a light on the people behind these ponzi schemes though I’d rather have less links to nfts and nft sites and more links to the twitter profiles of these companies and people so I can block them more easily.

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believe NFTs will allow players to become “true owners of the items purchased in the game and/or minimize the amount of fraud in in-game trading.”

I would like an explanation as to how considering that almost always occurs due to account take over. This is just going to move to account take over of your wallet which we are already seeing. It’s also not user friendly because it’s decentralized meaning if you lose access you are just done, write everything off. The number of people who lose access to accounts on a daily basis is staggering. Expecting the general populous to move over to a system with no account recovery is on the same level of thinking that everyone should have a physical hardware token for authentication.

I presume that the NFT will gain in value as the space grows

The value only grows if Ubisoft keeps supporting all of these in future games lol. There’s no incentive for Ubisoft to support these in future titles. The argument that “well if it has a contract that when sold they get X %” holds no water when Ubisoft can just make whatever cosmetics they want and sell them at whatever price point. Do these even have a contract part to them?

it didn’t feel different from using any other cosmetic but the custom serial and ability to view it outside of the Ghost Recon experience really added a level of ownership that I appreciate

I’ve told myself similar things after questionable purchases.

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It’s funny that this is a selling point when I think of all of my friends on Twitter who just screenshot their gacha pulls and can also view them outside of the Love Live ‘experience’, all without the blockchain. Feels like this is just a way to monetise the moments after the already exploitatively monetized mtx/loot box purchase.

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Science fiction promised so much—mech, cybernetics, nanobots—and all our shitty ass dystopia gives us is repulsive monkey cartoons and the same video game cosmetics as 2015 but more expensive and with a number.

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Don’t forget that they also accelerate the climate crisis

Precisely. Like, when I pull a sweet Yu-Gi-Oh card, I take a picture and post it in a Discord channel. Magic card? Post it to my friends. Looking at this sick pull that is indistinguishable from anything else and unusable anywhere else? Not selling me.

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I finally took a look at what these skins look like and they’re not even that great?

Valve managed to nail the idea of unique skins with random wear patterns in CSGO of varying quality and I believe in TF2 the pattern itself on the guns is somewhat random? So if you care enough you can actually go through the market looking for the version of that skin you actually like and pay $3 and not burn a forest to the ground.

Meanwhile I am failing to see the difference between M4A1 Tactical #236 and M4A1 Tactical #136. At least the normal terrible looking NFT’s tend to have something unique between them. Why on earth would anyone buy the more expensive #136 besides the fact that it’s a lower number? Also $40 seems ridiculous for such a bland skin.

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The actual potential of NFTs in video games and the notion that you’d actually be able to take your digital gun in one game and bring it into another remains very much up for debate.

I just want to see the face of the 3D artist that have to redraw “Hawaiian Red Shirt #3878” from a 2 years old game in a way that blends in with the style of a newer game with a totally different aesthetics… And don’t forgot the matching textures and sound files!

Ah what a tool! Obviously this could not happen, before 3d modeling the “Hawaiian Red Shirt #3878” must be properly game stated, tweaked and balanced with all the other items (and the other imported NFT too)

I am sure that everything must be held at the high standards required by “cryptobro69420” that bought that particular NFT for 0,00000000005 ETH 4 years ago.

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Yeah, it’s pretty remarkable how seemingly little you’d have to know about game development to believe that promise about NFT’s. The whole thing is so nakedly cynical it makes me nauseous.

More generally on the subject, I’ve been thinking about how snake-oil used to promise health benefits, something that everyone can kinda understand the implicit appeal of even if only some would fall prey to the scam. Now, snake-oil.jpg offers you something—anything—in your digital life that you can call uniquely your own. This might also something we can all relate to, setting aside the awfulness of crypto-culture for a moment and the bullshit of the proposed use cases. And that’s a potentially quite damning assessment of the kinds commodified existences we inhabit where consumption is easily mistaken for identity. I don’t think this is a particularly revelatory take, but this feels like the inevitable conclusion of a world where personality is what theme and apps you put on your Google/Apple device; what never-ending series you keep up with most closely; what slice of social media you think is or isn’t brain-rot. I fear we’re seeing and feeling the effects of a pandemic accelerating our descent into our detached, digitized worlds.

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Or, more generally, where identity is associated with consumption, which the capitalist consumption of the internet just allowed to happen more rapidly.

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