Assassin’s Creed NFTs are coming but won’t do anything in-game

Assassin’s Creed NFTs are coming but won’t do anything in-game

Assassin's Creed Rogue's protagonist walks through a blizzard to get the NFT.

Picture: Ubisoft

Ubisoft quietly stopped talking about NFTs a while ago, but the controversial idea is now back in the form of new licensed collectibles for Assassin’s Creed. Come along for the ride and we can suffer through this together.

The Assassin’s Creed NFTs, announced as fans eagerly await next game in the series, mirageis made by Integral Reality Labs (IRL), a company that seems to have been willed to exist with exclusive mission to try to annoy players. Unlike conventional NFTs, which are essentially just signed JPEGs, IRL calls these Smart Collectibles.

In addition to the NFT part, there will also be a physical acrylic cube with a small 3D printed figure of Ezio and others Assassin’s Creed sign inside. Then there will be an app you can download to activate the character’s “digital souls” and take them on a “journey” where they can “complete achievements and level up your account to earn and unlock items, recipes and loot boxes” in the app. It seems like the worst parts of Assassin’s Creed grind has escaped Ubisoft’s microtransaction stores so they can annoy players in the real world as well.

No prices have been announced yet, or even a release date for these collectibles. One thing IRL is very clear about is that these NFT figures will not interact with the games themselves at all, and that Ubisoft is barely involved beyond licensing the brand. It just begs the question of why the publisher is involved at all, given the super negative reaction from fans the last time it experimented with NFTs.

Ubisoft announced its own blockchain experiment called Quartz in late 2021 with NFT commodities inside Ghost Recon Breakpoint. The initiative was panned, and as Kotaku reported at the time, even developers at the company were furious about it. Some were concerned that the technology could be brought into other games, while others felt that it was one self-inflicted PR nightmare without clear payoff. Ubisoft hasn’t really mentioned Quartz since.

But it now appears that the company has not given up on the prospect of NFTs entirely. While it isn’t doubles what Square Enix has, turning the mascot of Ubisoft’s most popular gaming franchise into a blockchain Tamagotchi is certainly a choice. And hey, I like Tamagotchis. Just not the ones that require a crypto wallet to customize traits and increase the “rarity point system”.

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