Ubisoft—the fourth largest publicly traded video game company known for Assassin’s Creed, Far Cry, and Just Dance—is reportedly developing game features on the Ethereum blockchain, according to Les Echos.
Sources told Les Echos that the development team at Ubisoft is in the advanced stages of creating a blockchain-based marketplace for in-game items, essentially enabling users to purchase game commodities using the blockchain and crypto assets like Ethereum.
A rough translation of the report read:
“The idea is to give a digital existence on the blockchain to the ‘items’ (accessories) available in video games; content that publishers monetize. Ubisoft is considering working on the blockchain Ethereum, which allows to operate this kind of operation.”
Designing games on Ethereum
The idea for integrating an Ethereum blockchain marketplace for in-game items isn’t new. There are several different blockchain startups which have tried to pitch the idea in late 2017.
Ubisoft began exploring the potential of blockchain technology in late 2018. In mid-2018, Ubisoft held a blockchain hackathon called Blockchain Heroes and the Strategic Innovation Lab of Ubisoft created a prototype of a blockchain game.
Speaking to VentureBeat, blockchain initiative associate manager at Ubisoft Anne Puck said:
“At Ubisoft, we think it’s crucial to be part of pioneering the ways players can benefit from what blockchain has to offer. We think that blockchain has the potential to transform the gaming experience and even maybe to empower players as true stakeholders in their worlds. That’s why our job is to accelerate the integration of blockchain at Ubisoft with this initiative.”
According to Puck, Yves Guillemot, the CEO of Ubisoft, suggested that blockchain technology is a “potential revolution for the video game industry in the future,” emphasizing the interest of the company towards building blockchain-based applications as early as August of last year.
Although it remains to be seen whether blockchain networks like Ethereum, with its current transaction throughput limitations, can handle a large base of active users in the near term. That said, open sourcedeveloper communities are moving forward with the deployment of scaling solutions and companies anticipate that both on-chain and second-layer capacity will be expanded.
Ubisoft does not have plans to formally launch blockchain applications in the short term due to the regulatory uncertainty in France.
“For the time being, Ubisoft is thinking about this project and no timetable has been set. The group expects that the French legislation on blockchain to be clarified,” Les Echos reported.
Will regulations improve?
With the G20 moving towards the adoption of a standardized regulatory framework and the imposition of policies that can facilitate innovation in the crypto sector, there are hopes that France and the rest of the eurozone will adopt favorable legislation.
In April, France encouraged the EU to adopt its crypto regulatory framework proposed by pro-crypto regulator Bruno Le Maire.
“I will propose to my European partners that we set up a single regulatory framework on crypto-assets inspired by the French experience. Our model is the right one,” the Finance Minister said.
Until France passes the proposed crypto bill, large companies like Ubisoft are likely to remain on the sidelines and while waiting for the approval of regulators.