Ubisoft was the first major video game publisher to publish in-game NFT items with Ghost Recon Breakpoint in December 2021 – and while the the reception was decidedly mixedthe company continued to take steps in the Web3 world. It is the last ? Rabbids Launching Today NFT avatar for Ethereum metaverse game The sandbox.
The release of NFT comes a year later Ubisoft initially announced plans to bring its popular Rabbids characters – who hail from the classic Rayman game franchise – to The Sandbox. Ubisoft started selling today for users who had already been added to an allowlist, while the public sale will begin on Wednesday.
Ubisoft releases 2,066 Rabbids avatars via Polygonan Ethereum scaling network, with each NFT selling for 100 SAND—about $78, at the time of this writing. The drop is themed around the Lunar New Year, as 2023 is the Year of the Rabbit, and Rabbids will be showcasing various designs that will be unveiled to shoppers this Friday.
On February 28, therefore, The Sandbox will launch a Rabbids game world in the current open alpha test, which houses a limited number of playable experiences. Avatars are touted as a “key to future usefulness” in The Sandbox, including access to potential future drops.
Previous sandbox added Rabbids characters to its NFT Institute museum experience last September, and published Rabbids-themed NFT items and accessories. Today’s mint marks the first time players can purchase Rabbids avatars for use in-game, however.
Ubisoft, the studio behind the Assassin’s Creed and Just Dance franchises, was one of the first major video game publishers to take notice of Web3 and start moving around NFTs. The firm did a Minecraft-inspired NFT game prototype called HashCraft in 2018, but the project was eventually scrapped. However, Ubisoft expanded further into the crypto industry.
In 2020, Ubisoft published a Rabbids-themed NFT experience benefiting the charity UNICEF, allowing users to collect Rabbids and even steal them from other owners. The following year, Ubisoft and Web3 fantasy sports startup Sister collaborated in One-shot leaguea spin-off from Sorare that used his existing Ethereum NFT soccer player cards.
Ubisoft has also supported NFT game projects like Axie Infinity And Nine Chronicles and invested in companies like metaverse investment firm Animoca brands And Horizon game creator.
The company’s launch of ThesesNFTs based on the PC version of Ghost Recon Breakpoint were a turning point for the company’s Web3 push, tying assets to an existing mainstream video game that lacked NFT functionality at launch. “Quartz” NFTs, such as Ubisoft tagged themlet users collect and trade unique weapons and equipment for team shooting game.
The launch proved controversial among playershowever, many of which have been strongly opposed to NFTs due to scams in the crypto space, exorbitant prices for some assets, and what some see as another way for game publishers to extract money from players.
Ghost Recon’s implementation was relatively shallow, however, and Ubisoft gave away the NFTs for free, but they failed to create much demand in the secondary market. In April 2022, Ubisoft ended its broader post-launch support for the game, but said it would use the Quartz platform for future games. He has yet to announce any other Quartz NFT projects.
Last September, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot said in an interview that the firm was “still in research mode” with the implementation of Web3, and said the gaming giant should have made it clear to gamers that Quartz was an experiment and a work in progress.
Some gamers opposed to NFTs took this as a sign that Ubisoft was pulling out of the space, but the publisher has kept moving ever since.
He invested in Horizon And joined the Mythos Foundation last falland recently collaborated with cloud storage startup Aleph.im develop fully decentralized smart contracts— that contain the code that powers decentralized applications (dapps) and NFT projects—on Tezos. The Rabbids NFT are just the latest step in Ubisoft’s continued Web3 expansion.