Ubisoft has officially confirmed that one of its three recently cancelled games was Project Q, a game announced in mid-2022 to a disappointed audience. The game was revealed as a multiplayer ‘team battle arena’ experience – but it was the wording of the announcement that raised major suspicious, as players began questioning whether Project Q was a blockchain-based game including NFTs.
‘Introducing codename Project Q, a team battle arena letting players truly own the experience! The game is in early development and we will keep testing, so for now all you can do is register for upcoming tests,’ Ubisoft announced.
Referring to ‘ownership’ of video games had become trendy in this period – although the concept was largely tied to the rise of Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) and blockchain-based games which claimed to provide players with their own personal slice of a game.
Companies looking to exploit players would offer digital goods that players could truly ‘own’ – for example, virtual houses costing upwards of US $900,000 (AU $1.3 million) – allowing them to feel like they were part of something bigger. In the bargain, players would gain a virtual product, and a receipt on the blockchain to confirm their ownership.
Ubisoft did not confirm the nature of Project Q in its initial announcement, although fans were quick to speculate that NFTs and blockchain-based products would be part of the project. Ubisoft Quartz, a proprietary tool to sell NFTs in games, had just launched – and Project Q was assumed to be a tie-in.
Quartz ultimately failed to find an audience, with Ubisoft later labelling the initiative as simply ‘research‘ as industry trends shifted.
In the weeks after Project Q was announced, the company denied it would include NFTs – but the wording around ownership was never amended or clarified, leaving many to speculate about the true nature of the game.
Now, it appears we’ll never learn more about what was planned. While closed beta invites were sent out in 2022, allowing players a glimpse of its melee-based PvP arena battling gameplay, these players likely saw the final glimpses of the game.
The other games reportedly cancelled have not been detailed yet, and it’s unknown if these had been announced prior to Ubisoft’s cancellation announcement.