Square Enix starts the year focusing on blockchain games


In his New Year’s letter, Square Enix President Yosuke Matsuda revealed the company’s plans to focus on incorporating blockchain-based games into its portfolio.

Besides getting behind the blockchain games, the major publisher indicated it is eager to participate in the emerging trends–including Metaverse and NFTs.

Decentralized gaming

Although Square Enix has not announced any games that incorporate blockchain technology or NFTs yet, the letter revealed the publisher’s plans to explore the idea in 2022.

“By designing viable token economies into our games, we will enable self-sustaining game growth. It is precisely this sort of ecosystem that lies at the heart of what I refer to as “decentralized gaming,” and I hope that this becomes a major trend in gaming going forward,” wrote Matsuda in the letter. 

“If we refer to the one-way relationship where game players and game providers are linked by games that are finished products as “centralized gaming” to contrast it with decentralized gaming, then incorporating decentralized games into our portfolio in addition to centralized games will be a major strategic theme for us starting in 2022,” he added.

While he noted that the needed technological infrastructure already exists, Matsuda also pointed out that there has been an “increase in the societal literacy and acceptance of crypto” during the past years.

“We will keep a close eye on societal shifts in this space while listening to the many groups of users that populate it, and ramp up our efforts to develop a business accordingly, with an eye to potentially issuing our own tokens in the future,” he announced.

Metaverse and NFTs

Although Matsuda acknowledged that those who play games for fun have “voiced their reservations” regarding NFTs, he believes that “there will be a certain number of people whose motivation is to play to contribute,” adding that “traditional gaming has offered no explicit incentive to this latter group of people.”

According to him, 2021 was “Year One” for both NFTs and the Metaverse.  

“The metaverse will likely see a meaningful transition to a business phase in 2022, with a wide range of services appearing on the scene. As this abstract concept begins to take concrete shape in the form of product and service offerings, I am hoping that it will bring about changes that have a more substantial impact on our business as well,” he added.

Matsuda’s letter wasn’t well-received among the gamer community, at least judging by the response on social media.  

Square Enix really said “Happy New Year” and started to talk about NFTs immediately. Bruhhhhhhh. pic.twitter.com/CjRvcxFRCv

— Miraculous Maku (@RedMakuzawa) January 1, 2022

i really hope that the NFT is not going for FF14 from ffxiv

Despite the huge popularity, blockchain-based games witnessed in 2021, the gamer community proved to be a hard nut to crack when it comes to welcoming new trends–with even Edward Snowden criticizing NFTs “creeping into games” recently.

Ubisoft’s entry into the NFT gaming market didn’t resonate very well, either–after the video game publisher revealed Quartz, a new platform for players to earn, collect, and trade NFTs in the form of so-called ‘Digits.’

Meanwhile, facing a throng of backlash, Discord pulled back on its Web3 plans and shelved integrating Ethereum and NFTs into the platform.

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