Already in 2019, Ubisoft was interested in the opportunities of blockchain for the video game industry. This French video game publisher was a forerunner with this interest. Other international video game publishers, such as Square Enix, have had a harder time seeing the opportunities of these interactions. However, the Japanese publisher is serious about getting involved in 2022.
Square Enix: 2022 under the sign of NFTs and blockchain games
Square Enix’s president, Yosuke Matsuda, has sent a somewhat peculiar letter of good wishes to its users. Indeed, after having laconically wished them a happy new year, he went straight to the subject of metavers and all the attention it has attracted. He took the example of Facebook which decided to change its name to Meta in October 2021.
Afterwards, Matsuda also dwells on the subject of non-fungible tokens (NFT), which have also met with the approval of thousands of users. However, he also notes that some NFTs turned out to be assets with a strong speculative dimension.
In any case, the president of Square Enix said that his company would focus this year on publishing games using tokens and blockchain technologies. Without putting aside the classic games that he calls “centralized games”, Square Enix will gradually incorporate them into its catalog.
Finally, Yosuke Matsuda did not detail what types of games would be developed, or even what technologies will be mobilized in the first instance.
An announcement that does not delight all Square Enix players
In the same letter, the Square Enix president said he was aware of the risk that his announcement might not please all of the brand’s players:
“I am aware that some people ‘play for fun’ and currently form the majority of gamers who have expressed reservations about these new trends and that is understandable. However, I think there will be a number of people whose motivation will be to ‘play to contribute’, i.e. to help make the game more exciting. Traditional gaming has not offered any explicit incentives to this latter group of people (…).”
Indeed, players unhappy with this announcement immediately reacted to Yosuke Matsuda’s words on Reddit. Many players pointed to the environmental impact of cryptocurrencies and related technologies, such as NFTs.
This has already been pointed out in the introduction, but it is worth emphasizing that Square Enix has already fallen behind its French rival Ubisoft. Indeed, the Hexagonean company, after integrating the Tezos (XTZ) network as a validator node, has launched the beta of its NFT platform called Ubisoft Quartz. However, one should never be too quick to claim victory, because for the time being, Ubisoft Quartz is more likely to fail than succeed.