Blockchain integration into video games continues to be a big topic for Square Enix. The technology was mentioned several times in the latest New Year’s letter.
While cryptocurrencies are on rather shaky ground, Square Enix’s stated goal is to establish blockchain technology in the video game industry. This has not changed in the past twelve months. In the latest New Year’s speech, Square Enix President Yosuke Matsuda mentioned the term “blockchain” a total of 14 times.
Already in the New Year’s letter for 2022, the company committed to developing games with blockchain and NFTs. Plans to sell NFTs were announced later in the year.
Square Enix names challenges and goals
In the 2023 New Year’s letter, Matsuda first discussed inflation, Russia’s attack on Ukraine, price hikes, supply chain disruptions, mass layoffs and the COVID aftermath. In view of the factors mentioned, Square Enix has carried out structural reforms to secure the future.
On the development side, this includes the sale of the three western studios to Embracer Group, a move Square Enix wanted to pool resources as the increasing complexity of game development has “made such ventures more costly.”
“With regard to new business areas, we have identified three priority investment areas in our medium-term business plan,” says Matsude. “Among these, we are most focused on blockchain entertainment, to which we have dedicated aggressive investment and business development efforts.”
While Square Enix seems to be convinced that NFTs and co will prevail in the gaming sector, Matsuda also pointed out the controversy and emphasized that Japan is working on mastering Web 3.0.
“Our group has several blockchain games in development based on original IPs, some of which we announced last year. And we are making preparations that will allow us to release even more titles this year.”
Finally, “We are also in the field of global investment sourcing and will continue to invest in promising companies, whether we find them in Japan or abroad. Blockchain has been an object of excitement and a source of turmoil. But now that we see that in the rearview mirror, we hope that blockchain games will enter a new phase of growth in 2023.”
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Whether NFTs and similar initiatives will prevail remains to be seen. What is certain, however, is that several companies in the industry want to expand some of their video games on the blockchain basis. However, the PlayStation collectibles are not NFTs, like Sony did after the announcement of PlayStation Stars quickly made clear.
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