Square Enix Doubles Down on Erroneous NFT Projects in 2023


Square Enix is doubling down on NFT in 2023, the company’s president announced in his New Year’s letter for 2023. This echoes the direction of the company outlined in last year’s letter, which caused a real stir in the gaming community.

According to the annual tradition of Square Enix President Yosuke Matsuda, Square Enix published his New Year’s letter for 2023 on its blog on January 1. A developing new tradition is the company’s somewhat stubborn approach to blockchain technology and NFT in video games.

In his letter, Matsuda spoke about the process of the company’s medium-term business strategy, which was specified at a briefing on the company’s financial results in March 2022. Square Enix’s medium-term business strategies consist of three stages: (1) strengthening the [Square Enix] IP ecosystem, (2) acquiring new domains, and (3) optimizing the business structure for the COVID world. The second strategy includes initiatives to promote the Blockchain Entertainment domain, where NFT systems come into effect.

“I think it’s fair to say that blockchain has gained significant recognition as an area in 2022,” says Matsuda. “The evidence of this is that “Web 3.0″ has become firmly in vogue among business people. However, this year there was also volatility in the cryptocurrency and NFT (non-interchangeable tokens) markets, which tracked the sharp shifts in macroeconomics described above. In the second half of the year, in particular, there was a series of gloomy news related to blockchain, including the scandalous FTX bankruptcy filing in November.”

It’s nice to see an NFT supporter admitting that blockchain technology has been mired in controversy in the past year. However, Matsuda’s conclusion was pretty bleak for fans who would like NFT to stay as far away from video games as possible. Matsuda quoted that attention to blockchain events in 2022 and the creation in Japan of a “Priority Policy Program for the implementation of a digital society” are good indicators of the future of blockchain technology and NFT.

“New technologies and frameworks lead to innovation, but they also create significant confusion,” says Matsuda. “Having experienced such social tides, some of these technologies and structures are gradually becoming part of people’s lives, which ultimately leads to the emergence of new businesses and growth.”

While blockchain technology, the usability of NFT and the benefits it can bring to people are certainly worth exploring, the gaming community is openly opposed to NFT products that are produced using video game titles and franchises that they like. Consequently, Square Enix NFT projects, such as the Symbiogenesis project, were met negatively by fans. Although Matsuda did not say what new NFT projects Square Enix will explore in 2023, he said that the company does not plan to create a Final Fantasy NFT game in the near future. Nevertheless, the looming prospect that the NFT project will ever touch Final Fantasy is causing fear among fans. I hope that day never comes.


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