Square Enix plans aggressive investment into NFTs in 2023


Japanese gaming conglomerate Square Enix is ​​working on a technology often derided by gamers: non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

In a Jan. 1 letter, Square Enix President Yosuke Matsuda shared the company’s vision for 2023, including “aggressive investments” in blockchain technology and NFTs. The continuation of the company’s controversial 2022 business strategy comes amid cryptocurrency volatility and the growing unpopularity of NFTs among gamers.

In the letter, Matsuda said that Square Enix “has multiple blockchain games based on original IP under development, some of which we announced last year, and we hope to announce more titles this year.” We are preparing,” he wrote.

Square Enix has committed significant resources to the NFT project in 2022. We will invest in areas such as blockchain, AI, and cloud, and launch new businesses. The sale coincided with his massive $500 billion cryptocurrency crash that same month.

November, Square Enix clearly “Symbiogenes” received backlash from gamers who expected it to be an NFT game. Resurrection Popular horror series “Parasite Eve”. (Square Enix wasn’t alone; many other major game companies announced plans to incorporate NFTs into their games, but were met with similarly lukewarm response and controversy.)

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Matsuda expressed optimism about the future of blockchain gaming, despite a “crypto winter” when cryptocurrency prices fell and industry giants went bankrupt. refer to Japanese government initiative to promote Web3 services, NFTs, and the Metaverse.

“Following the excitement and exhilaration surrounding NFTs and the Metaverse in 2021, 2022 has been a year of great change in the blockchain-related space,” he wrote. If it proved to be a step in the process leading to a more robust business environment, it would definitely be good for the growth of blockchain entertainment.”

Matsuda also said that Square Enix aims to achieve the targets presented at its financial results briefing in March 2022. This includes investing in blockchain companies in his Animoca Brands, establishing publishing divisions in countries where cryptocurrencies are popular, and branding his NFTs.

“The market was driven more by speculative investors than by gamers until 2021,” Matsuda said in his New Year’s letter, referring to the crypto market. However, in the wake of the above-mentioned turmoil in the cryptocurrency industry, blockchain technology is viewed as a mere means to an end, and the purpose is to provide new experiences and excitement to customers. We tend to discuss what it takes to achieve this, which we believe is a very beneficial development for the future growth of the industry.”

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NFTs and cryptocurrencies as a whole continue to be hotly debated topics. The collapse of crypto exchange FTX and the subsequent arrest of founder Sam Bankman-Fried has brought heavy scrutiny to the industry. Bankman-Fried, FTX co-founder Gary Wang, and former CEO of Alamenda Research (an FTX affiliate) Caroline Ellison have been charged with conspiracy to commit various forms of fraud. Wang and Ellison pleaded guilty. Bankman-Fried pleaded not guilty. In September, the White House said the creation of crypto assets could undermine a country’s commitment to the Paris Agreement, an international treaty to combat climate change.Mining, minting, and trading cryptocurrencies requires enormous amounts of energy and leaves a significant carbon footprint.

Some video game developers are adamantly opposed to implementing NFTs in their games. The Minecraft developer Mojang Studios announced in July that it would strictly ban the use of NFTs and blockchain technology in Minecraft. Game developer Sam Barlow has responded to the news that Square Enix is ​​still working on NFTs. sarcastic tweet: “Now stop acting like it’s 2023, 2022.”

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