Japanese video game company Square Enix, known for AAA game franchises such as Final Fantasy and Just Cause, said it will explore adding Blockchain-based decentralised games to its game library in 2022 and will also consider releasing its non-fungible tokens (NFTs) in the future.
“Incorporating decentralised games into our portfolio in addition to centralised games will be a major strategic theme for us starting in 2022,” Yosuke Matsuda, president and representative director of Square Enix, said in a statement. Matsuda also called 2021 the year of NFTs and Metaverse.
Matsuda said the foundational technologies to support blockchain games already exist. Awareness and acceptance of crypto assets have also improved.
Keeping this in mind, “We will keep a close eye on shifts in this space while listening to the many groups of users, and ramp up our efforts to develop a business accordingly, with an eye to potentially issuing our own tokens in the future,” he added.
Square Enix isn’t the first gaming company that wants to tap into the NFT craze. Last month, French gaming company Ubisoft launched its NFT marketplace called Quartz to sell in-game accessories, such as guns and helmets, from the Ghost Recon Breakpoint video game.
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The interest of big gaming companies has also been triggered by the recent surge in the trade volume of Blockchain-based NFT games. According to Web3 market analytics firm DappRadar, 1.4 million unique active wallets (UAW) now interact daily with gaming dapps (decentralised apps). Gaming NFTs accounted for 20% of the total NFT trading volume of $23 billion in 2021.
However, Matsuda warned about over-speculation in the trading of NFT-based digital goods, even if the actual value of the content is much lower.
He said it is “not an ideal situation”, but he is positive that the value of NFTs will eventually normalise when more buyers come on board and start trading.
Matsuda also stressed that Blockchain games “hold the potential to enable self-sustaining game growth” as they are designed for a token-based game economy. Growth in token economies will drive the adoption of play to earn models.
By designing viable token economies into our games, we will enable self-sustaining game growth, said Matsuda.
He also drew attention to the fact that the gaming industry has traditionally catered to the large majority of gamers who play for fun and who resent these new trends. However, an emerging section of gamers wants to embrace these new models.
“Traditional gaming has offered no explicit incentive to this latter group of people, who were motivated strictly by such inconsistent personal feelings as goodwill and volunteer spirit,” he added.
Matsuda also said that Facebook’s ambitious plan to become a Metaverse company and change its name to reflect it shows that Metaverse is more than a buzzword.
Facebook Inc had changed its name to Meta Platforms in October and had also showcased various technologies including augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) platforms that will support it. Some of the platforms such as Horizon Worlds were released last month to users in the US and Canada on Microsoft Windows and Oculus Quest VR headsets.
Matsuda feels more business opportunities will emerge around Metaverse in 2022 and a wide range of services will be available.
“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.