We now have an idea of what a Square Enix NFT and blockchain world might look like. In a new financial report, Square Enix lays out its plans for both NFTs and the blockchain, detailing investments and strategies to incorporate this tech into its business plan going forward.
Square Enix has already moved into the NFT and blockchain space, selling NFTs based on franchises like Million Arthur and famously showing an interest in "play to earn" game mechanics. Now, a new financial report gives us an idea of what Square Enix will do in the future to increase its focus on NFTs and the blockchain. In the report, Square Enix lays out its blockchain-based initiatives, including establishing regulatory guidelines for blockchain games, issuing "exclusive fungible tokens" (i.e. cryptocurrency), and launching an entirely new brand and IP based on NFTs.
The company begins by pointing out that it's already started up a "Blockchain Entertainment Business Division", which opened back in February of this year. The first season of Million Arthur NFTs ended in March, and since Square Enix is pleased by the "results and feedback" of that season, there will be a second run of Million Arthur NFTs. There are also plans to "incorporate game content into our service", according to Square Enix, as well as initiatives to expand how blockchain can be used in the studio's games.
As well as this, Square Enix also revealed that it's looking to make investments in two major key areas of blockchain technology. These areas are the Australian Web 3.0 company Animoca Brands, a major player in the blockchain space, as well as The Sandbox, a "decentralized metaverse" that has many NFT owners and enthusiasts excited. Square Enix also says it's thinking of making "multiple potential global investments" other than these two. Naturally, the financial presentation contains lots more Square Enix financials besides these, so it's well worth taking a look at the full slideshow if you want to learn more about the business side of this gaming giant.
How are NFTs being received in the gaming space?
While NFTs have a number of investors and companies excited, the wider gaming community paints a different picture. Several major gaming companies, including Call of Cthulhu publisher Chaosium and legendary British studio Team17, have had to backpedal on plans to introduce NFTs after massive public backlash. Some companies have issued scathing indictments of NFTs, too; Itch.io called NFTs "a scam", while Destiny and Halo luminary Bungie has described gaming NFTs as "mostly scams or worse", as well as "environmentally devastating". Ouch.
Despite this widespread skepticism, many developers are still going all-in on NFTs alongside Square Enix. Studios like Konami and Netmarble are making major investments in NFTs and the blockchain, and retailers like Gamestop are getting involved by opening their own marketplaces and offering a fund for NFT creators. That might not be the best move, though, as recent reports have suggested that the NFT market could be in serious decline. NFT-based game Axie Infinity recently saw one of its utility currencies drop to just $0.004 in value, and although the currency in question isn't the only string to Axie's bow, it's not a great sign, especially for a game that had been held up as a success story last year when they were going for a whole lot more. Only time will tell whether Square Enix is making the right decision by investing in NFTs at what seems to be a pretty bad time for blockchain tech in gaming. We'll bring you more on this as we get it.