While we’re still waiting/dreading to see what Square Enix’s NFT plans are when it comes to video games, the publisher has today announced that its latest blockchain tokens are going to be related to some physical Final Fantasy VII merch.
Both an upcoming action figure and some collector’s cards are going to have NFTs bundled with them, so if you buy the tangible item you get a digital copy (in the case of the figure) or a bonus digital card (in the case of the cards). You can also get a certificate of authenticity for both, again as a token on the blockchain.
While the cards won’t go on sale for a while, you can pre-order the figure now. It’s Cloud as he appears in Final Fantasy VII, standing around six inches tall and including some interchangeable hands. You can buy the figure on its own for $130, or buy a version that includes the digital copy alongside it for $150.
Maybe the company has been spooked by the negative public reception to its overall NFT plans and is dipping just a single toenail in the water here, but doesn’t this approach kinda defeat the whole point? NFTs are supposed to be about artificial digital scarcity and the supposed ‘value’ of creating something that lives on the blockchain. This sounds no different to bundling free internet shit with an action figure—whose scarcity will be determined by the number of physical units it shifts—something that has been around for decades.
Hilariously, the action figure isn’t even due out until November 2023, meaning there’s a good chance the infrastructure needed to view your digital copy—you need to have a certain blockchain wallet, handled by a company called Enjin, and the figure and cards can only be viewed on a dedicated website—won’t even be around.
Square Enix even acknowledges this! There’s an entire section of the action figure’s product page called “Caution Before Purchasing”, and check out this fine print from the press release:
If the Enjin services end or are no longer provided to Square Enix, users will no longer be able to view or use the digital cards, digital certificate and digital versions of the figure.