While several big gaming companies have flirted with the idea of non-fungible tokens, none has embraced the crypto scam with as much blind confidence as Square Enix. Now the Final Fantasy maker has finally revealed its first NFT stunt, Symbiogenesis, crushing fan hopes that the previously leaked name was actually for a long-awaited resurrection of cult-hit horror RPG Parasite Eve.
“NFT Collectible Art Project SYMBIOGENESIS Untangle the Story Spring 2023,” Square Enix tweeted on Thursday. A short teaser revealed the logo art alongside some upbeat electronic jazz. Announced at the Web3 Conclave event at India’s Game Developers Conference, Symbiogenesis will be hosted on the Ethereum blockchain and allegedly tell a story about characters whose art players can own as NFTs.
“The art can be used for social media profile pictures (PFP) and as a character in a story that takes place in an alternate world where the player can ’untangle’ a mystery by completing missions that revolve around questions of the monopolization and distribution of resources,” a press release reads. You can’t make this up.
While the beloved JRPG publisher’s crypto ambitions are nothing new—the company announced a Cloud Strife NFT as an expensive collectible add-on earlier this year—the Symbiogenesis reveal is hitting some fans especially hard because they thought the name hinted at the return of Parasite Eve. The RPG thriller literally revolves around the symbiosis of a parasite and its host, and despite a brilliant PS1 game and decent sequel, the series has been dormant since The 3rd Birthday on the PSP back in 2010.
Today’s Square Enix tweet has already been roundly ratio’d, with Parasite Eve fans collectively shaking their heads in disbelief. But will it cause the publisher to finally revaluate its plans and put the NFT cringe pipeline on hold? Who can say. Square Enix is clearly having an identity crisis of sorts at the moment.
This year it sold sold its American studios behind Deus Ex and Tomb Raider, told investors it was open to partial buyouts of its other studios, and flooded the market with a ton of JRPG sequels, remakes, and remasters, while barely giving any of them time to breathe or, apparently, a marketing budget. And now: Symbiogenesis.