Earlier this year, Kotaku reported that Square Enix was getting into NFTs. At that time, the Tokyo-based game maker was dipping its toe in the non-fungible waters. Now, it looks like Square Enix is ready to take the plunge.
As previously noted, Square Enix joined forces with Double Jump Tokyo, a blockchain tech company founded in 2018, for one-of-a-kind digital assets for its Million Arthur franchise. Square Enix has been investigating blockchain tech for the past few years, looking at the possibilities for creating new digital entertainment and creating a new business model. This is starting to feel inevitable. Everyone from McDonald’s to Quentin Tarantino seems happy to push and peddle NFTs. So why not Square Enix?
Now, as New Economy reports, Square Enix is interested in ramping up its NFT and blockchain business. During its most recent financial presentation, Square Enix discussed its Million Arthur effort, saying these NFT cards were “a proof of concept for establishing what synergies we can derive by combining NFTs with our business assets.” According to Square Enix, the initial Million Arthur NFT set, which launched on October 14, has already sold out—for Square Enix, no doubt a good sign for its initial business venture, regardless of its larger implications. This is why the game maker also stated how it has recognized that “NFTs have high affinity with our assets,” and that the “proof of concept phase is over.” This means, according to the company, that it “will transition to [a] full commercialization stage.”
NFTs are unique data sets on the blockchain, while blockchain gaming lets players win NFTs or even cryptocurrency—all of which leave greenhouse gases in their wake. Here’s how crypto exchange Zipmex explains blockchain gaming:
Blockchain gaming gives players complete control over the digital assets they earn or gain through their participation in the games. Even if players pay real money for their digital assets in traditional games, they will lose access to them if the server is ever turned down. Both the money and the game assets would remain the property of the publisher or developer.
Meanwhile, players in blockchain games retain total ownership of their digital assets, allowing them to freely trade them with other players, sell them for real money, and potentially use them across numerous game universes.
Over the medium-term, Square Enix is contemplating a “robust entry” into blockchain games, as NFTs continue to spread and take hold. The appeal of blockchain games is based on the idea that people don’t only want to play games, but also create and collect things in a digital economy. “Games are further expanding from centralized into decentralized formats,” Square Enix wrote on a presentation slide. “In addition to the sort of content creation we have traditionally engaged in, we will focus on blockchain games premised on token economies as a form of decentralized content.” The non-fungible token trend is hot—and there’s understandable concern about its carbon pollution problem that could also help heat up the planet even more.
In its presentation, Square Enix also pointed out that the environment for digital games is changing. That it is, but it’s certainly not the only environment that’s changing.