Square Enix president says NFTs and blockchain games will be major themes for the company...

midian182

Posts: 8,332   +103
Staff member
A hot potato: Despite the majority of people expressing passionate disgust at the idea of non-fungible tokens appearing in games, more studios are embracing them. The latest is Japanese giant Square Enix, whose president says NFTs, blockchain games, and that other industry hot-button topic, the metaverse, will be a big focus from this year onwards.

Square Enix President Yosuke Matsuda’s New Year's letter begins with a dive into the metaverse, noting that Facebook’s name change to Meta is evidence that the concept is not just a buzzword that will go away. He believes the metaverse will be enabled through advances in extended reality (XR) technology, the increasing prevalence of the cloud and 5G, and more sophisticated blockchain tech.

“The metaverse will likely see a meaningful transition to a business phase in 2022, with a wide range of services appearing on the scene. 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,” writes Matsuda.

Square Enix’s president thinks 2021 was “NFTs: Year One.” He adds that there were "examples here and there of overheated trading in NFT-based digital goods with somewhat speculative overtones, regardless of the observed value of the content provided," but believes the price of digital items will eventually begin to reflect their “true estimated worth, and I look for them to become as familiar as dealings in physical goods.”

Matsuda notes that blockchain games are “built upon the premise of a token economy and therefore hold the potential to enable self-sustaining game growth.”

“I see the ‘play to earn’ concept that has people so excited as a prime example of this,” he adds, though not many gamers seem particularly excited about the genre, quite the opposite, in fact.

Matsuda admits there have been reservations about these new trends. One argument he put forward for their adoption is that token economies will provide rewards to those who create user-generated content, “thereby resulting not only in greater consistency in their motivation, but also creating a tangible upside to their creative efforts.” He says that being motivated solely by goodwill and volunteer spirit is “one reason that there haven’t been as many major game-changing content that were user generated as one would expect.”

So, in summary, Matsuda says that “incorporating decentralized games into our portfolio in addition to centralized games will be a major strategic theme for us starting in 2022.”

Matsuda’s letter appears to be echoing Ubisoft’s stance in which the company is sticking firmly to its NFT/blockchain plans despite the outcry. There seems to be very, very little of the excitement over play-to-earn games that Matsuda talks about in his letter, and highlighting better incentives for content creators is flimsy reasoning at best. Still, they’re a good money-making scheme for the companies behind them. At least Take-Two's director has made his anti-NFT feelings clear.

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BSim500

Posts: 923   +2,186
"I see the 'play to earn' concept that has people so excited as a prime example of this"
I see yet another manager who's wildly out of touch with reality if he thinks what video game publishing managers want (who don't even play the games they make), and what gamers want are remotely the same thing anymore... The whole "attitude" from Square Enix and Ubishaft here smacks of the same underlying "You WILL buy this at a much higher price and love us for it" sneering arrogance from marketing managers pushing the 3D TV gimmick who ended up swallowing a little too much of their own BS. The video gaming market needs to respond to this constant over-monetization of video games with the same giant "reality check" middle finger.
 
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Theinsanegamer

Posts: 3,780   +6,623
Doesnt surprise me. Squuenix was the publisher that came up with that brain dead mankind devided pre order bullshat. Just another reason to avoid their garbage products
Another company to be abandoned. They are never pleased with the money they get. They have even to scam gamers to milk more money from their games. Not with me.
To be? Unless you are a final fantasy fan Squeenix hasnt really put out anything interesting for years now.
 

Eldritch

Posts: 499   +910
Blockchain, NFT and Metaverse....

Sounds like someone who doesn't really understand these concepts is just using them to sound like he is in the loop and is counting on consumers being gullible.
Or maybe he is 12.

Edit : Since I am being bit harsh on fellow, I will elaborate.

1. Blockchain.... Why people forget that its just a distributed ledger? How it will improve gaming experience? Every network based game has a ledger on its server (think Clash of clans) which is tamper proof. Countless apps had done this for several years. I fail to see how making it 'bLoCkChAiN' will improve anything.

2. NFT : Remember obsessively clearing an incredibly hard task and finding your only reward was a Character art and feeling disappointed... Well now you can pay for it with REAL money. And feel unparalleled remorse.

3. Metaverse : Aren't multiplayer games already technically metaverse? Even Zuckerberg doesn’t know what it really is and I am absolutely certain that it will be exact same stuff but worse. Worse? How it will be worse you ask?
Well, remember that Fallout fortress or Neverwinter castle or Fable stronghold etc you built?
Now the items will cost money. Heck maybe in latest final fantasy they will make flying car a paid addon.
Therefore, Meta is nothing but DLC.... in 3D....on PC.
 
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Theinsanegamer

Posts: 3,780   +6,623
Blockchain, NFT and Metaverse....

Sounds like someone who doesn't really understand these concepts is just using them to sound like he is in the loop and is counting on consumers being gullible.
Or maybe he is 12.

Edit : Since I am being bit harsh on fellow, I will elaborate.

1. Blockchain.... Why people forget that its just a distributed ledger? How it will improve gaming experience? Every network based game has a ledger on its server (think Clash of clans) which is tamper proof. Countless apps had done this for several years. I fail to see how making it 'bLoCkChAiN' will improve anything.

2. NFT : Remember obsessively clearing an incredibly hard task and finding your only reward was a Character art and feeling disappointed... Well now you can pay for it with REAL money. And feel unparalleled remorse.

3. Metaverse : Aren't multiplayer games already technically metaverse? Even Zuckerberg doesn’t know what it really is and I am absolutely certain that it will be exact same stuff but worse. Worse? How it will be worse you ask?
Well, remember that Fallout fortress or Neverwinter castle or Fable stronghold etc you built?
Now the items will cost money. Heck maybe in latest final fantasy they will make flying car a paid addon.
Therefore, Meta is nothing but DLC.... in 3D....on PC.
So a tech company with no new exiting products is using buzzwords trying to drive investment $$$.

Story as old as time.
 

umbala

Posts: 786   +1,562
So we can expect to see at least 2 company's reputation going down the drain this year then: Ubisoft and Square/Enix. Oh who am I kidding, Ubisoft's reputation has been in the toilet for a while now.
 

Faelan

Posts: 183   +240
How is this metaverse thing even going to work when all the companies are busy segmenting the market with exclusivity, and trying to lock you into their own curated ecosystem with little to no cross-platform capability?

Sounds more like a multiverse thing to me. There will be one for Xbox, one for Playstation, one for Steam, one for Apple etc. etc. etc. It's going to be even more fun if they want to cram VR in there, because you can bet that sweet Apple VR headset won't work with anything else. So instead of having a single big TV/monitor on your wall, you'll have a rack of VR headsets?

Would love to hear how these companies plan to implement it. If anyone has come across an article where they actually go into detail, please post the link. Right now, to me, it just sounds like empty marketing buzzwords because "cyberspace" is no longer a cool word that sells.

As for NFTs, just like the metaverse thing, how is that even going to work? Only game I play online is FFXIV and maybe you could somehow shoehorn it in there with cosmetics (don't expect players to be happy about it though). Everything else I play single player. How is NFTs going to work in games like Factorio? Hearts of Iron 4? DCS World? Kerbal Space Program? The list goes on. Perhaps Steam could do some NFT shenanigans with achievements, profile backgrounds, emotes, trading cards, whatever, but I fail to see much value in that (can't even bother selling my Steam trading cards). Maybe some whales will pony up cash for a custom unique background, but I suspect most people will happily ignore it.

I guess I'll be okay with it, if they can somehow do it in way that doesn't detract from my gaming experience and doesn't cost me extra, while at the same time allowing them to milk the whales that have nothing better to spend it on (oh look, you just blew $1000 on putting your name to Factorio seed #5635374345876, should anyone happen to use that seed, they will now see your name in the corner of the map - grats! Oh, and everybody can just download this mod to disable showing map names).
 

MSIGamer

Posts: 84   +101
Anyone remember the 'internet of things' and how we'd all have talking refrigerators by now? The metaverse is again a similar concept that's going to fulfill a very niche place in the market, but it won't be widespread any time soon.
And NFTs are yet another way for people with too much money to stash it away.
That's why all the managers are into it, for the prospect of big bucks. I'm not liking this at all
 

ZedRM

Posts: 1,352   +944
This is yet another company who wishes to degrade the gaming experience for profit. It is proof that SquareEnix is out of touch with reality, the gaming public and is a mere shadow of the greatness they once were.
 
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Neatfeatguy

Posts: 1,026   +1,889
They can keep their crap. I haven't supported the company for many years, they don't have games I like to play and rehashing FF games isn't going to get me to buy from them.