Final Fantasy publisher Square Enix once again used its New Year’s Eve letter to promote its “aggressive” investment in blockchain games, arguing that recent market volatility could end up benefiting its plans.
Square Enix was one of the first major publishers to announce support for “entertainment on the blockchain,” which uses a form of digital ledger to enable users to effectively own, buy, and sell digital goods.
In its New Year’s letter last year, the company committed to building blockchain and NFT games. Later in 2022, he announced plans to sell NFTs in what he calls “the first digital collectible art project designed from the ground up for Web3 fans.”
In a new letter discussing plans for 2023, Square Enix President Yosuke Matsuda said that blockchain remains his main medium-term investment, despite what he called “volatility” in the blockchain space in 2022.
Matsuda argued that lessons learned and likely regulation could benefit the growth of the blockchain space and its plans to develop games based on the technology.
“In terms of new business areas, we have identified three main areas of investment in our medium-term business plan,” wrote the chief executive. “Among them, we are most focused on blockchain entertainment, to which we have devoted active investment and business development efforts.
“Looking outwardly, I think it’s fair to say that blockchain has gained significant acceptance as a field in 2022, as evidenced by the fact that “Web 3.0” has become a well-established buzzword among business people.
“However, this year also saw volatility in the crypto and NFT (Non-Fungible Token) markets, which tracked the dramatic shifts in macroeconomics described above. The second half of the year, in particular, saw a string of dismal blockchain-related news, including FTX’s scandalous bankruptcy filing in November.”
He continued: “After these events, we hear rumors from some countries about early steps to regulate such enterprises more strictly. In the meantime, a government-led drive to encourage such ventures is gaining momentum in Japan.”
Matsuda keeps quoting Japan’s “Priority Policy Agenda for the Creation of the Digital Society”a plan signed in June 2022 to advance the concept of Web 3.0, including the use of NFTs based on blockchain technology.
“New technologies and frameworks lead to innovation, but they also create significant confusion,” he wrote. “After such social waves, some of these technologies and structures gradually become part of people’s lives, which eventually leads to the emergence of new enterprises and growth.
“Following the excitement and excitement that surrounded NFTs and the metaverse in 2021, 2022 has been a year of great volatility in the blockchain space. However, if this turns out to be a step in the process that leads to the creation of rules and a more transparent business environment, it will definitely benefit the development of blockchain entertainment.”
In closing, Matsuda acknowledged that much of the discussion about blockchain gaming has previously been led by investors and therefore focused on the monetization opportunities that the technology could open up.
He argued that increased discussion among the general public and lessons learned from recent market turmoil could now steer blockchain gaming in a direction that will ultimately be more appealing to consumers.
“The numerous blockchain gaming events held overseas recently have sparked more discussion about what makes games exciting and what their user community looks like,” he wrote.
“Until 2021, the market was driven more by speculative investors than by gamblers. In other words, the content that was at the forefront was created based on the assumption that blockchain and NFTs should lead to monetization.
“However, after the aforementioned turbulence in the cryptocurrency industry, there is currently a tendency to view blockchain technology as a mere means to an end and discuss what needs to happen to achieve the goal of providing new experiences and excitement to customers. . I see this as a very beneficial development for the future growth of the industry.”
Square Enix is developing several blockchain games based on the original IP addresses, some of which have already been announced and others are planned to be shown this year.
“Blockchain has always been a subject of admiration and a source of concern, but with this in the rearview mirror, we hope that blockchain games will enter a new phase of growth in 2023,” Matsuda wrote.