Square Enix Yosuke Matsuda launched the annual A New Year’s Letter from the President for 2023. These missives have a tendency to give individuals an concept of what to count on from the corporate for the 12 months forward, in addition to objectives. In addition to mentioning the twentieth anniversary of Square and Enix merging, the objective of constructing an end-to-end international publishing group, and mentioning the way it removed Crystal Dynamics, Eidos-Montréal, and Square Enix Montréal, it additionally seen a continued dedication to an endeavor talked about in 2022. That is, regardless of fluctuations and conditions within the cryptocurrency sphere in 2022, Square Enix will proceed to put money into and discover NFTs and blockchain video games.
As a reminder, Square Enix President Matsuda introduced up NFTs and blockchain video games within the 2022 New Year’s Letter as nicely. At the time, he urged there could be story-focused NFTs.
Here’s the portion of the Square Enix New Year’s Letter during which Matsuda mentioned the corporate’s strategy to NFTs and blockchain video games going ahead.
In phrases of latest enterprise domains, we named three focus funding fields beneath our medium-term marketing strategy. Among these, we’re most centered on blockchain leisure, to which we have now devoted aggressive funding and enterprise improvement efforts. Looking externally, I feel it’s truthful to say that blockchain gained vital recognition as a area in 2022, as evidenced by “Web 3.0” changing into a firmly established buzzword amongst businesspeople. However, the 12 months additionally noticed volatility within the cryptocurrency and NFT (non-fungible token) markets that tracked the dramatic shifts within the macroeconomy described above. The latter half of the 12 months specifically produced a somber string of stories tales with blockchain connections, together with the scandalous chapter submitting of FTX in November.
In the wake of those developments, we hear rumblings from some international locations of early strikes to regulate such companies extra strictly. In Japan, in the meantime, the drive to encourage such companies has gained momentum, led by the federal government. In June 2022, the Japanese cupboard signed off on a plan known as the “Priority Policy Program for Realizing a Digital Society,” which incorporates wording concerning the creation of an atmosphere for selling the Web 3.0 idea, together with the usage of NFTs primarily based on blockchain expertise. Japan’s Digital Agency additionally launched a Web 3.0 research group.
New applied sciences and frameworks lead to innovation, however additionally they create appreciable confusion. Having ridden out such societal tides, some such applied sciences and frameworks progressively turn into a part of individuals’s lives, ultimately giving rise to new companies and progress. Following the joy and exhilaration that surrounded NFTs and the metaverse in 2021, 2022 was a 12 months of nice volatility within the blockchain-related house. However, if this proves to have been a step in a course of that leads to the creation of guidelines and a extra clear enterprise atmosphere, it’s going to undoubtedly have been for the great of the expansion of blockchain leisure.
Keeping a gradual eye on these environmental modifications whereas contemplating from a higher-level perspective what Web 3.0 and blockchain leisure are literally all about presents a special vista than if we concentrate on them solely in technological or speculative funding phrases. As I stated in final 12 months’s New Year’s letter, if we take into account conventional gaming to have been centralized, then blockchain gaming should function primarily based on a self-sustaining decentralized mannequin. It is that idea, that philosophy that I see to be key.
That is to say that what kind of new experiences and new pleasure our Digital Entertainment enterprise can ship to our prospects by way of its game improvement efforts and different endeavors beneath the self-sustaining, decentralized idea is extraordinarily vital.
Multiple blockchain gaming occasions held abroad lately produced extra energetic dialogue than ever earlier than about what makes the video games thrilling and what their consumer group seems like. The market was pushed extra by speculative traders than by avid gamers although 2021. In different phrases, the content material that was on the forefront was created primarily based on the premise that blockchain and NFTs ought to lead to monetization. However, within the wake of the aforementioned turbulence within the cryptocurrency business, there’s now a development to view blockchain expertise as a mere means to an finish and to focus on what wants to occur to obtain the top of delivering new experiences and pleasure to prospects. I see this as a really helpful improvement for the long run progress of the business.
Our Group has a number of blockchain video games primarily based on unique IPs beneath improvement, a few of which we introduced final 12 months, and we’re endeavor preparations that can allow us to unveil much more titles this 12 months. We are additionally engaged in international sourcing from an funding perspective and can proceed to take stakes in promising companies whether or not we discover them in Japan or overseas. Blockchain has been an object of exhilaration and a supply of turmoil, however with that within the rearview mirror, we hope that blockchain video games will transition to a brand new stage of progress in 2023.
Square Enix already began dipping a toe into these kinds of endeavors. In November 2022, it introduced Symbiogenesis. The announcement teasing the venture famous it might be a “NFT collectible art project,” all through which contributors would “untangle the story.” That will launch in Spring 2023.