Square Enix Emphasizes Blockchain Investments in 2023 Strategy Plan
- Square Enix President Yosuke Matsuda shared in an annual letter that the game studio is committed to delivering high-definition games and expanding its business globally.
- The Final Fantasy developer is keen on blockchain technology and committed to going through with its blockchain investment strategy.
Square Enix put out some of the most anticipated games of 2022, and the studio will release the newest additions to the Final Fantasy series in June this year. Matsuda revealed that growing existing franchises like Kingdom Hearts into global blockbusters with an extensive IP collection is their main priority. They later added that they also focus on blockchain investments, particularly entertainment.
Legitimizing Web 3.0
Matsuda revealed that Square Enix had devoted aggressive investment and business development efforts to the blockchain entertainment industry. However, the aggressive investing strategy heightened concerns from gamers. They feared they would give up on developing hardcore games in favor of ‘scammy’ blockchain games.
However, Square Enix later asserted that they would continue making hardcore titles.
“Looking externally, I think it is fair to say that blockchain gained significant recognition as a field in 2022, as evidenced by ‘Web 3.0’ becoming a firmly established buzzword among businesspeople. However, the year also saw volatility in the cryptocurrency and NFT (non-fungible token) markets that tracked the dramatic shifts in the macroeconomy described above.”
Japan has been one of the best-performing Web3 markets in 2022, projecting over 53% growth despite the chaotic market conditions. Factors like interest from the youth, progressive government policies, and affinity for art played a critical role in the mass adoption of Web3 tech in the country.
Interestingly, the Japanese cabinet signed off on a plan called ‘Priority Policy Program for Realizing a Digital Society’ in June 2022. The plan led to the creation of an environment promoting Web3 development, including the use of Web3 technology.
As a result, Square Enix turned optimistic about investing in Web3. The company believes there are numerous business opportunities in the sector.
“New technologies and frameworks lead to innovation, but they also create considerable confusion. Having ridden out such societal tides, some such technologies and frameworks gradually become part of people’s lives, eventually giving rise to new businesses and growth.”
Tough Year for NFTs
Matsuda claimed 2022 was a year of significant volatility for the blockchain industry after the exhilaration and euphoria surrounding NFTs and metaverse concepts in 2021. However, the president shared his enthusiasm 2023 and saw the previous year as a stepping stone for development and regulations.
“However if this proves to have been a step in a process that leads to the creation of rules and a more transparent business environment, it will definitely have been for the good of the growth of blockchain entertainment,”
The president added that existing and future Web3 games must operate based on a self-sustaining decentralized model. He sees this concept and model as key to the sector’s success.
Matsuda shared his curiosity about the sort of games and experiences Square Enix will reveal with this model heading into 2023. Global gaming events have recently produced more active discussions about game development compared to speculative talks in 2021.
“There is now a trend to view blockchain technology as a mere means to an end and to discuss what needs to happen to achieve the end of delivering new experiences and excitement to customers. I see this as a very beneficial development for the future growth of the industry.”
On the Flipside
- The game developer reported that it’s developing multiple blockchain games with original IPs and is preparing to unveil more titles this year.
- Square Enix struck a $300 million deal with Swedish publishing group Embracer to fund its blockchain gaming strategy in 2022.
Why You Should Care
Square Enix is at the forefront of the traditional game industry, developing some of the most widely celebrated gaming franchises like Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy. Interest from the Japanese gaming giant could be fruitful for Web3. The developer has ample experience building infrastructure and welcoming the next generation of users into Web3.
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