In a live announcement on New Year’s Day, the president of Square Enix issued a letter of support for NFT and blockchain games.
Seemingly unconcerned about the potential backlash from fans, Square Enix president Yosuke Matsuda came out in support of the NFT. The news came recently in a New Year letter from the president posted in the News section of the Square Enix homepage. While Yosuke Matsuda didn’t mention any specific games in the letter, the body of the letter mostly espouses NFT, blockchain, and the metaverse in general. In fact, the entire article is dense with language about what has dominated the tech and digital entertainment market over the past year.
In his letter, Matsuda said that he considers 2021 the “year 1” of the metaverse and the NFT. Based on a mid-term business strategy published in May 2020 that identified AI, cloud systems, and blockchain gaming as areas to focus their investments, Square Enix has been “active in efforts” our investment in those areas.” Plans have been proposed to expand into the blockchain gaming market in “be it single-player titles or online games.” Instead of developing new IPs or games in this market, it is likely that they will be implemented by SE in existing titles, and this has left Final Fantasy 14 gamers and those looking forward to Final Fantasy 16 worry.
Square Enix has been struggling recently with two notable losses and a hugely successful product. Marvel’s Avengers and Outriders have had mixed reviews, and according to Square Enix itself, they have fallen short of revenue expectations. Checking the reviews on Steam shows that Marvel’s Avengers still has mixed reviews, and Outriders is still largely mixed reviews but has gradually turned positive after the game released its most recent update. . The biggest success was clearly Final Fantasy 14 and the release of the much-anticipated and well-received Endwalker expansion, a success that proved to be so great that the server was overloaded with logged in players.
The letter was received with disdain and criticism by the community. Both Twitter and Reddit were filled with negative comments directed at Square Enix and not many positive ones. Many gamers were confused to see a famous company like Square Enix make a similar move after publicly criticizing Ubisoft for these NFT plans.
It looks like Matsuda is laying the groundwork for a potential NFT and blockchain implementation in upcoming or existing Square Enix titles. Like the in-game real money deals of years past, it seems that the people responsible for making decisions about the company’s grand direction are at odds with the actual developers and community of players. . However, unlike the more common but still controversial in-game payments, adding NFT to titles like Final Fantasy could be an overkill.
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