While seemingly every other game publisher that dipped its toe into the poison waters of blockchain gaming has quietly begun to pretend that it never happened, Square Enix wants you – or at least, its investors – to know that its blockchain games are still on the way.
During last month's financial results briefing session, which has just been officially translated (opens in new tab) (thanks, Stephen Totilo (opens in new tab)), an investor asked if the strength of Square Enix's new games for 2023 – which include Final Fantasy 16 and Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth – is setting the company up for a downturn for the following fiscal year.
"Major title launches will not be concentrated solely" in the coming year, president Yosuke Matsuda responded. Matsuda said the company has "organized our pipeline" to keep a good spread of games coming. Matsuda concluded with this: "we also hope that you will look forward to the blockchain games we plan to launch" in the next fiscal year and thereafter.
It's worth noting that these comments came before Matsuda's replacement was proposed by the company's board of directors. Although, as our friends at PC Gamer (opens in new tab) note, his likely replacement has his own background in NFTs and Web 3.0 projects.
We still don't know how any of these NFT games are actually going to work. Square Enix has only really lifted the veil on Symbiogenesis, a "collectible art project" set to launch this spring that's already destroyed the hopes and dreams of Parasite Eve fans, but we still don't know how it will play – or really even if it's a game at all.
Every video game project that has featured NFTs so far has been a miserable failure – though in fairness, we've only seen the most half-hearted attempts at blockchain integration from major publishers so far. Ubisoft Quartz was a short-lived experiment for Ghost Recon Breakpoint before support for that game ended, while GSC Game World, the developer of Stalker 2: Heart of Chornobyl, quickly u-turned on announced NFT plans after seeing a swift backlash from the community.
Here's hoping that Square Enix, maker of Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest, ends up winning out over Square Enix, maker of The Quiet Man, Balan Wonderworld, and whatever the hell blockchain game it seems to believe we want.
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