Just a few months after slapping down a knock-off NFT game, The Pokemon Company is looking for an NFT expert to help drive its future business strategy and lead partnerships with external developers.
The Pokemon Company wants to hire a corporate development principal, according to a job listing (opens in new tab) highlighted by Pory on Twitter (opens in new tab). This role will join the President and Corporate Development Office, the division that advises the company's long-term business strategy. Specifically, this corporate development principal will be in charge of initiatives to brainstorm new types of "Pokemon experiences" outside of the traditional Game Freak RPGs.
Many of the requested qualifications are what you'd expect from a corporate job listing, including calls for a decade of experience and "self-starter" initiative. The listing does have a few more specific requests, though, calling for someone with a "deep knowledge and understanding of Web3, including blockchain technologies and NFT, and/or metaverse," and who is "deeply connected to a network of investors and entrepreneurs" in the Web3 and metaverse space. It also notes that the successful applicant will "identify, analyze, monitor, and build relationships with external co-development partners with unique technology to support the implementation of new ideas."
The heads of The Pokemon Company are seemingly interested in partnering with external developers on blockchain-based games, or at least exploring the possibility, either ignoring or ignorant of the intense backlash against NFTs from gamers. In December 2022, the company itself gave a legal smackdown to a knock-off Pokemon NFT game, saying at the time that "The Pokemon Company and Nintendo had made a deliberate decision not to launch any Pokemon NFTs." But the times may be a-changing.
While companies like Ubisoft have abandoned the NFT gold rush after the abject failure of experiments like Ghost Recon Breakpoint's Digits, it seems that some Japan-led gaming companies in particular are deepening their investments in a technology and business model that everyone outside of Silicon Valley and Wall Street seems to hate. Konami wants NFTs, Square Enix (still) wants NFTs, and now it seems The Pokemon Company wants in on the blockchain, too.
We've seen the best Pokemon games, and now it's time to prepare for the worst to go down an even darker hole.