On January 1, 2022, Sq. Enix President Yosuke Matsuda delivered a New 12 months’s Letter to buyers and the general public by way of the corporate’s web site. The topic of the letter included reflections on the earlier 12 months, in addition to matters of curiosity to Sq. Enix as an organization. This 12 months the Sq. Enix letter talked about new applied sciences gaining traction in 2021, significantly NFT and blockchain-based gaming and the “Metaverse” idea.
Matsuda recalled a Could 2020 presentation on Sq. Enix’s medium-term technique, which recognized AI, the cloud, and blockchain video games as new goal domains for investments and R&D. He attributed the popularization of the metaverse idea to advances in “prolonged actuality” applied sciences. Equally, cloud, 5G, the blockchain, and different evolutions would allow a “significant transition to a enterprise part” for the metaverse in 2022. Within the area of AI, he highlighted efforts just like the creation of Sq. Enix AI and Arts Alchemy group, for analysis into “leisure AI”.
Matsuda went into extra element in regards to the consideration garnered by the NFT area and blockchain know-how in 2021. He expressed the “play to earn” idea as a “prime instance” of how blockchain video games and the “token economic system” might sooner or later allow “self-sustaining” progress. “Play to earn” is a time period utilized by many NFT-based and blockchain video games selling how gamers should buy and promote their NFT belongings forwards and backwards.
He did acknowledge a number of the vital downsides and backlash that NFTs and the crypto area have acquired from critics and the general public, although. Within the NFT area, Matsuda acknowledged issues in regards to the “not superb state of affairs” of the NFT bubble, fueled by hypothesis and “overheated” habits in buying and selling that was indifferent from “noticed worth” of the content material. He was assured, nevertheless that an “eventual right-sizing” will happen sooner or later.
Notably, Matsuda admitted that many have “voiced reservations” in regards to the new developments Sq. Enix appears set on chasing. He characterised this group as those who “play to have enjoyable” and acknowledged they type the vast majority of gamers. Nonetheless, Matsuda appeared dedicated to a “sure quantity” of individuals with the supposed motivation of “play to contribute”, claiming that advancing token economies and NFTs would add concrete incentives for gamers to create and develop user-generated content material (UGC). He claimed that conventional gaming affords no specific incentives for these folks, past “such inconsistent private emotions as goodwill and volunteer spirit.” He blamed this lack of specific incentive (i.e. getting paid by way of tokens or with the ability to promote creations straight) as one cause “there haven’t been as many main game-changing [user-generated] content material as one would anticipate”.
The assertion didn’t acknowledge that numerous platforms have already applied marketplaces for user-generated content material with out having to depend on NFTs or cryptocurrency. One such instance can be Roblox, a platform based mostly largely round permitting gamers to create content material for the platform and promote entry to different gamers.
In response to Matsuda, by designing viable token economies into its video games, Sq. Enix can use NFT and blockchain tech to allow what he calls “decentralized gaming.” He hopes it turns into a significant development in video games shifting ahead, and said that incorporating such decentralized video games into Sq. Enix’s portfolio might be a “main strategic theme” for the corporate in 2022. He additionally talked about that Sq. Enix will “hold a detailed eye on societal shifts” within the area, hearken to customers, ramp up its efforts to develop a enterprise across the crypto area, and probably challenge its personal crypto tokens. It already ventured into the NFT area with Million Arthur.
Although missing in specific element or particular initiatives, Matsuda’s New 12 months’s Letter could be taken as a press release of intent that Sq. Enix plans to maneuver additional into the crypto and NFT area. How and what video games will incorporate the controversial tech has but to be seen, although Sq. Enix has already bought NFTs based mostly on the cellular sport Million Arthur.