Square Enix: metaverse, NFT and blockchain in CEO Matsuda's year-end speech

Square Enix: metaverse, NFT and blockchain in CEO Matsuda's year-end speech

Square Enix

Square Enix president Yosuke Matsuda has published his traditional year-end speech, which summarizes a bit the main concepts that emerged during 2021 and the prospects for 2022 for the publisher, and there is a notable insistence on metaverse , NFT, blockchain, cloud and artificial intelligence in the document.

After the video full of video games dedicated more to users, the more corporeal communication of the company shifts the attention to elements more related to business, demonstrating considerable attention for some issues that are causing a lot of discussion these days, such as NFT and alternative monetization systems.

In the speech, Matsuda highlights how most of the players have expressed a certain aversion towards NFTs, but also how these are probably destined to become a familiar concept in the videogame panorama and beyond. Considerable attention was also paid to the idea of ​​metaverse, so much so that 2021 was considered "year 1 of the Metaverse", according to Matsuda.

Square Enix, not just traditional video games in the future The president of Square Enix sees a link between the rise of this concept and the technological progress linked to extended reality, cloud and 5G solutions. If 2021 represented the emergence of this idea, 2022 according to Matsuda will represent the "transition to the business phase" for the metaverse, which should also have a substantial impact in the video game business and Square Enix specifically.

The president of Square Enix points out that a predatory and incorrect approach towards NFTs is also widespread, however he considers the system valid for the future and, once corrected, destined to become extremely widespread and standardized: " I expect to see NFTs become as familiar as physical assets, "said Matsuda, which could consolidate as early as 2022.

As for Square Enix, the company will adapt to this trend by identifying artificial intelligence, cloud and blockchain-based games are some of the main themes to invest in in the near future. The company has already been moving on AI and cloud for some time, also with the establishment of the Square Enix AI & ARTS Alchemy Co. division, while as regards blockchain-based games, it is a question of building systems that support themselves independently from the point of view. from an economic point of view. Matsuda realizes that those looking for a traditional form of entertainment are not interested in these solutions, but the company aims at an extremely diverse audience with these new forms of video games.

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Square Enix Scares Fans With NFT-Based 2022 New Year’s Resolutions

Final Fantasy


Well, we couldn’t get more than a few hours without another major company tossing a lit match into the crypto/blockchain/NFT tinderbox, and this time it’s (throws dart) Square Enix!

Square Enix President Yosuke Matsuda has issued a New Year’s Letter that does not focus on any particular games in its catalog, nor any of its successes in the past year. Rather, almost the entire letter is a massive pitch for blockchain games and NFTs, which Square Enix promises they will be investing in during 2022 in a big way:

“The basic and elemental technologies to enable blockchain games already exist, and there has been an increase in the societal literacy and acceptance of crypto assets in the past few years. We will keep a close eye on societal shifts in this space while listening to the many groups of users that populate it, and ramp up our efforts to develop a business accordingly, with an eye to potentially issuing our own tokens in the future.”

And on NFTs becoming normal and accepted despite “overheated trading” in 2021:

“I see 2021 not only as “Metaverse: Year One,” but also as “NFTs: Year One” given that it was a year in which NFTs were met with a great deal of enthusiasm by a rapidly expanding user base. However, we do observe examples here and there of overheated trading in NFT-based digital goods with somewhat speculative overtones, regardless of the observed value of the content provided This, obviously, is not an ideal situation, but I expect to see an eventual right-sizing in digital goods deals as they become more commonplace among the general public, with the value of each available content corrected to their true estimated worth, and I look for them to become as familiar as dealings in physical goods.”

All of this reads as alarming to fans and particularly tone deaf given the reception NFTs have gotten in the wider video game landscape so far. STALKER 2 was forced to remove even a promotion based on NFTs because of fan pushback, first trying to justify it with a “no you guys just don’t get it!” message, then quickly deleting that and then deleting the contest entirely.



Ubisoft has been mercilessly mocked for its Ghost Recon Breakpoint NFT experiment, which in addition to being hated by gamers, does not have even appeared to have attracted interest from the crypto community, as aftermarket sales of the items netted no more than a few hundred dollars in total.

Looking at Square Enix’s catalogue, it’s horrifying to imagine how they might trying to blockchain-ify any of their existing series or jam NFTs into them. Obviously its largest series is Final Fantasy, which has both the uber-successful FFXIV MMO and then the arrival of Final Fantasy XVI coming probably a year or more from now. It is impossible to imagine that introducing blockchain or NFT elements into that series would cause anything less than a total fan meltdown, and many are noting that ironically, the major message of the series’ most beloved entry, FFVII, was about environmental destruction.

The same is true for Square Enix’s western games, Avengers, Outriders, Tomb Raider, Guardians of the Galaxy. Let me tell you, if Avengers or Outriders starts introducing NFT loot, that will be the moment I ghost that looter completely. And I’m not alone.


People Can Fly

There’s a clash here between what appears to be a lot of tech executives wrapped in a bubble where they keep hearing the blockchain and NFTs are the next things that will make them even richer, and the reality on the ground of gamers who want exactly none of that in their game, and developers who don’t want to be forced to mash in those elements to their otherwise perfectly fine titles. This is often compared to gamers protesting microtransactions in games, something that was eventually “accepted” over time. But this feels different. If microtransactions were a frog slowly boiling in water, NFTs feel like a frog being thrown into a volcano.

If Square Enix wants to go all in on blockchain gaming and NFTs in 2022, they certainly can. But they should not be surprised if any and all announcements of this nature get torn apart by their playerbases to the point where they either have to abandon the plans or watch their players leave for greener, non-blockchain-based pastures.

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Pick up my sci-fi novels the Herokiller series and The Earthborn Trilogy.

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