As the New Year approaches, it is a well-established tradition all over the world to make resolutions for the next twelve months in order to change the negative aspects or keep the positive ones.
Yosuke Matsuda, president of Square Enix, also participates in this custom and writes about his resolutions and plans for 2023 on the company’s official website. One of the main concerns of his New Year’s letter? NFT, Web3 and blockchain – words that have not only affected artists, but also many gamers should roll their eyes.
Square Enix: The future of the industry is a matter of perspective
This news is not new for those who follow Japanese society. In the New Year’s letter a year ago, Matsuda had already stated his ambitions for NFTs and implemented one or the other in 2022: at the beginning of last year, Square Enix sold a figurine of Final Fantasy 7 protagonist Cloud Strife, who also acted as an NFT.
And the sinister Symbiogenesis project, behind which many fans suspected a revival of the cult series Parasite Eve? Turned out to be a playable NFT collection, slated for release in Spring 2023. If you take President Matsuda at his word, you have plenty of other projects in blockchain and crypto technologies.
“New technologies and new frameworks lead to innovation, but they also create confusion. Breaking these social tides will gradually integrate these technologies into people’s daily lives and create opportunities for new business and growth. If you follow the excitement surrounding NFTs and the Metaverse in 2021, then 2022 has been a year of high volatility in the blockchain space.
“However, if this proves to be an important step in the process leading to rule-making and a more transparent business environment, it will certainly benefit the growth of blockchain entertainment,” Matsuda said.
The part about NFTs in the letter shows just how important the topic seems to be to the president of Square Enix: of the 1,525 words, about 625 revolve around blockchain technologies (via Forbes). If you believe the words of producer Naoki Yoshida, Final Fantasy 14 will always remain without NFT.
A graveyard full of service games
Matsuda doesn’t talk about specific games in his letter, neither about futures nor pasts. They are an important part of Square Enix’s 2022 annual report: with Babylon’s Fall and mobile title Final Fantasy 7: The First Soldier, the Japanese company has completely buried two games, both of which will be discontinued in January.
The Final Fantasy Chocobo GP kart tracker is no longer supported either: Despite aggressive monetization with microtransactions, the Mario Kart competitor doesn’t seem to have enough fuel for another race. It remains to be seen if Square Enix will put fewer games on the firing line this year given NFT plans.