In a New Year’s speech, Square Enix President Yosuke Matsuda addressed investors in particular, but the letter was of course also noticed by fans. And unlike investors, they’re less amused by the content this year.
Besides key interest rates, stock prices, the effects of COVID-19 and the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the main topics are blockchain and NFT. Matsuda had already focused on this in his New Year’s speech last year. There was a lot of criticism from fans, but the share price then rose by 8 percentage points.
In the current New Year’s letter, Matsuda announces two major goals based on current world political events. On the one hand, they want to achieve the medium-term objectives that have been set for the new fiscal year, which begins in April. Secondly, structural reforms must be carried out and the organization of development and publishing thoroughly revised.
A Square Enix
On the publishing side, they want to move away from the old geographic and role-based model, where Japanese and Western offices operated independently. Instead, they want to create a cohesive overall structure based on the “One Square Enix” concept.
The medium-term business plan includes three main investment areas. “Most” they want to focus on blockchain entertainment, which they have already devoted aggressive investment and business development efforts to. In 2022, blockchain gained “significant notoriety,” but the year was still characterized by market volatility.
But these new technologies and frameworks would lead to innovations, even if they initially caused “significant confusion”. However, they would soon resist these “social tides” and then “gradually become part of people’s lives”. In other words, people have to learn to deal with it first.
The volatility in the blockchain, NFT, and metaverse space would now lead to the creation of regulations and a more transparent trading environment, which would ultimately be good for growth. Now it is important “what kind of new experiences and sensations” can be offered to customers in the field of digital entertainment with these technologies.
It has “several blockchain games” based on “original IPs” in development and plans to release a few this year. They also want to continue investing in promising companies. In November, Square Enix unveiled the new Symbiogenesis project, an NFT game par excellence. There have been some investments before, notably in the Oasys blockchain and Blacknut.
Illustrations: Forspoken, Square Enix, Luminous Productions