SQUARE ENIX: Blockchain Still off the Chain

A New Year's Letter from the President on the SQUARE ENIX Website has a message for gamers and investors from Yosuke Matsuda (thanks Forbes). 2022 saw an increasing skepticism from gamers about the promise of NFT and blockchain gaming, and many companies have backed away from such plans since his very similar new year message last year. In contrast, SQUARE ENIX is doubling down. The article begins by detailing the challenges to the industry in 2022 before pivoting to make the case that crypto is part of the solution, rather than part of the problem:
Multiple blockchain gaming events held overseas recently produced more active discussion than ever before about what makes the games exciting and what their user community looks like. The market was driven more by speculative investors than by gamers though 2021. In other words, the content that was at the forefront was created based on the premise that blockchain and NFTs should result in monetization. However, in the wake of the aforementioned turbulence in the cryptocurrency industry, there is now a trend to view blockchain technology as a mere means to an end and to discuss what needs to happen to achieve the end of delivering new experiences and excitement to customers. I see this as a very beneficial development for the future growth of the industry.

Our Group has multiple blockchain games based on original IPs under development, some of which we announced last year, and we are undertaking preparations that will enable us to unveil even more titles this year. We are also engaged in global sourcing from an investment perspective and will continue to take stakes in promising businesses whether we find them in Japan or abroad. Blockchain has been an object of exhilaration and a source of turmoil, but with that in the rearview mirror, we hope that blockchain games will transition to a new stage of growth in 2023.
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