Japanese gaming giant Square Enix plans to make “aggressive investments” in blockchain and NFT, as part of its vision for 2023, that was shared in a letter issued by its president, Yosuke Matsuda. This continuation of the company’s 2022 business strategy comes amid instability in the broader crypto currency and NFT markets.
Matsuda wrote in the letter that Square Enix has multiple blockchain games based on original IPs under development. Some of them were announced last year and preparations are being undertaken to unveil more titles this year.
The Group is also engaged in global sourcing from an investment perspective and would continue to pick up stakes in promising businesses, be they are in Japan or anywhere else in the world. According to Matsuda, blockchain games will transition to a new stage of growth in 2023.
Incidentally, the Final Fantasy maker devoted a considerable amount of its resources to NFT projects in 2022. In May, the company announced that it sold a number of game studios and franchises to Swedish holding company Embracer Group for US $300 million and noted in the press release that the transaction enabled the launch of new businesses by moving forward with investments in fields including blockchain, artificial intelligence and the cloud.
In November, Square Enix revealed ‘Symbiogenesis’, an NFT game that was met with backlash from the gaming community, which expected it to be a revival of the revered horror series Parasite Eve. Incidentally, Square Enix was not alone and a lot of other major gaming companies announced plans to incorporate NFT into games and were met with similar responses and controversies.
According to the letter, the year 2022 laid the groundwork for the fiscal year running from April 2023 through March 2024, which is also the final year of the company’s medium-term business plan. The company named three focused investment fields under its medium-term business plan. Focus on blockchain entertainment is one of them and it has devoted aggressive investment and business development efforts.
Matsuda noted that 2022 was a year of great volatility in the blockchain-related space and if that proves to have been a step in a process that leads to the creation of rules and a more transparent business environment, it would have been for the good of the growth of the blockchain environment.
According to him, following the turbulence in the crypto currency 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. He said if traditional gaming is considered to be centralized, then blockchain gaming must operate based on a self-sustaining decentralized model and that concept and philosophy was key.
He also mentioned that Square Enix would aim to fulfil the objectives that were laid out in the company’s March 2022 financial results briefing, including investing in blockchain company Animoca Brands, establishing publishing units in countries where crypto currencies are popular and branded NFT.
Matsuda also reminded in the letter that 2023 is a milestone year for the Group, as it marks the 20th anniversary of the merger of Enix and Square and the Group intends to achieve further growth by continuing its self-sustaining evolution and transformation.