Square Enix NFT has become a buzzword in the gaming industry.
This Japanese video game titan, famous for iconic franchises like Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest, has stepped into the world of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and blockchain technology. Despite a certain level of controversy surrounding this decision, Square Enix remains determined to pioneer a new era of gaming.
The Story of Square Enix
Square Enix, known for its world-renowned franchises such as ‘Final Fantasy’, ‘Dragon Quest’, and ‘Kingdom Hearts’, has been a major player in the gaming industry for decades.
The Early Days
Square Enix was formed in 1986 as Square Co., Ltd, a computer game software division of Den-Yu-Sha, a power line construction company owned by Masafumi Miyamoto. The company was founded with the belief that the future of entertainment would eventually become digital. It wasn’t long before the company released its first game, ‘The Death Trap’, in the same year.
In 1987, facing a dire financial situation, Square Co. released ‘Final Fantasy’, a role-playing game that was intended to be the company’s final game due to dwindling funds. Instead, it turned out to be a phenomenal success, saving the company and spawning a franchise that continues to be beloved by fans worldwide.
Merger and Expansion
In 2003, Square Co. merged with Enix, another major game developer known for the ‘Dragon Quest’ series. The merger was strategic, combining Square’s expertise in creating cinematic and story-driven games with Enix’s strength in gameplay design.
The newly formed Square Enix Co., Ltd. continued to develop and publish high-quality games, and over the years, it has expanded its business to include mobile games, manga, and anime.
Square Enix has always been known for its willingness to embrace new technologies and trends in the gaming industry. This is evident in its exploration of 3D graphics in the ‘Final Fantasy’ series and its early adoption of online multiplayer in ‘Final Fantasy XI’.
The company’s venture into the world of NFTs and blockchain technology is just the latest example of its innovative spirit.
Square Enix certainly isn’t afraid of becoming a Web3 company.
Despite the controversy surrounding NFTs, Square Enix sees potential in this new technology and is determined to explore it fully, as demonstrated by its recent initiatives in this area.
As we look to the future, it’s clear that Square Enix is not afraid to take risks and push boundaries in its quest to deliver unique and memorable experiences to gamers worldwide.
What is the story about Square Enix NFT?
Square Enix’s foray into NFTs represents a significant shift in the gaming industry. The company announced its NFT project in partnership with Enjin, an NFT company that will store Square Enix’s tokens on its Efinity blockchain. The project involves the pre-order of a physical action figure that comes with a code redeemable for a digital NFT, as well as physical trading cards with a digital NFT component, available for pre-order later in the year.
The remarkable part of this project is the choice of the franchise for these NFTs. Square Enix decided to produce NFTs from the characters of Final Fantasy VII, a game renowned for its storyline about a group of freedom fighters opposing a corporation that threatens the planet’s survival.
Square Enix’s decision to venture into NFTs has met with considerable backlash. The technology, closely tied to blockchain and cryptocurrencies, is known for its high energy consumption, contributing to increased emissions and accelerating climate change. This led to a peculiar contradiction, as the characters from Final Fantasy VII, selected for the NFTs, were originally created to depict resistance against environmental destruction.
However, Square Enix has chosen to focus on the use of the Efinity Parachain, a layer 1 proof-of-stake solution described as “eco-friendly”. This technology, run by a company committed to being carbon neutral by 2030, promises to be more power-efficient than older Bitcoin or Ethereum blockchain technology.
Square Enix’s Vision
Despite the controversy, Square Enix has been steadfast in its commitment to integrating NFTs and blockchain technology into its future plans. In the company’s New Year’s letter for 2023, president Yosuke Matsuda confirmed that the publisher would be focusing on blockchain entertainment and NFTs in its medium-term plans.
So, we shouldn’t be surprised to see Square Enix’s name in upcoming NFT projects.
Square Enix’s commitment to the Square Enix NFT project and blockchain technology is noteworthy. In a time when several other game developers reneged on their NFT plans after negative player reception, Matsuda remains committed to his vision. He views the upheavals in the blockchain market as evidence of the technology’s growing importance, using the rise of the term “Web 3.0” as an example of this recognition.
Square Enix’s vision of a future where blockchain and NFTs play a significant role in gaming has also been validated by the Japanese government. In 2022, the government encouraged the growth of crypto and NFT businesses through NFT-focused study groups. Such initiatives are indicative of the growing recognition and acceptance of blockchain technology and NFTs.
Square Enix’s NFT and Future Plans
Square Enix has been working towards integrating blockchain as a major part of its future business endeavors. The company announced its first NFT title, SymbioGenesis, for a spring 2023 release, and has several other blockchain games based on original IPs under development.
In the company’s annual report from the end of October 2022, Matsuda stated that blockchain technology would be a “key part” of the business strategy going forward. This commitment to blockchain was even evident in the company’s strategic decisions, like the mid-2022 sale of western studios Eidos Montreal, Crystal Dynamics, and Square Enix Montreal, which were interpreted as a move towards the blockchain space.
Recent Developments and Future Expectations
Square Enix’s commitment to the integration of NFTs into its business strategy was further emphasized with the announcement of ‘SymbioGenesis’, its first NFT collectible art project, set to release in Spring 2023. ‘SymbioGenesis’ is a unique entertainment service that combines free browser-based content with 10,000 pieces of digital art.
The game invites players to explore the Floating Continent, a self-contained world where unexpected disasters occur, and myriad items await discovery. Players in possession of digital collectible art, or NFTs, gain access to key information that helps them progress through the game, such as clues to item locations and insights into the history of the Floating Continent. Central to the game are questions about the monopolization and distribution of resources, prompting players to decide whether to keep their information secret or share it with others.
Interestingly, the main story of ‘SymbioGenesis’ can be enjoyed by anyone, even those who are not digital art collectors, suggesting that Square Enix is still keeping traditional gamers in mind even as they explore the new frontier of NFTs. Despite this, we don’t know if it will be a free-to-play NFT game.
A unique feature of ‘SymbioGenesis’ is the inclusion of a treasure hunt, where players can access digital art known as “Member Card: Green”. Players who have this Card in their crypto wallets after the official launch of ‘SymbioGenesis’ will gain an in-game advantage. This innovative way of integrating NFTs into gameplay underlines Square Enix’s commitment to exploring the potential of blockchain technology in gaming.
The Square Enix NFT project represents a bold step into a new era for the gaming industry. Despite the controversy and backlash, the company has shown unwavering commitment to its vision of a future where NFTs and blockchain play a significant role.
While the success of this venture remains to be seen, there is no doubt that Square Enix’s foray into NFTs will have significant implications for the future of the gaming industry.