Final Fantasy Developer Braves Wrath of Gamers with Blockchain Gaming Statements
Square Enix, the Tokyo Stock Exchange-listed gaming giant and the firm behind the Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest games, has said that focusing on traditional forms of games would be “not be enough” for the company in the future – hinting that user-created content such as non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and play-to-earn crypto titles could ensure that the firm continues to grow.
In an interview with Gendai (via Yahoo Japan), the firm’s President and CEO Yosuke Matsuda spoke of Square Enix’s desire to “try its hand” at “providing ‘autonomous game content.’” Matsuda has previously spoken of his desire to launch a cryptoasset – much like many of his firm’s East Asian rivals, many of which have delved further into blockchain gaming.
Matsuda spoke about “utilizing the power of” gamers to create games that will continue to evolve, and explained:
“If, instead of relying on goodwill, we can also provide incentives to those who contribute to development by utilizing technologies such as blockchain, there is a possibility that innovative and interesting content can be created from the ideas of users.”
Matsuda, Video Games Chronicle noted, has been “criticized by some in the games industry” after issuing a letter earlier this year voicing his support for “emerging trends” and “committing” the company to “making blockchain and NFT games.” He also made mention of the “play-to-earn” concept, which has proven such a hit for the likes of Sky Mavis and its hugely popular Axie Infinity title.
In his previous letter, the Square Enix chief stated:
“I realize that some people who ‘play to have fun’ and who currently form the majority of players have voiced their reservations toward these new trends, and understandably so. However, I believe that there will be a certain number of people whose motivation is to ‘play to contribute,’ by which I mean to help make the game more exciting.”
Regardless, many gamers have pushed back against the advent of NFTs in the space.
In a report on the matter from February, The Verge explained that in many cases, gaming and NFTs have proven to be an explosive combination. The media outlet explained:
“Not even Troy Baker, one of the most beloved voice actors in gaming, could get away with an NFT project.”
After Baker – who voiced Snow Villiers in Final Fantasy XIII and the smuggler Joel in The Last of Us – had unveiled details of an NFT partnership, he told his followers on social media: “You can hate. Or you can create. What’ll it be?”
The Verge continued:
“His fans chose hate, to the tune of 13,000 aggrieved quote tweets, and […] Baker quit the project.”
The media outlet claimed that gamers are less likely to invest in collectibles than, say music fans, and were reluctant to buy from game developers, who are “generally large, profitable corporations whose relationship with their fans is fraught as best,” adding:
“The dialogue between them frequently resembles a hostage negotiation.”
And also in February, the Daily Trojan explained gamers’ skepticism for NFTs thusly:
“[Gamers] are afraid that if they allow just a few NFTs to be incorporated into video games, companies will get the wrong idea and, in the span of a few months, completely saturate their games with these types of items. Most of these saturated games will certainly make the experience less enjoyable for the great majority of the player base.”
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