Square Enix is investing in decentralized blockchain games

The game publisher also sees a future in NFTs.

REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

Blockchain features in games haven't met with the warmest reception so far, but they just got the support of a major publisher. Square Enix President Yosuke Matsuda has published a New Year's letter indicating that decentralized games using technologies like blockchain will be a "major strategic theme" for the company from 2022 onward. Matsuda didn't name titles, but he did hint at how future releases would incorporate the distributed technology.

The company would incorporate token economies to foster "self-sustaining game growth," Matsuda said. While the leader understood many people would be skeptical, he believed at least some gamers wanted to "play to contribute." Blockchain games theoretically provide a direct incentive to those players to build their own content instead of relying on "goodwill and volunteer spirit." The suggestion, at least, is that users would make items in part to earn rewards.

Matsuda didn't directly announce plans for NFTs in Square Enix games. He expected those tokens to become mainstream over time, though, and believed the "overheated trading" for them would cool down. Don't be shocked if you can buy NFTs in the company's games at some point.

Square Enix would keep watch on trends in the market and develop accordingly. The president was optimistic, however, and suggested his firm might issue its own tokens. Whether or not the market follows suit is another story. Even a heavyweight publisher like Ubisoft has struggled with early NFT sales for games, and Square Enix isn't guaranteed to fare better even with hit series like Final Fantasy in its lineup.