Square Enix Yosuke Matsuda released the annual New Year’s letter from the President for 2023. These messages tend to give people an idea of what to expect from the company in the coming year, as well as the goals. In addition to mentioning the 20th anniversary of Square and Enix’s merger, the goal of creating an end-to-end global publishing organization, and discussing how he got rid of Crystal Dynamics, Eidos-Montreal and Square Enix Montreal, he also noted a continuity . commitment to a named company in 2022. In other words, regardless of fluctuations and situations in the cryptocurrency field in 2022, Square Enix will continue to invest and explore NFTs and blockchain games.
As a reminder, Square Enix President Matsuda also touched on NFTs and blockchain games in the New Year Letter 2022. At the time, he suggested that there would be story-centric NFTs.
Here’s the portion of Square Enix’s New Year’s Letter where Matsuda discussed the company’s approach to NFTs and blockchain games going forward.
In terms of new business areas, we have named three priority investment areas as part of our medium-term business plan. Of these, we are most focused on blockchain entertainment, to which we have devoted aggressive investment and business development efforts. Looking from the outside, I think it’s fair to say that blockchain has gained significant recognition as a field in 2022, as evidenced by the fact that “Web 3.0” has become firmly established among business people. However, the year was also marked by volatility in the cryptocurrency and NFT (non-fungible token) markets following the dramatic changes in the macro economy described above. In particular, the second half of the year produced a flurry of grim blockchain-related news, including FTX’s wild bankruptcy filing in November.
In the wake of these developments, we are hearing voices from several countries about the first steps towards more rigorous regulation of these companies. Meanwhile, in Japan, the drive to encourage such enterprises has accelerated, led by the government. In June 2022, the Japanese cabinet approved a plan called the “Priority Policy Program for Realizing a Digital Society,” which includes language about creating an environment to promote the Web 3.0 concept, including the use of NFTs based on blockchain technology. . The Japanese digital agency has also launched a Web 3.0 study group.
New technologies and new frameworks drive innovation, but they also create considerable confusion. After riding these social waves, some of these technologies and frameworks gradually become part of people’s lives, eventually bringing new businesses and growth. After the excitement and hype surrounding NFTs and the metaverse in 2021, 2022 has been a year of high volatility in the blockchain space. However, if this turns out to have been a step in a process leading to more transparent regulation and trading environment, it will certainly have been to the benefit of increasing blockchain fun.
Keeping these environmental changes in mind from a higher perspective of what Web 3.0 and blockchain entertainment really are presents a different perspective than if we focus on them purely in terms of technology or speculative investment. As I said in last year’s New Year’s letter, if we consider that traditional games have been centralized, then blockchain games should work based on an independent decentralized model. It is this concept, this philosophy that I consider the key.
That said, the kind of new experiences and thrills that our digital entertainment business can offer our customers through its game development and other endeavors under the autonomous and decentralized concept is extremely important.
Several overseas blockchain gaming events have recently produced more active discussions than ever about what makes gaming exciting and what their user community is like. The market was driven more by speculative investors than by players until 2021. In other words, the content that was at the forefront was created based on the principle that blockchain and NFTs should lead to monetization. However, after the aforementioned upheaval in the cryptocurrency industry, there is now a tendency to see blockchain technology simply as a means to an end and to discuss what needs to happen to achieve that end, offering new experiences and excitement for customers. I see this as a very beneficial development for the future growth of the industry.
Our group has several blockchain games based on original IPs in development, some of which we announced last year, and we are undertaking preparations that will allow us to unveil even more titles this year. We are also committed to global sourcing from an investment perspective and will continue to take stakes in promising companies whether we find them in Japan or abroad. Blockchain has been an object of joy and a source of turmoil, but with that in the rearview mirror, hopefully blockchain gaming will take another phase of growth in 2023.
Square Enix has already begun to undertake this type of effort. In November 2022, he announced Symbiogenesis. The announcement teasing the project stated that it would be an “NFT Collective Art Project,” during which participants “Discover the story. » This will start in the spring of 2023.