• Square Enix, the creator of ‘Final Fantasy,’ Is Getting Serious About NFTs and Crypto Games

  • Square Enix announces plans to expand its blockchain efforts after selling out its first Ethereum NFTs in Japan.

    Traditional video game publishers are beginning to embrace NFTs and crypto gaming, with third-party behemoths such as Electronic Arts and Ubisoft recently expressing interest or declaring their intentions. Square Enix, the creators of “Final Fantasy,” has now joined the fray.

    Today, Square Enix—which also publishes “Tomb Raider” and “Dragon Quest”—described plans to further explore the NFT space by offering collectibles and blockchain-driven video games during a financial briefing covering the six-month period ending on September 30.

    In collaboration with developer Double Jump, the storied gaming publisher recently dipped its toe into the NFT market with a trial run. Tokyo/MCH+. In Japan, Square Enix issued NFT digital trading cards based on the video game and anime franchise Shi-San-Sei Million Arthur, which were minted on Immutable X, a layer-2 scaling solution built on Ethereum.

    According to Square Enix, the NFT cards were released on October 14th and quickly sold out. The publisher intends to add secondary market trading support via LVC, a marketplace created by Yahoo Japan and a subsidiary of popular messaging app Line, and then investigate other NFT-related initiatives.

    “[We] have recognized that NFTs have a high affinity with our assets,” according to the report. “[The] proof of concept phase has concluded. Will enter the full commercialization phase.”

    An NFT functions as a deed of ownership for a rare digital item, such as a trading card, illustration, video file, or functional video game item. According to DappRadar data, the market exploded near the start of the year and has only recently accelerated, with $10.67 billion in trading volume in Q3 alone.

    Square Enix writes that it is now “considering a robust entry into blockchain games,” citing a “changing environment” for digital entertainment that includes a “increasingly diverse profile of/incentives for people involved in gaming.”

    “Games are evolving from centralized to decentralized formats,” according to the report. “In addition to the traditional types of content creation, we will concentrate on blockchain games based on token economies as a form of decentralized content.”

    Following the summer explosion of the Ethereum-based game Axie Infinity, which has generated more than $2.8 billion in transaction volume to date, traditional game publishers have used their most recent financial reports to express interest in or plans for the crypto space.

    Following an investment in Animoca Brands, Ubisoft, which has previously dabbled in the NFT space and supported crypto developers, recently announced that it would create its own NFT-based games. During the publisher’s most recent earnings call on Wednesday, Electronic Arts CEO Andrew Wilson stated that he sees NFTs and crypto as “an important part of the future of our industry,” though he cautioned that it was “still early.”

    Recently, the crypto gaming industry has seen a number of significant funding announcements, including Mythical Games’ $150 million raise this week from investors including Andreessen Horowitz, the NFL’s 32 Equities fund, and retired NBA star Michael Jordan.

    Animoca’s The Sandbox metaverse game recently raised $93 million, and crypto exchange FTX, Solana Ventures, and Lightspeed Venture Partners announced a $100 million co-investment fund for Solana-based games.

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