What would a Final Fantasy, Tomb Raider, or Deus Ex game look like if it was driven in part by blockchain, allowing gamers to profit from their contributions? It’s possible that you’ll learn: Yosuke Matsuda, president of Square Enix, has announced that the company’s New Year’s resolution is to start releasing “decentralized games” in 2022.
While Masuda’s letter doesn’t go into great detail about the company’s plans for the coming year, you can get a sense of his cautious-but-optimistic attitude — which isn’t surprising given how other game companies that recently Leeroy Jenkins’d their way into NFTs experienced such immediate whiplash that you could almost feel the vibrations over the internet.
It also helps that, unlike Ubisoft’s Ghost Recon NFT announcement or GSG’s S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2, Square Enix doesn’t specify any specific titles that could get the blockchain / token treatment, there aren’t any specific groups of fans ready to come out with pitchforks just yet.
When massive gaming corporations realize how much money is locked up in the keywords “Metaverse” and “NFTs,” they’re typically pleased to declare they’ve “been there, done that,” especially if they’ve been working on the fantasy-meets-reality and/or multiple-worlds thing for years, like Square Enix. Square Enix could have mentioned how its Kingdom Hearts series of games merged Final Fantasy with beloved Disney lands, or how it brought Cloud and Sephiroth, as well as some Final Fantasy items, stages, and music, to Nintendo’s Super Smash Bros. Ultimate — the kind of cross-game pollination that metaverse proponents predict we’ll see a lot more of once the technology is figured out.