Square Enix president Yosuke Matsuda has taken a habit of delivering a public New Year's letter to investors and consumers alike on January 1st. Last year, Matsuda said that blockchain technology could enable self-sustaining game growth and boost user generated content (UGC). This year, despite numerous setbacks for blockchain and NFTs in the gaming space (and beyond), the Square Enix president proclaimed in no uncertain terms that the Japanese company is focused on developing blockchain-based entertainment. Even more games that use blockchain technology will be announced in 2023.
In terms of new business domains, we named three focus investment fields under our medium-term business plan. Among those, we are most focused on blockchain entertainment, to which we have devoted aggressive investment and business development efforts. Looking externally, I think it is fair to say that blockchain gained significant recognition as a field in 2022, as evidenced by “Web 3.0” becoming a firmly established buzzword among businesspeople.
[...] Our Group has multiple blockchain games based on original IPs under development, some of which we announced last year, and we are undertaking preparations that will enable us to unveil even more titles this year. We are also engaged in global sourcing from an investment perspective and will continue to take stakes in promising businesses whether we find them in Japan or abroad. Blockchain has been an object of exhilaration and a source of turmoil, but with that in the rearview mirror, we hope that blockchain games will transition to a new stage of growth in 2023.
To be honest, Square Enix will face an uphill battle in this area as blockchain still has to prove to be useful in any meaningful way within the gaming space. Additionally, most gamers have now taken an aggressively hostile stance against NFTs and the like.
We would have much preferred if Square Enix decided to focus on cloud gaming, as president Yosuke Matsuda had hinted two years ago, but it seems like those plans have vanished for the time being.