Square Enix signals major push into “blockchain gaming” mania

Which popular Square Enix franchises will be graced with a blockchain-based marketplace full of user-created items?

Enlarge / Which popular Square Enix franchises will be graced with a blockchain-based marketplace full of user-created items?

Square Enix President Yosuke Matsuda used a New Year’s message this weekend to telegraph the company’s interest in “blockchain gaming” and “decentralized games” as “a major strategic theme for us starting in 2022.” Specifically, Matsuda sees the blockchain as a way to give players “explicit incentives” to create “major game-changing content” and profit from those “creative efforts.”

While Matsuda puts the current majority of players in a “play to have fun” camp, he writes that he foresees “a certain number of people whose motivation is to ‘play to contribute,’ by which I mean to help make the game more exciting.” Most traditional games rely on “personal feelings as goodwill and volunteer spirit” to motivate that kind of user-generated content, Matsuda writes, which is “one reason that there haven’t been as many major game-changing [pieces of] content that were user generated as one would expect.”

But Matsuda sees “advances in token economies” giving players “explicit incentives” for creating in-game content, providing “a tangible upside to their creative efforts.” This will lead to more content being created, in turn attracting more “play to have fun” players and resulting in “self-sustaining game growth,” in Matsuda’s vision.

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