March 18, 2023


The year 2023 may be a harbinger of great projects for our industry, it will not be immune to a few dark spots. Despite the good news that seems to be emerging around the license Final Fantasy, Yosuke Matsudapresident of Square-Enix, has decided to undermine our morale with its letter of wishes for 2023 (even if it is primarily intended for investors). Remember, in 2022, the person was expressing great interest in Web3, NFTs and blockchain. In other words, sectors whose expectation bubble has largely been pierced in recent months, leading to numerous failures and bankruptcies. However, for 2023, Matsuda persists and signs: Square Enix will rush headlong into this market.

When we’re clearly in denial

Even if he acknowledges in his letter that the second half of the year 2022 has been dark for the market, with several companies that have failed miserably, he reiterates in several paragraphs his desire to explore the possibilities offered by these new technologies, driven by the idea that Japan encourages the development of the latter:

In terms of new areas of activity, we have named three medium-term priority investment areas. Of these, we mostly focus on blockchain-related 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 a widely used buzzword. employed by businessmen. […] After the excitement and elation that surrounded 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 that leads to the creation of rules and a more transparent trading environment, it will certainly have been for the good of the growth of blockchain entertainment. »

Matsuda repeats that his desire is to create new experiences thanks to these technologiesmore than reaching a real monetization model (yes, of course), since he recognizes that this idea collapsed in 2022. He then indicates that Square Enix is ​​working on several projects related to this and promises a year 2023 important in this area:

Our group has several blockchain games under development based on original licenses, including some we announced last year, and we’re making preparations that will allow us to unveil even more titles this year. We are also committed to investing in this area and we will continue to nurture promising companies whether we find them in Japan or overseas. Blockchain has been an object of excitement and a source of turmoil, but with that in the rearview mirror, we hope that blockchain games will move to a new stage of growth in 2023. »

The president of Square Enix is ​​probably referring here to Oasys, a new blockchain to which the company gave its support last September, in addition to many other publishers such as Sega, Bandai Namco or Ubisoft. We don’t forget either Symbiogenesisan NFT project announced to everyone’s surprise when everyone was expecting a return from Parasite Eve (because we obviously do not have the right to happiness).

While Matsuda obviously promises great things for the more traditional part of the business, seeing that the NFT and blockchain market still holds such an important place in his wishes is enough to leave us heaving a big sigh of discouragement.


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