Yosuke Matsuda, the president of Square Enix, caused quite a stir when he posted a New Year’s letter a few months back. Matsuda spent much of his letter discussing his support for NFTs and the blockchain, both of which continue to attract significant controversy from players. The very real concerns surrounding NFTs have dwarfed companies’ support of them to the point where the public seems to have mostly lost interest in the topic altogether. Despite this, the Square Enix CEO has refused to back down, as he stated in an interview with Yahoo Japan that he still wants to put out “pay to earn” blockchain games.
In this interview, Matsuda argued that relying solely on traditional games would not remain viable for Square Enix in the long term. He wants to put out “autonomous game content” that motivates players to conjure up “new settings and ways of playing.”
What more did he say?
Once again, Matsuda mentioned the concept of goodwill and stated his belief that blockchain games would provide other, more concrete reasons for players to create content, namely money. The idea that players will produce more meaningful content by treating their efforts more like a job than a passion project still does not hold much water, but alas, Matsuda seems intent on suggesting this.
All in all, it comes off as disappointing, yet not at all surprising, that the president of Square Enix still believes that pursuing blockchain gaming is a worthwhile investment. So far, major companies’ efforts to introduce NFTs into their games have backfired spectacularly. Even relatively successful blockchain games have unintentionally exposed major problems with this method of business. And considering Square Enix’s recent failures with the live-service model, aside from Final Fantasy XIV, it seems highly unlikely that the company will be able to overcome these hurdles and find success in blockchain gaming.