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Square Enix president still interested in NFTs and “autonomous game content”


The president and representative director of Square Enix, Yosuke Matsuda, has doubled down on the company’s push towards blockchain technology and play-to-earn mechanics in its games.

Matsuda spoke to Yahoo Japan on April 15 (translated by VGC), where he reiterated Square Enix’s plans to bring non-fungible tokens (NFTs), the blockchain and play-to-earn mechanics into future games.

“In the future, we would like to try our hand at providing ‘autonomous game content’. Until now, in most games, we provided the content as a finished product and the players played that content,” said Matsuda.

“However, there are a certain number of players in the world who want to contribute to making games more interesting, by creating new settings and ways of playing.”

Matsuda then talked about how Square Enix wants to bring together these players that are interested in play-to-earn contributions, and “create games that will continue to evolve.”

Kingdom Hearts 4
Kingdom Hearts 4. Credit: Square Enix

“If, instead of relying on goodwill, we can also provide incentives to those who contribute to development by utilising technologies such as blockchain, there is a possibility that innovative and interesting content can be created from the ideas of users,” added Matsuda.

Back in November of last year financial documents pointed to an NFT push from Square Enix, with Million Arthur acting as a “proof of concept” for how the company could integrate them, and the blockchain, into their games.

This was followed by a letter written by Matsuda that was published at the start of this year, where he highlighted the growing number of “play-to-contribute” players that he said want to be further involved with the evolving state of games. Despite the player backlash from Matsuda’s statements, Square Enix’s share price actually increased by eight per cent at the time.

NFTs appear to be on the radar of Activision Blizzard as well, as the company sent select players a survey about emerging trends in the games industry which included questions about NFTs, the blockchain and cryptocurrency. Following the story, Blizzard president Mike Ybarra said on Twitter that “no one is doing NFTs.”

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In other news, data from Steam’s backend could point to a December release date for Among US VR.

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