Top games publishers like Ubisoft, EA, and now Square Enix are getting into NFTs as a new source of monetization, engagement, and long-term revenue streams.
Square Enix going all-in on digital. Everyone wants to transition towards digital due to higher revenues and lower costs. But not every company is adept at monetization or engagement, which are two main pillars of the segment. Digital expands far past full game sales. The real bread and butter is long-term earnings from ongoing purchases within the game.
Despite not being experts at existing monetization trends outside of its ever-popular Final Fantasy 14 MMORPG, Square Enix is jumping into new emerging trends like blockchain and NFTs with both feet. The Final Fantasy-maker has experimented with NFTs and the results were very positive; the company sold all of its minted digital trading cards in the Shi‐San‐Sei Million Arthur series.
Now Square Enix is contemplating a "robust entry" in the NFT and blockchain space, and says it recognizes "high affinity" with NFTs and its wholly-owned properties, which include big franchises like Final Fantasy and Deus Ex.
The publisher also expects token economies to expand. This is a somewhat vague and nebulous term that hasn't seen in-game applications outside of collectibles, but it could be possible that gamers will start to earn cryptocurrency from playing games and use these earnings to buy in-game items.
There's no info on what exactly Square Enix means, but keep in mind the company just confirmed it will revise its live service plans due to the Avengers game missing internal targets.
Check below for slides from Square Enix's recent earnings report:
Due to their collectible and unique one-of-a-kind nature, NFTs (non-fungible tokens) could usher in a new extension of monetization. The idea is adding a new kind of non-replaceable unlockable that can only be earned by a select few. Think limited-run trading cards...only digital. The real monetization comes on capitalizing the kind of FOMO that CCGs like MTG have been enjoying for years.
Square Enix is no stranger to CCGs and has its own Final Fantasy Collectible Card game which draws from 34 years of the franchise. NFTs should similarly monetize and capitalize on this decades-long nostalgia and possibly even find a way to be baked into games themselves.
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