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Square Enix to make play-to-earn blockchain games with token economies

Square Enix president Yosuke Matsuda says decentralized blockchain play-to-earn games will be a part of its plans moving forward.

Published Sat, Jan 1 2022 2:04 PM CST   |   Updated Mon, Jan 24 2022 2:02 AM CST

Square Enix president says not everyone wants to play video games for fun--some want to play games to earn money. That's why the company will be creating blockchain-based games with token economies.

Square Enix to make play-to-earn blockchain games with token economies 4443 |

Games may completely change in 2022 as publishers embrace play-to-earn gaming. It used to be games were built on fun and less on commoditization--well, if you ignore arcades, which were the original slot-machine-like microtransactions--but the advent of digital online gaming introduced lootboxes and micro-monetization. Soon every publisher put some form of repeatedly buyable goods in their game to the point where the games themselves were built with mTX in mind--and whole billion-dollar empires were also built on this all-you-can-buy collect-them-all craze. Right now most games are monetization engines built on live services, but NFTs pay-to-earn blockchain gaming add another layer to the mix. Publishers like Square Enix, the developer and publisher of multi-decade series like Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest, are eager to bake these new possible revenue streams into already-monetized games.

Square Enix in particular is gung ho on NFTs and blockchain. Dragon Quest, NieR, and Final Fantasy devs are all interested in NFTs. Square Enix's president Yosuke Matsuda just recently started 2022 by kicking the hornet's nest with some controversial NFT comments.

I realize that some people who "play to have fun" and who currently form the majority of players have voiced their reservations toward these new trends, and understandably so.

However, I believe that there will be a certain number of people whose motivation is to "play to contribute," by which I mean to help make the game more exciting. Traditional gaming has offered no explicit incentive to this latter group of people, who were motivated strictly by such inconsistent personal feelings as goodwill and volunteer spirit.

Matsuda also says that Square Enix will create its own token for its upcoming play-to-earn blockchain games to create decentralized gaming. He says that creating decentralized-based games will be a major part of its plans for 2022 and beyond.

However, with advances in token economies, users will be provided with explicit incentives, thereby resulting not only in greater consistency in their motivation, but also creating a tangible upside to their creative efforts. I believe that this will lead to more people devoting themselves to such efforts and to greater possibilities of games growing in exciting ways.

From having fun to earning to contributing, a wide variety of motivations will inspire people to engage with games and connect with one another. It is blockchain-based tokens that will enable this.

By designing viable token economies into our games, we will enable self-sustaining game growth. It is precisely this sort of ecosystem that lies at the heart of what I refer to as "decentralized gaming," and I hope that this becomes a major trend in gaming going forward. If we refer to the one-way relationship where game players and game providers are linked by games that are finished products as "centralized gaming" to contrast it with decentralized gaming, then incorporating decentralized games into our portfolio in addition to centralized games will be a major strategic theme for us starting in 2022.

Square Enix has a vast library of wholly-owned intellectual properties that are well-suited for NFTs. The company makes millions every year on collectibles based around its popular franchises and characters, including card games and other merchandise.

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Derek joined the TweakTown team in 2015 and has since reviewed and played 1000s of hours of new games. Derek is absorbed with the intersection of technology and gaming, and is always looking forward to new advancements. With over six years in games journalism under his belt, Derek aims to further engage the gaming sector while taking a peek under the tech that powers it. He hopes to one day explore the stars in No Man's Sky with the magic of VR.

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