Square Enix president Yosuke Matsuda has promised 2023 will be one of “major evolution and transformation” as the company focuses on blockchain entertainment.
Back in 2021, the studio confirmed it planned to invest in blockchain and NFTs after the successful release of a series of Million Arthur tokens.
At the start of 2022, Matsuda once again reiterated plans to explore blockchain, NFT and metaverse-based games. Despite backlash from players, Square Enix’s share price increased by eight per cent.
However in June, Matsuda said: “It’s still too early to consider making Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy blockchain games.”
In his annual New Year’s message though, Matsuda confirmed that 2023 will be a year of “major evolution and transformation” with the studio “most focused” on blockchain entertainment.
“We are expanding our functions so that we can capture as much of the upside as possible from the digital shift that has been gaining momentum since the outbreak of the pandemic,” wrote Matsuda, before confirming that Square Enix had already “devoted aggressive investment and business development efforts” into blockchain.
“Following the excitement and exhilaration that surrounded NFTs and the metaverse in 2021, 2022 was a year of great volatility in the blockchain-related space,” he continued. “However, if this proves to have been a step in a process that leads to the creation of rules and a more transparent business environment, it will definitely have been for the good of the growth of blockchain entertainment.”
Following the “turbulence in the cryptocurrency industry” Matsuda believes those people who were only in the space to turn a quick profit have moved on.
“There is now a trend to view blockchain technology as a mere means to an end and to discuss what needs to happen to achieve the end of delivering new experiences and excitement to customers,” he wrote. “I see this as a very beneficial development for the future growth of the industry.”
It’s been an amazing year of games and 2023 is looking even better!❄️
Here’s a message from all of us at Square Enix wishing you a Happy New Year!
📽️ https://t.co/C9hdvi1GwZ pic.twitter.com/AOSRXdjizg
— Square Enix (@SquareEnix) December 31, 2022
Matsuda then confirmed Square Enix had “multiple blockchain games based on original IPs under development”, some of which have already been announced. “We are undertaking preparations that will enable us to unveil even more titles this year.”
“Blockchain has been an object of exhilaration and a source of turmoil, but with that in the rearview mirror, we hope that blockchain games will transition to a new stage of growth in 2023,” he added.
Away from the metaverse, Square Enix is gearing up to release Final Fantasy 16, with the latest in the long-running series coming in June.
In other news, the remake of System Shock has announced a 2023 release window, nearly seven years after the project was first announced with a Kickstarter campaign.