POZNAN, POL - MAR 15, 2021: Laptop computer displaying logo of Square Enix, a Japanese video game holding company and entertainment conglomerate — Stock Editorial Photography

Square Enix enters into 7 billion yen deal with NFT mobile developer

Amid the declining general interest in Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs), game publisher Square Enix (NASDAQ: SQNXF) is keeping faith with the beleaguered asset class with a series of innovations.

report from The Gamer noted that Square Enix has inked a deal with mobile game developer Gumi to collaborate in creating a game based on blockchain technology. The deal is worth around JPY7 billion ($52.2 million) and will see both entities explore the use of NFTs in the game. 

Details from the press release suggest that the metaverse will feature prominently in future collaborations between the companies as they look to “break away from the highly speculative blockchain games of the past.” Other areas of partnership between Gumi and Square Enix include the mutual use of networks and a partnership to improve the business environment in the Web3 space.

The press statement confirms that in the future, both parties might consider the issuance of security tokens backed by the incoming mobile games Gumi and Square Enix will work on developing “Wow and Earn” to be a new iteration of the Play-to-Earn mode of blockchain-backed games.

Prior to the partnership with Gumi, Square Enix dabbled in NFTs with the July sale of its Cloud Strife character as a digital collectible. In November, the company announced a playable NFT art experience called Symbiogenesis, a game that allows players to use collectibles as characters to jostle for resources.

Despite the initial interest in NFTs, Square Enix has kept plans to turn its biggest franchises into blockchain-based games. 

“It’s still too early to consider making Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy blockchain games,” said Yosuke Matsuda, Square Enix CEO.

Gumi and Square Enix have done business in the past, with Gumi listing two games from the Final Fantasy series on its platform. There is wide speculation in the gaming industry that Gumi will be tipped to make NFT gaming for the Final Fantasy franchise in the future.

Japanese gaming companies are jostling over NFTs

Japanese game publishers are doubling their efforts to wade into blockchain gaming, with Nintendo, Sega, Bandai Namco, and Konami leading the charge. Nintendo revealed that it is exploring the use of NFTs in its games in a way that does not take away the “joy of gaming”.

Sega, on the other hand, has repeatedly confirmed that the future of gaming revolves around NFTs, being “interactive titles that go beyond the traditional framework of games.”

Bandai Namco threw its hat in the ring for NFT gaming with a groundbreaking announcement to create metaverses for its leading games like Dragon Ball Z, while Konami’s intentions can be gleaned from its job listing of an NFT and metaverse expert to join its game development team.

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