Throughout the gaming industry, NFTs, Web3, and blockchain technology are still considered dirty words by a lot of people, but it doesn’t stop groups like Square Enix from exploring the possibilities therein. However, where Square Enix once suggested it would use the money from the recent sale of Eidos Montreal, Square Enix Montreal, and Crystal Dynamics to fund research into NFT and blockchain technology among other things, it has walked back how much of that money will be invested in blockchain R&D.
This sentiment was shared by Square Enix president Yosuke Matsuda in the company’s year-end financial results and materials, released on May 13, 2022, but just recently translated. It was here that Matsuda insisted that the recent $300 million sale of Square Enix Montreal, Eidos, and Crystal Dynamics to Embracer Group would not be used to fund blockchain and NFT technology research… much.
"Rather than using the proceeds from the divestiture in new investment domains such as NFT and blockchain, we intend to use them primarily to fund our efforts to foster solid IP and to enhance our development capabilities in our core Digital Entertainment segment," Matsuda wrote.
“Primarily” could be considered a keyword in Matsuda’s statement. While it would seem that Square Enix isn’t quite as gung-ho to invest in blockchain and NFT features and technology in games as it seemingly was when the deal was announced, the company doesn’t seem to be completely backing out of the idea. Rather, it simply looks as though Square Enix has readjusted its priorities.
The company still rides high on the likes of Final Fantasy 14, has Final Fantasy 16 on the way, and still has Outriders from People Can Fly in its stable with regular updates going on all the time. This doesn’t include the smaller projects Square Enix is putting out in between such as the remasters and remakes of games like Live A Live and Dragon Quest 3. Square Enix’s interest in strengthening its IP is noted, but it also seems worth noting that the company still seems to have interest in blockchain and Web3 tech. In what way that will manifest remains to be seen.