Sega will keep blockchain & Web 3.0 out of Sonic, Yakuza & other major franchises

On the matter of current play-to-earn games, Sega Japan Co-Chief Operating Officer Shuji Utsumi said, 'what's the point if games are no fun?'

Image via Sega

As NFTs, cryptocurrency, and blockchain hype has died down, so has interest in it in the gaming industry, as evidenced by Sega in recent discussions this week. Where the Sonic publisher was once on board with figuring out how to integrate Web 3.0, blockchain, and play-to-earn into its games, Sega Japan Co-Chief Operating Officer Shuji Utsumi recently went on record to say that Sega will keep blockchain and Web 3.0 out of fan-favorite franchises like Sonic the Hedgehog and Yakuza.

Shuji Utsumi shared these comments and more on the state of Sega and blockchain in a conversation with Bloomberg. Surprisingly, Utsumi doesn’t attribute Sega’s cooldown on crypto to the negative blowback from fans (though that was likely part of it), but rather the perceived lack of quality it sees in current blockchain, Web 3.0, and play-to-earn games.

“The action in play-to-earn games is boring,” Utsumi said. “What’s the point if games are no fun?”

Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name art
According to Sega, its major franchises like Sonic and Yakuza won't be used for experiments with blockchain, Web 3.0, and NFTs.
Source: Sega

Utsumi went on to say that Sega isn’t entirely pulling away from the idea of using Web 3.0 and blockchain in games, but it’s definitely going to be kept away from the company’s biggest franchises. Yakuza and Sonic the Hedgehog in particular were mentioned. However, Sega will still likely play around with NFTs in lesser IP. It still has plans to launch NFTs for Virtua Fighter and Three Kingdoms characters that haven’t been put to rest just yet. Outside of that, it would appear that Sega is continuing to take a wait-and-see approach on the matter.

Nonetheless, it looks like we won’t be seeing NFTs or play-to-earn in Sonic the Hedgehog or Like A Dragon anytime soon. Stay tuned as we continue to follow this story for further updates.

Senior News Editor

TJ Denzer is a player and writer with a passion for games that has dominated a lifetime. He found his way to the Shacknews roster in late 2019 and has worked his way to Senior News Editor since. Between news coverage, he also aides notably in livestream projects like the indie game-focused Indie-licious, the Shacknews Stimulus Games, and the Shacknews Dump. You can reach him at and also find him on Twitter @JohnnyChugs.

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