Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts maker Square Enix kicked off the first NFT auction Monday for its upcoming game, Symbiogenesis, and said that it will give out free NFTs as gifts to bidders who participate in the process. The publisher also revealed the launch date for the game.

According to Square Enix, the browser-based Ethereum and Polygon NFT game Symbiogenesis will launch on December 21. Previously, the storied publisher said that the game would tentatively debut in December, but did not specify a date.

Square Enix began the first mint and auction process early Monday, with a three-stage rollout that will ultimately see 500 in-game Ethereum NFT characters put up for grabs.

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As previously revealed, ten character NFTs will be offered to Symbiogenesis stakeholders and contributors during the first window from November 27-28, and another 90 NFTs will be released through a priority mint from November 30 to December 1 for top players who completed challenges in the game’s official Discord server.

Finally, the largest chunk of 400 character NFTs for Chapter 1 will be offered from December 2-3 to users who were added to an allowlist during the Discord campaign. In all three waves, the NFTs will initially be listed as free to claim—but if multiple eligible users attempt to claim the NFT, then Square Enix will initiate an auction for the character.

To encourage bidding and reward users who participate in the auction process, Square Enix announced Monday that it will give out bonus NFTs during the sale.

Anyone who places a bid will receive a free “​​special countdown illustration” NFT, with four versions available, while anyone who places a bid of at least 0.05 ETH (about $100 at present) will receive a “Member Card Red (Colored)” NFT that gives players “additional points” when they log into Symbiogenesis.

It’s unclear whether these NFTs will be minted on Ethereum, as the character NFTs are, or whether they will be minted on Ethereum scaling network Polygon.

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Symbiogenesis is Square Enix’s first original NFT game, though the company has been playing in the crypto space for a few years now between investments, NFT projects, and collaborations with existing NFT games like The Sandbox.

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