Epic Games might have recently poured cold water on our steamy blockchain gaming dreams, but another major video game publishing company has stepped up to keep hope alive.
Square Enix, the publisher of smash-hit, gaming franchises Tomb Raider, Kingdom Hearts, and Final Fantasy, is preparing its investors for a foray into the world of blockchain.
Recently, the president of Square Enix, Yosuke Matsuda, published a letter to his shareholders in which he laid out the company’s vision for 2019. And topping the list for the company’s “potential for new services” is Matsuda’s growing crypto curiosity, citing—interestingly—the crypto crash of 2018 as the impetus:
“With the subsiding of the cryptocurrency bubble, the use of blockchain technology has spread to a variety of non-cryptocurrency domains as well,” he said. “One has been the gaming space, where there have been some interesting developments with games and game platform services using blockchain technology.” The head of Square Enix went on to say that the company is also “very interested in potential applications for blockchain technology in the digital content space.”
A growing number of major video game publishers and distributors have already begun testing the utility of blockchain. In November, game-development company Arcade Distillery announced a deal with Sony to release the first blockchain game on a major console; “Plague Hunters” is slated to land on the PlayStation 4 early this year. Other major players include Ubisoft, the makers of Assassin’s Creed and Rainbow Six.
Indeed, a number of blockchain-focused companies, including Ubisoft, ConsenSys (which funds Decrypt, an editorially independent site), Everdreamsoft and Ultra, launched the Blockchain Game Alliance last fall. Ubisoft’s Strategic Innovation Lab spent the better part of 2018 exploring blockchain’s potential to decentralize and individualize gaming experiences, as well as to provide gamers with “true ownership” of their digital assets.
Nicolas Gilot, co-CEO of Ultra—a blockchain-based “next-generation games distribution platform”—is equally bullish on the blockchain gaming future. He told Decrypt that the technology is “already proving its potential beyond the ownership of in-game items and providing groundbreaking, innovative solutions.”
Says Gilot: “Looking at the future of gaming, in three to five years time, I believe the industry will be completely unrecognizable to where we are now by virtue of the incorporation of blockchain.”
And with Sqaure Enix considering joining the campaign, we may soon count another elder role player among the blockchain bold.