Square Enix, the Japanese game developer behind the beloved Final Fantasy franchise, has signed on as a node validator for blockchain gaming project Oasys, with the duo also teaming up to create blockchain games.
The move has predictably been met with criticism from some crypto- and NFT-hating members of the gaming community, irritated that the firm is continuing to double down its focus on blockchain tech.
In a Monday announcement, Oasys revealed that Square Enix had jumped on board to be the project’s 21st node validator, taking up the final slot of initial validators.
Moving forward, the duo will also team up to develop new games on Oasys’ EVM compatible proof-of-stake (PoS) blockchain, which hopes to become a hub for Triple-A quality games with play-to-earn (P2E) integrations.
Square Enix joins a host of big names in gaming to partner with Oasys such as Sega, Double Jump, Bandai Namco and Ubisoft — with the latter also having a troubled history with gamers who have pushed back against the firm’s NFT gaming initiative Quartz.
In 2022, Square Enix has done irreparable damage to its image by
– Investing in crypto
– No longer prioritizing “fun” in gaming
– Selling off all their western studios
I’d call it self sabotage, but compared to what’s happened to Warner Bros this year, it’s honestly nothing https://t.co/TD8d1O1nj9
— Bruh Momento (@JBoop_is_ballin) September 12, 2022
The pitchforks are out
While the prospect of having reputable gaming giants jumping behind a blockchain project is welcome news in the blockchain world, the traditional gaming community has not received Square Enix’s move well.
The Gamer reported the news, with the headline: “Square Enix Sets Its Dreaded NFT Plans In Motion By Partnering With Crypto Company.”
“Unlike most video game developers who decided to announce their ventures into the jpeg-filled world of NFTs, Square Enix has only been doubling down on it,” the article notes, as it questions Square Enix president and CEO Yosuke Matsuda’s previous statements about introducing P2E elements into games:
“He probably ignored the fact that so many NFT games aren’t just scams, but also look like they were made by an actual bored ape.”
On Twitter, gamer ShyVortex said the partnership was “truly disgusting. Never buying a Square Enix game again,” while eramaster12 questioned, “what does it take to f#ckin force them to stop?”
Pilnok also chimed in that this “has become tiresome and embarrassing” and ManuelRomer2 added, “what about just don’t entirely?”
— RecklesFlam1ngo (@RecklesFlam1ngo) September 12, 2022
Square Enix and blockchain
Square Enix has been gradually ramping up its blockchain related plans in 2022, despite pushback.
Matsuda stated in a New Year’s Letter in January that he was particularly interested in the idea of introducing blockchain-enabled “token economies” into games to incentivize both players and users that generate content to add to the games.
“With advances in token economies, users will be provided with explicit incentives, thereby resulting not only in greater consistency in their motivation, but also creating a tangible upside to their creative efforts,” he wrote.
Related: Ubisoft cools off on NFTs and blockchain, says it’s in ‘research mode’
While blockchain is yet to creep into Square Enix’s games, the firm kicked things off in July by releasing tokenized character figures for $129.99 featuring characters such as Cloud Strife from Final Fantasy.