Sega Takes Cautious Approach to Web3 Gaming in Revised Strategy

The Japanese gaming and entertainment giant is withholding ofefring its biggest franchises to third-party blockchain gamin projects.
Image source: Wikipedia

Quick take:

  • Sega is revising its blockchain gaming strategy.
  • The Japanese gaming and entertainment giant told Bloomberg “Play-to-earn games [are] boring.”
  • The co-Chief Operating Officer Shuji Utsumi said the company will withhold producing web3 games based on its biggest franchises.

Sega is taking a more cautious approach to web3 gaming. The Japanese video game and entertainment giant’s co-Chief Operating Officer Shuji Utsumi told Bloomberg on Friday his company “will withhold its biggest franchises from third-party blockchain gaming projects to avoid devaluing its content.”

The company is also scrubbing plans to build its own blockchain games for now, added Utsumi who played a key role in the launch of popular video gaming console PlayStation at Sony nearly three decades ago.

Sega is not the only Japanese video game publisher to experiment with blockchain games. Square Enix last year sold its Tomb Raider IP for more than $300 million to focus on blockchain gaming. In January 2023, the video game publisher revealed it was adding more web3 games this year. 

However, just two months later, its pro-NFT gaming CEO Yosuke Matsuda was replaced by Takashi Kiryu with the company facing a significant slowdown in its gaming strategy.

Sega made its foray into web3 gaming in September last year after announcing a partnership with Japan-based web3 studio Double Jump Tokyo. However, that partnership now looks like it will only involve the video game publisher’s lesser-known titles like Three Kingdoms and Virtua Fighter.

This change comes amid a prolonged crypto winter that has seen the initial appetite for blockchain games slow down. And now, Utsumi has another perspective towards blockchain games based on his conversation with Bloomberg News.

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

That has been a common view among traditional gamers, with some suggesting play-to-earn games are focused on the monetary side of the ecosystem, than developing quality and fun games.

However, being a nascent industry, the difference in the quality between video games and web3 games does not come as a shock. And even more importantly, since the emergence of the industry, there has been an upward trajectory in the quality of blockchain games being built with more studios now building AAA titles for the industry.

That is probably why Sega is not really saying goodbye to blockchain gaming. The company still plans to let external partners use characters from its lesser-known titles for NFTs and digital assets.

“We’re looking into whether this technology is really going to take off in this industry, after all,” Utsumi added.


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