Square Enix’s First NFT Game Receives Mixed Reactions After Reveal

Final Fantasy creator Square Enix has ramped up its web3 strategy after releasing a teaser for its first-ever NFT game, Symbiogenesis.
Image source: Symbiogenesis/Twitter

Quick take:

  • Square Enix has revealed its first NFT game Symbiogenesis.
  • The Final Fantasy creator received mixed reactions with some mainstream publishers calling its first blockchain game “NFT junk”. 
  • The company describes Symbiogenesis as a digital collectible art experience based on an NFT artwork, which can also be used as a PFP.

Square Enix’s foray into blockchain gaming is not up to a good start after its first NFT game received mixed reactions after the reveal. A non-fungible token (NFT) is a blockchain-based digital file representing proof of ownership of a digital asset like a JPEG, music track, video clip, or in the case of Square Enix’s NFT game, a gamified digital collectible artwork.

The Final Fantasy creator released a 30-minute teaser of the game called “Symbiogenesis on Thursday, describing it as a “digital collectible experience powered by an artwork” which can also be used as a social media profile picture (PFP). The game is set to launch in spring 2023 according to a post on Twitter.

“The art can be used for social media profile pictures (PFP) and as a character in a story that takes place in an alternate world where the player can ’untangle’ a mystery by completing missions that revolve around questions of the monopolization and distribution of resources,” Square Enix wrote in a press release.

The Japanese gaming giant pivoted to web3 late last year and has since made some key investments and partnerships as it continues to shift its focus. However, the company has faced criticism from fans of some of its biggest games with some traditional gamers resisting the lure of blockchain gaming.

Earlier this year, Square Enix collaborated with leading blockchain investment company Animoca Brands’ subsidiary The Sandbox to bring the “Dungeon Siege” game to the metaverse— a 3D virtual space where people can interact immersively through gaming, virtual concerts and other experiential events.

In May, the company made its intentions to make web3 gaming a priority after cashing out its Tomb Raider IP and more for $300 million before teaming up with Efinity blockchain to launch its first NFT project in July.

In the same month, the video game and entertainment giant invested in crypto payments company Zebedee’s $35 million funding round to bring bitcoin-based payments to gaming. And in September, the company joined a long list of game developers as a node validator on Oasys Blockchain.

Web3 is generally described as a next-gen internet that leverages blockchain technology, artificial intelligence, decentralised apps and AR/VR technology to power community-owned experiences in the metaverse.

Square Enix’s decision to pivot towards web3 gaming demonstrates its commitment to embracing a game economy that is driven by the community. The company’s first reveal of its first-ever NFT game receives mixed reactions from the mainstream with leading gaming website Kotaku calling its new game “NFT junk”, adding that the company appears to be “having an identity crisis of its own.”

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