Square says no strife, more cloud
Square Enix is telling investors in its latest financial report that it still intends to “pursue investments in fields such as blockchain, AI, and the cloud,” and aims to develop a “‘new NFT brand and IP.”
The publisher dipped its toe into NFTs with its Million Arthur card battling franchise, introducing blockchain-based cards for the first season of the mobile game Shi‐San‐Sei Million Arthur, which concluded in March.
“Encouraged by the results and feedback from our NFT business, we have decided to produce a second season,” Square Enix says in its earnings presentation. “Our plan is to incorporate game content into our service and to leverage the development and operational expertise we have amassed in our existing businesses to explore the potential of earnings structures, breadth of play, and NFT ownership experiences in the NFT business.”
In the “medium-term,” Square Enix aims to build a blockchain game and entertainment development initiative. That includes broad research into regulatory and economic factors surrounding blockchain games, as well as an effort with “world‐building” and “story‐focused creatives” to launch “a new NFT brand and IP.”
Square Enix has made its interest in NFTs known for some time, including in a New Year’s message from President Yosuke Matsuda. The publisher said its recent sale of Crystal Dynamics and Eidos-Montreal to Embracer Group would enable “the launch of new businesses by moving forward with investments in fields including blockchain, AI, and the cloud.”
The company reiterated the same message in today’s financial report, arguing that the rise of streaming “may accelerate the transition from sales of traditional disks to digital sales, and business models may change through the offering of subscription services.” With more players potentially gaming without a console, especially in emerging markets, Square Enix believes “there is likely to be demand for gaming experiences only possible in a cloud environment and for the development of cloud-native games.”
With all that in mind, Square Enix “has identified AI, the cloud, and blockchain games as focus investment areas under its business strategy and will engage in aggressive research and development efforts and investment in these areas.”
In the short term, the publisher aims to “prioritize the expansion of stable recurring income,” including through more well-established gaming ventures, like mobile games, browser games, and MMO subscriptions. As part of today’s report, Square Enix cited Final Fantasy 14 as a major contributor to its gaming business.
Square Enix has plans for new IP, and not just on the blockchain.