In November 2021, Sega’s Q2 Results noted that the publisher plans to work closely with Microsoft to develop cloud-powered ‘Super Games’. These super games may be really ambiguous, but apparently “the amount that can be spent on them will be in the range of 10.0 to 15.0 billion yen at most.” Given that Sega received a business investment of 100 billion yen, roughly $865,313,900, that left a fair amount for other projects, including “investments in new areas such as NFTs”.
After recent hostility to proposals to include NFTs in videogames and the questionable ‘play-to-earn’ model associated with them, it was only a matter of time before Sega addressed this. And so, during a management meeting last month, as seen tweaktownHaruki Satomi, Sega’s president and group CEO, actually noted the “negative feedback” NFTs received.
“We need to carefully assess a number of things such as how we can reduce the negative elements,” he said, “how much we can offer within Japanese regulation, what will be accepted and what is not done by users. Then, we’ll consider it further if it leads to our mission ‘Constantly Creating, Forever Captivate’, but if it’s treated as simple money making, I’m going to decide not to proceed. I would like to.”
It’s hard to imagine how the whole weird concept of in-game NFTs and play-to-earn games wouldn’t be treated as “ordinary money making,” and yet other publishers are eager to embrace them.
Castlevania now has NFTs, and Peter Molyneux’s next game is Legacy Play-to-Earn and All-in NFTs. Square Enix president Yosuke Matsuda recently said that the company “has an eye to potentially issue our own tokens in the future” even though “I know some people who ‘play to have fun’ and who currently constitute the majority of the players, have voiced their reservations towards these new trends”. Meanwhile, Ubisoft’s NFT scheme has been called “useless, costly, ecologically fatal” by the French trade union.
Others have heard the feedback and reacted accordingly. GSC World scrapped plans to include NFTs in Stalker 2 following the backlash, and Steam banned all games containing NFTs or cryptocurrencies.