A big video game company enters the metaverse

Square Enix, whose video game roster includes “Final Fantasy” and “Tomb Raider,” is entering the metaverse with token economies.

Square Enix is behind some huge video game franchises, including “Final Fantasy,” “Dragon Quest,” “Tomb Raider,” and “Kingdom Hearts.”

A big video game company enters the metaverse

Recently, Square Enix president Yosuke Matsuda wrote a letter revealing the company’s metaverse aspirations to incentivize people to “play to contribute.”

“Play to earn” is a current crypto gaming trend…

… in which people play games to earn crypto or NFTs, instead of just playing for fun.

For example, “Axie Infinity” is a game with ~2m daily players who collect and battle Axies (creatures that look like axolotls). Each Axie is an NFT and you need 3 to start, which could cost you $1k+, per Forbes.

But to recoup costs, players can earn crypto through gameplay and by selling Axies and items.

“Play to contribute” relies on user-generated content

UGC is already a thing on platforms like Roblox, but Matsuda writes that there isn’t as much of it across gaming as he’d expect because there’s no incentive to make it.

Square Enix wants to build “token economies” in games to motivate users. The company might also release its own token in the future.

This vision – “decentralized gaming” – is a departure from the typical business of studios making games and players buying and playing them.

Something similar is already happening with “Loot,” a nonexistent game built around nondescript NFTs. (We covered that here.)

Maybe the next hot gig is… “custom video game quest maker”?

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