Square Enix, the company known for popular video game franchises such as Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts, has made a renewed commitment to blockchain and Web3 technology. The firm has announced its plans to launch several blockchain games and NFT projects in 2023 using its expertise in world-building and storytelling, as well as its own set of crypto coins. To further establish its global presence, Square Enix is also looking to establish a blockchain game publishing business and may establish a corporate venture capital unit.

Square Enix’s recent entry into the Web3 space may come as a surprise to its core gaming audience, but the company has been quietly building a presence in the space for several years. In 2021, Square Enix released an NFT collection for its mobile game Shin-San-Sei Million Arthur, and later released it as a blockchain game in the Japanese market. Square Enix also partnered with Enjin in 2022 to release a collectible set of digital cards and figurines based on Final Fantasy VII.

In 2023, Square Enix plans to explore the economic structure of its future blockchain game titles, including user-generated content and community self-governance. The company’s commitment to Web3 technology aligns with the Japanese government’s interest in integrating blockchain technology into its services for the citizens of Japan. In a letter, Square Enix’s President, Matsuda, stressed the legitimacy of this strategy as a business decision and cited the firm’s response to the volatility of the space as necessary steps in creating a more transparent business environment.

“2023 is a milestone year for us,” Matsuda stated in his letter. “Against a backdrop of dizzying change in our business environment, we have achieved significant growth fueled by the myriad opportunities that arose over the past two decades. […] We will drive our businesses forward with the goal of making 2023 a year of major evolution and transformation.” With Square Enix’s world-renowned expertise in story and world-building, its entry into the Web3 space could help alleviate concerns among industry consumers that Web3 gaming might lack substance.