Square Enix recommit to NFTs
Its Square Enixs turn to tell us how the last year went as May rolls ever onward. A summary of the previous year would be pretty good, especially MMOs but the most interesting bits are the forward-looking statements. There, Square Enix explained their Web 3.0/NFT/Blockchain strategy and said its considering multiple potential global investments on top of what it has already done.
While this may come as a surprise, or laughably predictable depending on your point of view, given the recent (and ongoing) negative press surrounding cryptocurrencies, Square Enix do back it up somewhat. Shi-San-Sei Million Arthur, one of Square Enixs franchises, had a season of NFTs in the past year, and it was successful enough that the company is moving forward with another.
Encouraged by the results and feedback from our NFT business, we have decided to produce a second season, it says. 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.
Square Enix also detailed the other next steps, including an initiative to establish regulatory clarity and guidelines for blockchain games. Its also looking at tackling scalability and how to actually make a new IP that exploits it all. For those who want absolutely nothing to do with NFTs, its perhaps slightly less terrifying than you might expect, given its focused in new areas. That said, the inevitability of being able to own a Buster Sword NFT doesnt feel too far away.
As far as results went, HD Games (console and PC, not counting MMOs Dragon Quest X and FF14) were down, but MMOs were up thanks to the Endwalker expansion. Mobile/web games were still the vast majority of Net Sales, and increased slightly compared to the previous year. Endwalker only managed to increase sales from 39.8 billion yen (~$309M) to 62.2 billion yen (~$473M) for its segment, with some of that also coming from Dragon Quest X Onlines own expansion pack. Square Enix also mentioned a sharp rise in subscribers for FF14.
Given the bumps other games see from major expansion releases, these numbers actually seem a little low to me, considering the constant hype surrounding FF14 in the current climate. No doubt its doing way better than it ever has done, but much like how COD and WoW for Activision Blizzard are massively outpaced by the mobile offerings of King and Candy Crush, its just another drop in the ocean for Square Enixs overall business.
Written by Ben Barrett on behalf of GLHF.