Image: Square Enix

NFTs were a hot topic in 2021, and the New Year’s letter from Square Enix President Yosuke Matsuda will only add to that noise.

Matsuda’s letter – which you can read here – covers a wide range of topics, including cloud gaming, AI and “the metaverse”, but a particularly large part is devoted to NFTs and cryptocurrencies and their effects on gaming.

He notes that people who play games for “fun” are currently against the introduction of NFTs – but he believes they will become a huge part of the future of gaming:

I understand that some people who “gamble for fun” who currently constitute the majority of gamers have expressed reservations about these new trends, and understandably so. However, I believe that there will be a certain number of people whose motivation is to “play to make a difference,” which I would like to help make the game more exciting. Traditional gambling has not offered any explicit incentive to this latter group of people, who were motivated solely by such conflicting personal feelings as benevolence and volunteerism. This fact has nothing to do with the limitations of existing UGC (User Generated Content). UGC was created solely because of an individual’s desire for self-expression and not because there was an explicit incentive to reward them for their creative endeavors. I see this as a reason why there wasn’t as much critical groundbreaking content user-created as one would expect.

However, with the advances in the token economy, users are being offered explicit incentives, which not only make their motivation more constant, but also a noticeable benefit in their creative endeavors. I believe this will lead to more people dedicating themselves to such endeavors and the opportunities for gaming to grow in exciting ways. From having fun to earning to contributing – a variety of motivations will inspire people to engage in games and connect with one another. There are blockchain-based tokens that make this possible. By developing viable token economies in our games, we will enable self-sustaining game growth. It is precisely this type of ecosystem that is at the heart of what I call “decentralized gaming,” and I hope this will become a major trend in gaming in the future.

Square Enix has previously tried to sell special NFTs, and is used by people like Sega, Ubisoft and EA to look positively at the concept of blockchain gaming and cryptocurrency.

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