Japan’s Square Enix Circles Blockchain Gaming Investment

Game publisher Square Enix wants to take stakes in businesses based either in Japan or abroad despite a turbulent year for the tech industry


Source: Tada Images / Shutterstock modified by Blockworks


Square Enix has ambitious plans for 2023, a year it hopes will mark a “major evolution and transformation.”

The Japan gaming giant, best known for developing video game franchise Final Fantasy, has plans to take stakes in “promising businesses,” whether they’re based at home or overseas.

Japan has been openly exploring the integration of Web3 technology into government systems, with Prime Minister Fumio Kishida saying in a speech that the country wants to expand the use of Web3 services utilizing the metaverse and NFTs. 

Square Enix has three investment focuses this year, but the priority area is blockchain entertainment.

“Looking externally, I think it is fair to say that blockchain gained significant recognition as a field in 2022, as evidenced by ‘Web 3.0’ becoming a firmly established buzzword among businesspeople,” company president Yosuke Matsuda said in a letter released Sunday.

He acknowledged that the digital entertainment industry has been threatened by a variety of factors that transpired after the pandemic, such as soaring inflation and stock market chaos in the tech sector.

The chip shortage, one of the major consequences of the supply chain disruption during the pandemic, has significantly tightened the gamer’s hardware supplies and subsequently affected the business. 

Still, Matsuda expects things to change by early spring this year.

“Blockchain has been an object of exhilaration and a source of turmoil, but with that in the rearview mirror, we hope that blockchain games will transition to a new stage of growth in 2023,” Matsuda said.

Square Enix also plans to hone development capabilities by growing its team and focusing on creating titles with a more global edge.

The company will be moving away from a model where its Japan-based and Western publishing organizations worked independently of each other, to a single global organization Matsuda called, “One Square Enix.” This move aims to “capture as much of the upside as possible from the digital shift.” 

Last year, Square Enix sold $300 million worth of intellectual property, including some of its foreign studios, to fund its blockchain plans.

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