Sega exec ices blockchain gaming plans, calls play-to-earn ‘boring’

Sega trademarked the concept of its own NFTs at the peak of the last bull market, but now it’s returning to the sidelines

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Gaming veteran Sega has announced a strategic retreat from its blockchain initiatives to avoid what it’s calling a devaluation of its content.

The Tokyo-headquartered studio, famous for titles including Sonic the Hedgehog and Virtua Fighter, won’t be incorporating blockchain or crypto in its products any time soon, according to co-chief operating officer Shuji Utsumi. 

Sega is also suspending plans to develop its blockchain-based games, per Utsumi. Many had anticipated the company would follow rivals Ubisoft and Square Enix in exploring blockchain, NFTs and potentially crypto.

“The action in play-to-earn games is boring,” Utsumi told Bloomberg. “What’s the point if games are no fun?” 

The executive said Sega was now waiting to see whether blockchain products were “really going to take off” within gaming. 

Read more: The death of play-to-earn gaming

Sega began exploring blockchain for use in its games and franchises last year and even trademarked “Sega NFT” in Japan in December 2021, around the same time crypto markets peaked.

One Sega foray into blockchain gaming came last November when it reportedly teamed with Japanese studio double jump.tokyo for the development of a blockchain-powered card game on Oasys. 

It is unclear at this stage whether the game will proceed. Sega did not immediately respond to Blockworks’ request for comment.

While proponents say blockchain has the potential to revolutionize gaming by enabling ownership and peer-to-peer trade of in-game assets, not everyone is sold just yet.

Concerns include over-commercialization and “pay-to-win” environments, artificial scarcity, technical issues and poor design, as well as limited accessibility of gated content.


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