The pandemic has reshaped social behavior in ways unimaginable. In 2022, the tech giants will continue to push the envelope even further – into the Metaverse. Just like last year, NFTs remain at the helm of the cryptocurrency and blockchain revolution. Square Enix President Yosuke Matsuda, for one, understands that the two sectors are not just mere buzzwords: instead, they are here to stay.
2021: Year 1 of Metaverse and NFTs
Reflecting on the past year, Matsuda called 2021 not only Metaverse: Year One but also NFT: Year One, as the concepts gained significant prominence in the past 12 months. For Metaverse, the exec expects to witness a “meaningful transition” to a business phase this year, entailing a wide range of services.
In a new year’s letter, Matsuda said the abstract concept of Metaverse will soon take concrete shape in the form of product and service offerings. He also anticipates that it will be more impactful with regards to the business side as well.
NFTs, on the other hand, have managed to spark global conversations but the speculative overtones continue. According to Matsuda, this isn’t an ideal situation. However, there could be an “eventual right-sizing in digital goods deals” as they become more mainstream and “the value of each available content corrected to their true estimated worth.”
The big news is that Square Enix is strategizing on investing in AI, the cloud, and blockchain games domains. The President stated,
“To address these changes in our business environment, the medium-term business strategy that we unveiled in May 2020 identified AI, the cloud, and blockchain games as new domains on which we should focus our investments, and we have subsequently been aggressive in our R&D efforts and investments in those areas.”
Square Enix has been exploring beyond the walls of traditional concepts of gaming AI for quite some time now. In fact, the gaming company unveiled SQUARE ENIX AI & ARTS Alchemy Co., Ltd. to pursue developments in the “entertainment AI” sector. It has also made a sizeable investment in the Ethereum-based virtual world – The Sandbox.
“Decentralized Gaming” is the Word
Needless to say, Blockchain gaming is yet another sector that is intertwined with the aforestated concepts. Traditionally, online games are unidirectional in nature, where the creators provide a game to the consumers that play them.
However, the advent of blockchain has changed this dynamic. Matsuda acknowledged that blockchain games are still in infancy but have the potential to facilitate self-sustaining game growth. This is because consumers can enjoy “explicit incentives” with the advancements in token economies.
From just a “play to have fun” approach, the gaming sector is likely to see users earning as well as contributing. According to Matsuda, blockchain-based tokens will subsequently pave the way for a wide range of “motivations” that will inspire users to engage with games and connect with others.
He also noted that by building viable token economies into the games, the community will be able to create self-sustaining growth. The President further added,
“It is precisely this sort of ecosystem that lies at the heart of what I refer to as “decentralized gaming,” and I hope that this becomes a major trend in gaming going forward.”
Featured Image Courtesy of DBLTAP