Sq. Enix has launched its earnings report for the final fiscal yr, and nestled amidst the ocean of gross sales figures and numbers are a couple of attention-grabbing items of knowledge, together with the truth that Sq. Enix desires to ascertain new sport studios.
Usually a writer wanting to construct or purchase extra sport studios would make good sense. However this information comes shortly after Sq. Enix introduced it was promoting three main studios–Crystal Dynamics, Eidos Montreal and Sq. Enix Montreal–to the Embracer Group to the tune of $300 million. Sq. Enix shifting ahead additionally desires to “domesticate sturdy IP” after it simply bought off main IPs like Tomb Raider and Deus Ex together with its aforementioned studios.
Analysts have theorized the sale of some of its major Western studios and IP are a part of an effort on the Japan-based Sq. Enix’s half to “refocus” on its Japanese studios. If that’s the case, then Sq. Enix is probably going buying or spinning up new studios in Japan, reasonably than in different elements of the world.
One of many core causes behind Sq. Enix’s divestiture of a few of its abroad studios and IP is to make use of that cash to “speed up launch and monetization of recent companies by shifting ahead in focus fields” which embrace the blockchain, AI, and the cloud.
In different phrases, Sq. Enix is doubling down on NFTs and blockchain know-how. A part of Sq. Enix’s “medium-term enterprise technique” is a newfound concentrate on “blockchain leisure” which features a need to difficulty unique NFTs and create a “new NFT model and IP.”
As such, it is investing in plenty of blockchain-focused firms, just like the Net 3.0-focused Animoca Manufacturers and the “decentralized metaverse” The Sandbox. It is also investing in Ubitus, a Japan-based cloud gaming firm. Sq. Enix makes clear that it’s contemplating a number of different investments associated to the blockchain and cloud providers not talked about within the report.
Sq. Enix’s newfound concentrate on NFTs and the blockchain comes simply because the NFT and blockchain-based cryptocurrency market has taken a nosedive, with the Wall Street Journal not too long ago reporting that the “NFT market is collapsing.” Gross sales of NFTs have fallen 92% since September 2021, and the variety of “lively wallets” (aka NFT homeowners or sellers) having fallen 88% since November, in keeping with the WSJ.
That makes Sq. Enix’s present resolution to commit so many assets to NFTs and the blockchain nearly as poorly timed as humanly attainable, however Sq. Enix is not the one gaming firm nonetheless attempting to get into the NFT area. Firms like Ubisoft have additionally expressed curiosity ( or have already carried out) some types of blockchain know-how into their video games and experiences.
Whatever the firm’s NFT choices, Sq. Enix did properly within the final monetary yr, with internet gross sales and earnings reaching new full-year information. Sq. Enix particularly cites the most recent growth for its MMORPG Final Fantasy XIV, Endwalker, as making a “main contribution” when it got here to the corporate’s video games enterprise.