Since the NFT boom last year, many projects have engineered their tokens to not only join the Metaverse but also become compatible with video games.
This time, the situation has switched as video game brands have started entering the NFT scene, particularly Square Enix.
Square Enix’s NFT plans
Japanese publisher Square Enix recently partnered with a blockchain gaming firm to develop NFTs surrounding the former’s most popular game series – Final Fantasy.
The Final Fantasy NFTs will take an extra step in development, going beyond digital tokens.
The NFTs will be tied to physical action figures and trading cards.
With how vast the games are, Square Enix decided to utilize its most popular series, Final Fantasy VII, to commemorate the original PlayStation game’s 25th anniversary.
The project will launch in 2023.
Square Enix will launch the first wave of the Final Fantasy NFTs in spring 2023, with the physical trading cards setting the stage for everything else.
The cards will come with a code to redeem a single NFT trading card, which Enjin will then mint on the Efinity platform, built on the Polkadot blockchain.
The Final Fantasy trading cards will sell for $3 per six-card pack.
Square Enix will follow with a limited edition action figure of Final Fantasy VII’s Cloud Strife in November 2023.
The action figure will come in the standard figure and “Digital Plus Edition” – both will come with a code to redeem an NFT certificate of authenticity.
The Digital Plus Edition will be the only one with an additional NFT – a digital replica of the physical toy.
The standard figure will sell for $130, while the Digital Plus Edition will be priced at $160.
The Efinity blockchain is part of the overall Polkadot ecosystem, running on Polkadot as a parachain or a dedicated subnet of sorts.
Polkadot utilizes a proof-of-stake consensus model that won’t require energy-intensive mining compared to the top NFT platform, Ethereum.
The upcoming NFT project is not the first time Enjin and Square Enix will collaborate on, as the two previously worked together several years ago.
Their first collaboration was hosting websites for online guilds that played Final Fantasy XIV.
The latest partnership was struck when Square Enix grew interested in blockchain tech and NFTs.
The company felt that Final Fantasy was its best bet, having sold 168 million games worldwide since 1987.
“They were looking at all kinds of blockchains, testing them out,” explained Enjin CTO Witek Radomski.
Radomski added that Square Enix sought a platform that could appeal to gamers and their needs, considering low transaction costs and energy efficiency.
Square Enix has been ramping up its blockchain and NFT endeavors in the last couple of years.
In 2020, the company invested in the Ethereum-based Metaverse game The Sandbox.
Last year, Square Enix released NFT collectibles in Japan based on the Million Arthur game series.
For the 2021 project, the company used the LINE blockchain platform.
Square Enix announced plans to return the Dungeon Siege franchise to the NFT game world this year.
The Square Enix president also wrote positively about the potential benefits of NFTs and tokenized economies earlier this year, saying there was interest in “play-to-contribute” experiences that could lead players to benefit financially from a game’s growing success.
Recently, Square Enix sold a slate of major franchises like Tomb Raider and three game studios for $300 million to finance its growing crypto industry endeavors.
A few days ago, Square Enix was announced as an investor in Zebedee, a Bitcoin gaming startup, raising a $35 million Series B round.
Witek Radomski revealed that Square Enix has been “very measured” in its approach to the NFT initiative with Enjin as the company strives to streamline the process for gamers’ first encounter with NFTs.
“That lets us adapt our products even more,” he elaborated. “It’s been amazing.”