The company behind the Final Fantasy franchise has not taken last November’s backlash to heart. The Japanese multinational holding company Square Enix is still very bullish on incorporating NFTs into their well-loved games. The traditional gaming community hates NFTs, and it seems that gamers and crypto can’t be placed on the same map. Some game publishing platforms such as GTA’s Rockstar have even banned NFTs from their servers. However, the new Square Enix NFT game stands on its pro-blockchain grounds.
Square Enix NFT Game on Polygon
In November 2022, the giant gaming company announced that a new NFT-based game, Symbiogenesis, was to launch in the spring of 2023. The announcement received major backlash from fans that thought the name was insinuating a new entry of a fan-favorite game, Parasite Eve. Square Enix’s original plan was to launch the NFT game on Ethereum but ended up choosing the Ethereum scaling network, Polygon.
“Square Enix opted to tap into Polygon’s high transaction speeds, low gas fees, and overall user-friendliness to deliver this unique experience to Web3 fans,” Naoyuki Tamate, a game producer at Square Enix, said in a press release.
Symbiogenesis will be based on a “self-contained alternate world”, where NFTs serve as characters. Characters will be completing mysterious missions and they can serve as profile pictures. The gaming company also released a few more details surrounding the NFT game which includes 10,000 playable character NFTs that are tied to strategic game mechanics.
The NFT game will be based around a society that is forced to band together in the face of dragons that threatens their continent, which is floating above a polluted Earth by the way. Symbiogenesis will also feature turn-based gameplay which will take different paths as gamers complete missions or hold certain NFTs.
Square Enix revealed early this year some of the game’s NFTs including Dragon Tarot Cards but did not reveal what’s their purpose or price. The main website for Symbiogenesis goes into detail about things like story, character types, NFT holders’ benefits, and more roadmaps.
Symbiogenesis Trailer and Ongoing Backlash
A few days ago, Square Enix dropped a trailer for the new NFT game and fans are not happy. Not even one bit. The trailer consists of shots of in-game landscapes and has no new information. This made long-time fans conclude that Square Enix doesn’t care about the game itself, as much as it is interested to market its thousands of NFT “knick-knacks.”
Although Square Enix claimed that the main story which consists of 6 chapters can be played to the end without owning an NFT, the game feels like it was designed with ”revenue” in mind. What threw fans off was also the vagueness of the game’s description. It went by like “Progress through the main story and missions while also unlocking the stories held by the characters.” Which can be tied to any game in general.
The NFT game feels like an afterthought done by Square Enix to justify them launching an NFT collection. Which kind of looks like a cheap shot.
“At the end of the season, only players who have Member Rank 13 or higher and own an NFT Character will be able to receive a valuable full-body illustration of that character.” So technically, not owning an NFT will take away from the full experience. Also, the more NFT a player owns, the more advantage he has in the game.
Gamers also questioned the game’s art that looks like any other NFT collection’s derivative art. So long for Cloud’s Strife’s amazing modeling, and hello to flat characters with sad Ai-generated characters.
The funniest thing so far about the Square Enix NFT game is this image showcasing some of the character design variance where an identical hat png has been pasted over different characters where their hair sticks out of the top of the headgear. Over 10,000 characters! pic.twitter.com/1FV8c3T5ib
— Alex Donaldson (@APZonerunner) March 15, 2023
Here are some of the gaming community’s raging opinions about the latest Square Enix announcement.
Square Enix's new NFT game won't let everyone play the last mission.
"Only 3 players will be able to participate in this World Mission, leaving other players as spectators of the outcome."https://t.co/2dtOPAn7Ix pic.twitter.com/rJUTxVc48G
— Derek Strickland (@DeekeTweak) March 16, 2023
FUCK NO. Square Enix complained about a lot of titles not selling well last year and this is there answer? This is going to be awful for the company imo especially in the eyes of their loyal fans considering how hated NFT’s are. https://t.co/aSeHOhj6LN pic.twitter.com/e1okU5U7re
— LegionzGaming 🔜 PAX EAST (@LegionzGaming) March 14, 2023
SquareEnix NFT office pic.twitter.com/6oNVu6qQmW
— Deus ❅ (@MrJmoneyDeus) March 14, 2023
I hope the square enix NFT game crashes and burns hard just so no one tries this shit ever again. They deserve to lose money on this. https://t.co/EXDp2obSIn
— 💞✨Hayley, The Nation's Sweetheart (@Baconshotgun866) March 15, 2023
Square Enix Can’t Shake Web3 Off
The Japanese firm seems very invested and bullish on incorporating blockchain games. President Yosuke Matsuda’s claimed in an annual new year’s letter for 2022 that Square Enix is most focused on blockchain-powered gaming.
Earlier this month, Matsuda was replaced by Takashi Kiryu who came from the company that managed Dentsu Innovation Initiative. The Square Enix community felt joyous by this call at first. However, that’s until figuring out that the former crypto-loving president was replaced by a more still-loving crypto president. Kiryu’s previous job at Dentsu involved “scouting of new and disruptive technologies,” and nope, not the technology that will get you above 60 fps. The company heavily promoted NFTs, the metaverse, and Web3 in general.
Web3 needs all the support it can get. However, Square Enix might not be going in the right direction. The game obviously lacks any sense of real value other than cashing in using useless NFTs. This is coming from the company that delivered the epic Final Fantasy series, it could’ve walked the extra mile. Sony did a better job of incorporating blockchain technology within their games by letting users trade in-game assets on the blockchain, giving them a sense of authentication and providing them with a full asset history. We’ll just wait and see how Square Enix’s NFT game will turn out.