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Sega Changes Its Approach to Blockchain Gaming
Sega, one of Japan’s leading game developers, has recently revealed its new strategy regarding blockchain and Web3 gaming. The company announced that it will not involve its major franchises in blockchain initiatives in order to protect the value of its intellectual properties (IPs). This decision will result in the shelving of in-house developed blockchain games and third-party projects.
Sega’s Co-Chief Operating Officer, Shuji Utsumi, stated in a recent interview with Bloomberg that the company is withdrawing its support for blockchain games. He further mentioned that Sega will not license its popular IPs to third parties involved in this technology, as it could potentially lead to the devaluation of their content. However, Utsumi did mention that lesser franchises like Three Kingdoms and Virtua Fighter might be available for use in non-fungible token (NFT) projects.
This change in strategy is a departure from Sega’s previous approach to blockchain gaming. In April 2022, the company hinted at incorporating NFT and blockchain elements in its ‘super game’ concept and planned to invest over $800 million in this venture. Additionally, Sega launched its first licensed blockchain game in October, which utilized its Sangokushi Taisen franchise and was developed using Oasys technology, a gaming-oriented blockchain project.
The Current Perception of Blockchain Games
Utsumi provided insights into his perspective on blockchain games and the reasoning behind the company’s shift in approach. He expressed that the gameplay experience in play-to-earn games is lackluster and questioned the purpose of such games if they aren’t enjoyable. Sega is now evaluating whether this technology will truly thrive in the gaming industry over time.
Despite this change, Utsumi emphasized that Sega is not ruling out the inclusion of blockchain elements in their games once the technology has matured. He acknowledged that the company should not underestimate blockchain advocates and their innovative proposals for the gaming space, even if they seem radical.
In contrast to Sega’s new stance, Square Enix, another renowned Japanese gaming company, announced in January that it would intensify its efforts in incorporating blockchain and NFT elements into their AAA games. They disclosed that they have multiple blockchain games based on original IPs in development.