Two Divergent Approaches to Blockchain Gaming

Matt Dion
2 min readJul 28, 2022

An analysis of the recent announcements made by Square-Enix and Microsoft regarding blockchain gaming, and what these different approaches signal about the future of AAA publisher relationships with web3.

Image Credit: Mobidictum (left); Washington Post (right)

In what may be a preview of divergent industry-wide movements to come, Square-Enix and Microsoft both made headlines last week by sharing updates on their respective approaches to web3 and blockchain gaming.

Square-Enix continued its strategic pivot toward web3 with its announcement that it would release a collection of NFTs to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Final Fantasy VII. Beginning in 2023, the company will release a series of physical trading card packs that each come with a redemption code for a digital NFT trading card. Later in the year, it will follow that up by releasing a physical figurine of Cloud Strife (the protagonist of Final Fantasy VII) that comes with an NFT certificate of authenticity (as well as a 3D replica NFT, if you buy the “Digital Plus Edition”).

The company is no stranger to web3 at this point, having made clear its intent to explore blockchain integrations in President Yosuke Matsuda’s New Year’s Letter to shareholders. Other recent moves include an investment announced just last week in blockchain payments company Zebedee, as well as prior investments in The Sandbox and the introduction of its Dungeon Siege franchise to The Sandbox.

This particular integration represents, in my opinion, a cautious step in the direction of “decentralized gaming”…

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The snippet above is a preview of an article initially published on July 27, 2022 for Naavik Digest, an excellent newsletter and source of games industry analysis where you can read more of my writing, along with that of a host of other incredibly talented contributors.

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Matt Dion

Always Scheming is the product of Matt Dion, a product manager, writer, and games industry professional.