There is some huge news about to be announced at Comic-Con International in San Diego one hour from now that we can break early: Square Enix has partnered with Enjin! To get you up to speed, I would recommend the following articles as supplementary reading as they explain some of the moving parts here:
Now, we at Token Gamer have been active fans in the Enjin ecosystem since 2018, and projects on the chain were some of the first blockchain games we ever played. However, I observed recently that it felt as if since the Efinity parachain launch, things had gone a little quiet when I expected them to ramp up. Well, I was just impatient, it would seem.
Enjin Announces Partnership With Square Enix to Make Branded Tokenized Collectibles Available Using Efinity
Square Enix has gone from lightly flirting with blockchain to a full-court press within the last year, but their presence in Web3 has been lackluster. Now, they appear to be taking the leap with a flagship partnership with the Enjin ecosystem.
Utilizing the environmentally friendly and low gas fee Polkadot parachain, Efinity, Enjin will be the vehicle for Square Enix to launch a digital collection of Final Fantasy VII 25th Aniversary cards and figures as digital collectibles (NFTs). The physical figurines, already open for pre-order on the Square Enix store, will come with a redeemable code for a digital version in the form of an NFT on the Efinity network.
“This partnership marks a coming-of-age phase for digital assets and entertainment; Square Enix, an esteemed developer with iconic intellectual property, is paving the way for the industry. By using Efinity, fans can experience interactive NFTs without even realizing they’re on the blockchain. Enjin can establish the next phase of growth in blockchain entertainment, merging curiosity and creativity.”
— Witek Radomski, Chief Technology Officer at Enjin
Asides from a partnership with The Sandbox to resurrect the cult classic, Dungeon Siege, Square Enix has yet to make any major commitments to Web3 ecosystems. Their intent in the space is evident, so this could mark the start of a far more significant relationship and one that could send ripples through blockchain gaming. Square Enix is one of the world’s leading organizations in the games industry and these early steps may represent the direction their larger integration of blockchain technology will head.
There is undoubtedly going to be backlash from skeptical gamers, the NFT detractors, and archaic, closed-minded gaming media, as they have experienced with all other public declarations of interest in blockchain. Many will likely claim that the iconic Final Fantasy brand is being sullied by NFTs, but it’s important to reiterate to these people that the common criticisms do not apply here. The environmental impact is not what is cited from Bitcoin or Ethereum, this is an eco-friendly blockchain. Similarly, this isn’t some obscure cash-grab; buy the figurines, get an NFT. If you don’t want it, don’t claim it or sell it and get some of your investment back.
Official Final Fantasy NFTs are exciting, undoubtedly, but we at Token Gamer have our eyes on the potential gaming implication. That is, this beloved and titanic publisher may be indicating which ecosystem they plan to work with on gaming projects. Enjin was born of a love for gaming and Efinity has overcome many of the ecosystem’s pain points of being an Ethereum-based protocol. Time will tell, but for now, we get to welcome Final Fantasy — one of the great gaming franchises in history — to Web3.