Square Enix has formally announced a new game, Symbiogenesis. While the name sounds right in line with some of the publisher's JRPGs, it's anything but. Symbiogenesis is an NFT title, described in its press release as "the first digital collectible art project designed from the ground up for Web3 fans."
Throughout 2022, CEO Yosuke Matsuda have made it clear that NFTs and blockchain technology would play into the future of Square Enix. Last week in its annual report, Matsuda said the technology would be "our most important focus."
"I believe that blockchain gaming holds the potential to create new forms of gaming content, and that it represents a new business domain worth our Group addressing alongside traditional games," wrote Matsuda at the time.
Before this reveal, there was speculation Symbiogenesis would be a revival of Parasite Eve, a long dormant Square Enix franchise just under a different name. That the publisher recently released new installments in old franchises Valkyrie Profile and Tactics Ogre added extra fuel to that fire, but that clearly isn't the case.
When it releases with its browser service in spring 2023, Symbiogensis will be set in its own universe (with the hopes of kicking off a new franchise), and feature "a wide cast of characters symbiosis, all of which can be collected as digital art."
That digital art will be used for social media profiles, continued Square Enix, and players will use it to uncover a mystery surrounding "the monopolization and distribution of resources."
The existence of Symbiogenesis doesn't appear to involve Oasys, a blockchain company that Square Enix announced a partnership with in September.
Square Enix is laying groundwork for other publishers to embrace NFTs
Square Enix isn't the only Japanese publisher putting eggs in the NFT basket. During Sega's recent fiscal report, the Sonic maker reaffirmed that it was looking to release a "Super Game" by March 2026.
For its "Super Game," Sega plans on using NFTs to make it a reality and "create a game so revolutionary that it attracts far more active users than any of the Group's games to date," wrote Sega CEO Haruki Satomi.
Another publisher that's getting in on the technology is Konami. In mid-October, a new job listing showed the Silent Hill publisher was recruiting to launch an NFT platform to accelerate its business.