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Square Enix CEO Yosuke Matsuda still eager to publish blockchain games

The "handgun president" is still dreaming about that audience that wants to "play to contribute."

April 18, 2022

2 Min Read
Square Enix CEO Yosuke Matsuda, as seen in Nier: Automata's CEO Boss Battle DLC

Square Enix CEO Yosuke Matsuda is still saying the company will be getting into blockchain-based games. In an interview with Yahoo Japan (spotted and translated by Video Games Chronicle ), Matsuda reiterated his belief that there is a future of game development where players "contribute" to a game's development using blockchain technology.

His comments echo his letter published on Square Enix's website back in January, where he said that Square Enix is interested in games with token-based economies (referring to cryptocurrency tokens minted on a blockchain). He also said that Square Enix hopes to attract players who instead of playing for fun, are motivated to "play to contribute."

Matsuda's comments to Yahoo Japan shine slightly more light on his thinking, which also apparently have to do with an ever-globalizing video game market. He says that the goal is to publish "autonomous game content," that would be updated by both developers working on the game and fans who could earn tokens through blockchain technology.

The phrase "play to contribute" makes more sense if you look at this description and assume it's describing players who want to sell user-generated content in games. But it remains unclear why blockchain technology is needed to make this dream happen, when games like Roblox have achieved this goal with nary a decentralized platform in site.

Matsuda has also yet to comment on the inefficient energy usage of many blockchain platforms that contribute to climate change, and whether Square Enix would work to avoid those failures. He did previously comment that he believes blockchain tech's current use as a speculative investment tool would be "right-sized" by public interest in digital goods.

The Yahoo Japan interview does reveal other interesting tidbits about Matsuda's thinking. According to the (Google Translate-ed) piece, Matsuda is interested in financing games through similar business arrangements as the film industry, where multiple companies spread the financial risk of a project's development. 

He also shared the origins of his two nicknames: "uncle headshot" and "handgun president." Both apparently date back to his playing first-person shooter games. The latter is a bit funnier, as it had to do with games where he would forget to switch away from simple starter weapons like a pistol, and not pick up more advanced weapons. 

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