Sega thinks play-to-earn blockchain games are “boring” and pauses its own projects
Sega co-chief operating officer Shuji Utsumi has revealed that the company's position on blockchain gaming may have shifted, causing it to pause projects and ensure that its biggest IPs, such as Sonic the Hedgehog, are not used in third-party pay-to-play titles.
- Utsumi described the controversial games as "boring" in an interview with Bloomberg, despite the fact that Sega was once regarded as one of the most notable gaming companies supporting the technology. "The action in play-to-earn games is boring," said Utsumi."What’s the point if games are no fun?" Not only did he dismiss the games, but it was confirmed that Sega has temporarily halted its blockchain projects and is hesitant to include Web3 technology in its upcoming "big-budget online multiplayer games," dubbed "super games.”
- Despite the internal move away from blockchain, Utsumi stated that he believes it has uses in gaming since it allows characters and items to be "moved" between games. Sega will also continue to allow its partners to use lesser-known franchises as NFTs, such as Virtua Fighter and Three Kingdoms, though everyone's favorite blue hedgehog is off-limits.
- Utsumi also clarified that Sega is still interested in Web3 for future projects and is open to employing the technology if it proves successful and that fans should not "underestimate" those taking the first step into the crypto gaming space. "For the majority of people in the video game industry, what blockchain advocates say may sound a bit extreme, but that’s how the first penguin has always been," Utsumi said of those pushing for the use of blockchain technology. "We should never underestimate them.”
- Blockchain, NFTs, and general Web3 technology have been heavily criticized in recent years across multiple industries; however, the gaming industry has seen a significant amount of backlash against companies that have adopted them for a variety of reasons. Ubisoft announced Ubisoft Quartz in 2021, which was meant to allow players to acquire unique cosmetic items in its games that could then be resold on a marketplace, but it has since been put on hold, with the company claiming it was primarily for "research." Square Enix, on the other hand, has ignored the criticism and has continued to release NFTs of fan favorite franchises such as Final Fantasy VII.
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