Square Enix announces Final Fantasy VII NFT trading cards
by Danny Craig ·
The latest of Square Enix’s controversial non-fungible token (NFT) shenanigans involves its pride and joy, Final Fantasy VII (FF7), with the upcoming release of trading cards featuring artwork from the game.
- Square Enix has announced the release of 207 trading cards featuring artwork from FF7 through its online store. Each ¥440 ($3.30) pack will include six physical trading cards as well as one "digital exchange card" that can be redeemed for an NFT version of the artwork. The cards cannot be sold or transferred to others, so all you are left with is an image that you can "own." Along with the announcement is a short video on how to "enjoy" your NFTs on mobile or desktop using the NFT platform Enjin, though it doesn't appear that there's much to enjoy about the cards given that the artwork appears to be stuff we've all seen before.
- The reaction from fans has been as expected, with many joking that the company is turning into the real-life Shinra, the evil megacorporation from the game. The environmental impact of NFTs has been debated, with the minting of a single token reportedly using the same amount of energy that an average American household would use in 47 days. This is pretty ironic given that a major plot point in FF7 is to stop Shinra from destroying the planet as part of the eco-terrorist organization Avalanche. Some have also pointed out that gamers have previously been opposed to the introduction of the tokens, and that most people who participate in NFTs would avoid the cards because, despite their name, they are not tradeable.
- Fans have repeatedly criticized the company for promoting the use of blockchain technology in gaming. It previously sold an action figure of FF7 protagonist Cloud Strife, which also included a digital version of the figure as an NFT. Surprisingly, the pre-order page for the figure included a "Caution before Purchasing" section, which explained that the NFTs couldn't be sold right away and that they could cease to exist if Enjin decided to shut down in the future, which is certainly possible given the recent crypto collapse. However, it appears that the company's new president, Takashi Kiryu, shares the former president's enthusiasm for the blockchain.
Other Square Enix news:
- Final Fantasy XVI has gone gold and will be released on June 22. In an attempt to appeal to as many series fans as possible, the game features a dark fantasy setting and a mix of traditional and modern gameplay systems. Due to an exclusivity agreement, it will also only be available on the PlayStation 5 for the first six months, and the PC version will not be available immediately after.
- According to the publisher, sales of Luminous Productions' RPG Forspoken were "lackluster." The game's reception was mixed, with criticism leveled at the story and characters even before its release due to its "creepy" trailers. Luminous Productions was later merged into its parent company with the goal of "improving the Group's ability to develop HD games.”