If you've got a once-beloved but now dormant game series gathering dust, you might as well toss it into the metaverse and see what happens. That's what Square Enix has seemingly done with Dungeon Siege, which has been resurrected as a component of The Sandbox, a so-called metaverse which describes itself as "a leading decentralized gaming virtual world".
Under the arrangement, there will be a new Dungeon Siege LAND (their italics) on Square Enix's Sandbox Estate, which the publisher has held since at least mid-2021. Square Enix also invested in The Sandbox in 2019. Owned by Animoca Brands, The Sandbox lets you buy virtual real estate (Snoop Dogg and Deadmau5 are among those who have bought up some digital land), as well as "monetize voxel assets and gaming experiences on the blockchain," using its VoxEdit and Game Maker tools. In other words, it's kinda like Minecraft meets Roblox meets "the metaverse" meets NFTs. Now it's all that, meets Dungeon Siege.
Where Dungeon Siege is concerned, characters and items from the series will now be available on both the VoxEdit and Game Maker creation tools—in voxel form, of course. As for the Dungeon Siege LAND, that's where you'll go if you want "interactive RPG experiences players can enjoy while learning best practices for constructing Dungeon Siege adventures."
It's not super surprising. Aside from Square Enix's investment in The Sandbox, company president Yosuke Matsuda has expressed enthusiasm for NFTs and the metaverse. "I realize that some people who 'play to have fun' and who currently form the majority of players have voiced their reservations toward these new trends, and understandably so," he wrote in January, implying some people play games to not have fun.
What is surprising, is that Square Enix chose Dungeon Siege as the one IP deserving to be cast into this dizzying modern context. The last major game in the series was the Obsidian-developed Dungeon Siege 3, which released in 2011, only a year after Square Enix acquired the series from Gas Powered Games. That Obsidian outing was widely considered a bit average, though our reviewer quite liked it. Uwe Boll has since directed three (!) Dungeon Siege films, but that's about as active as the series has been of late.
Maybe it's wise to use a series not many people care about anymore: if Square Enix had chosen Final Fantasy, for example, there would be much wailing and gnashing of teeth. Similarly, Ubisoft brought Rabbids to The Sandbox (opens in new tab) earlier this month, which is hardly the jewel in the publisher's crown. In any case, if you're unlucky enough to have craved a Dungeon Siege revival, this is how it's going to be, I'm afraid.