Sega will not proceed with NFT plan 'if it is perceived as simple money-making'

Kiryu flashes some cash
(Image credit: Sega)
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In November of 2021, Sega's Q2 results (opens in new tab) mentioned the publisher planned to team up with Microsoft to develop cloud-powered 'super games'. What these super games might actually be remained nebulous, but apparently "the amount to be spent on them will be in the range of 10.0 to 15.0 billion yen at most." Given that Sega received a business investment of 100 billion yen, which is about $US865,313,900, that left a fair amount for other projects, which included "investment in new fields such as NFT." 

Following the recent hostility to proposals of NFTs being included in videogames, and the questionable 'play-to-earn' models associated with them, it was only a matter of time before Sega would address this. And so, during a management meeting last month, as spotted by Tweaktown (opens in new tab), Sega president and group CEO Haruki Satomi did indeed note the "negative reactions" NFTs have received. 

"We need to carefully assess many things such as how we can mitigate the negative elements," he said, "how much we can introduce this within the Japanese regulation, what will be accepted and what will not be by the users. Then, we will consider this further if this leads to our mission 'Constantly Creating, Forever Captivating', but if it is perceived as simple money-making, I would like to make a decision not to proceed."

It's hard to imagine how selling in-game NFTs and the entire grotesque concept of play-to-earn games wouldn't be perceived as "simple money-making", and yet other publishers seem eager to embrace them. 

Castlevania has NFTs now, and Peter Molyneux's next game Legacy is play-to-earn and all-in on NFTs. Square Enix president Yosuke Matsuda recently said the company has "an eye to potentially issuing our own tokens in the future" even though "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". Meanwhile, Ubisoft's NFT scheme has been called "useless, costly, ecologically mortifying" by a French trade union.

Others have heard the reaction and responded accordingly. GSC World canceled plans to incorporate NFTs in Stalker 2 following a backlash, and Steam has banned all games with NFTs or cryptocurrency.

Jody Macgregor
Weekend/AU Editor

Jody's first computer was a Commodore 64, so he remembers having to use a code wheel to play Pool of Radiance. A former music journalist who interviewed everyone from Giorgio Moroder to Trent Reznor, Jody also co-hosted Australia's first radio show about videogames, Zed Games (opens in new tab). He's written for Rock Paper Shotgun (opens in new tab), The Big Issue, GamesRadar (opens in new tab), Zam (opens in new tab), Glixel (opens in new tab), Five Out of Ten Magazine (opens in new tab), and Playboy.com (opens in new tab), whose cheques with the bunny logo made for fun conversations at the bank. Jody's first article for PC Gamer was about the audio of Alien Isolation, published in 2015, and since then he's written about why Silent Hill belongs on PC, why Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale is the best fantasy shopkeeper tycoon game, and how weird Lost Ark can get. Jody edited PC Gamer Indie from 2017 to 2018, and he eventually lived up to his promise to play every Warhammer videogame.