Square Enix president continues hopeful tone on blockchain despite backlash

Square Enix President Yosuke Matsuda at a podium at the E3 2015 Conference
(Image credit: Christian Petersen - Getty Images)

Square Enix president Yosuke Matsuda has reiterated his previous hopeful tone about blockchain and token, commonly called NFT, technology in a new interview. The interview was posted April 15th with Yahoo Japan, and spotted for translation by VGC.

"If, instead of relying on goodwill, we can also provide incentives to those who contribute to development by utilising technologies such as blockchain, there is a possibility that innovative and interesting content can be created from the ideas of users," Matusda told Yahoo japan.

Matusda was widely criticized this past January, when in a New Years' message he said that Square Enix would investigate and explore blockchain technology. "I realize that some people who 'play to have fun' and who currently for the majority of players have voiced their reservations towards these new trends, and understandably so," he wrote at the time. Many commenters, both journalists and on social media, seized on that phrasing. 

Matsuda contrasted those who 'play to have fun' with those who 'play to contribute,' those players that effectively contribute to development by creating custom game modes or organizing the game community. Matusda's hope is that token technology can be used to incentivize and reward those players' efforts.

"Until now, in most games, we provided the content as a finished product and the players played that content. However, there are a certain number of players in the world who want to contribute to making games more interesting, by creating new settings and ways of playing," Matsuda said in the Yahoo interview.

The statements by Matsuda are made among a climate of continued skepticism and distrust toward token and blockchain games, as they continue to be roiled by hacking and scam attempts.

Matsuda is certainly not the only high-profile figure in the gaming industry to embrace token technology, with even legacy gaming figures embracing it. Ultima creator Richard Gariott recently said his next game would use token technology.

Jon Bolding is a games writer and critic with an extensive background in strategy games. When he's not on his PC, he can be found playing every tabletop game under the sun.