The Square Enix blockchain saga continues. The Japanese company has partnered with blockchain company Oasys to become a "node validator" on the latter's blockchain, joining companies like Sega, Netmarble, and Bandai Namco in doing so.
What does this Square Enix blockchain membership mean?
Square Enix's relationship with Web3 and NFTs goes back to early 2021 when the company announced it would start selling NFTs based on its Million Arthur property. Since then, Square Enix has made its appreciation for NFTs and the blockchain very clear, but now, it's taking the next step and actually joining a blockchain itself.
The blockchain in question is Oasys, an "environmentally-friendly...proof-of-stake" blockchain built for the gaming industry. Square Enix has joined the blockchain as a "node validator", which essentially means it's one of the companies responsible for verifying and authenticating transactions on the Oasys blockchain. Since blockchains are decentralized, they rely on consensus to acknowledge transactions, and Square Enix will now be a part of that consensus.
It's not just Square Enix that is operating as a node validator on this blockchain. The company joins fellow industry titans like Sega and Bandai Namco in this endeavor, with other node validators including Neowiz, Ubisoft, and Netmarble. Oasys says this means it has the support of "both traditional and crypto-native gaming partners". I'm not sure I ever want to hear the phrase "crypto-native" again.
What will the Oasys blockchain be used for, exactly?
As with many other Web3 initiatives in gaming, it's hard to say exactly what tangible uses it will have. The chances are it will be used to enable and power play-to-earn gaming experiences, wherein games offer the chance to sell assets to other players for cryptocurrency. Oasys says that alongside Square Enix, it wants to "explore the feasibility of harnessing user contributions" in developing new games on its blockchain.
It's fair to say that responses to blockchain gaming in the wider industry have been mixed. Companies like Square Enix and Netmarble have gone all-in on NFTs and the blockchain, but others remain unconvinced. Valve, for instance, has banned cryptocurrency games from Steam (although some titles are finding a way around that particular restriction), and blockchain scams involving well-known games are unfortunately very common at the moment.
Whatever industry folks and companies think of the blockchain, one thing's for sure: Square Enix isn't walking back its support for Web3, so we can expect to see more and more blockchain-related endeavors from the company in the near future. We'll bring you more on this, and anything else gaming-related when it comes to the blockchain, as soon as we get it.