After a decade of leading Square Enix, Yosuke Matsuda is being replaced as CEO. Will this be the end to the adoption of NFTs and blockchain by Square Enix or the start of something new?
No more Final Fantasy NFTs?
While Matsuda was an enthusiastic supporter of NFT gaming, having expressed a strong interest in the technology earlier this year, Square Enix has struggled to replicate the success of its core franchise, Final Fantasy.
In response to the company’s need for greater technological innovation and creative management, Takashi Kiryu has been appointed as the new CEO. Takashi is a relative newcomer to the company with experience in exploring new business opportunities, including those in the metaverse.
Will the new CEO save the company?
Square Enix has undergone a major shakeup due to difficulties in recent years, such as a declining stock price and underwhelming sales of third-party projects like Guardians of the Galaxy. To mitigate these issues, the company has parted ways with North American studios Crystal Dynamics and Eidos Montreal at a steep discount.
Despite these challenges, Matsuda remained steadfast in his support of NFTs and other blockchain-based digital assets, and the company has multiple upcoming projects that will leverage these features to monetize players in innovative ways.
Although Square Enix is undergoing a leadership change, it does not necessarily indicate a shift away from crypto gaming. The appointment of Kiryu and Square Enix’s statement suggest that the company is poised to further invest in emerging tech trends and may even seek a seasoned executive with expertise in the field to spearhead the advancement of NFT-based games.
The appointment of Matsuda’s successor is contingent upon shareholder approval, and a vote is slated for June. While Matsuda’s tenure as CEO yielded multiple successful titles such as the Final Fantasy VII Remake, the company’s inability to achieve prosperity beyond its core franchise has remained a persistent challenge. It remains to be seen whether Kiryu can effectuate a turnaround for the company and propel it towards greater achievements.
Doubling down on NFT gaming?
The appointment of Kiryu as Matsuda’s replacement at Square Enix may signal the company’s intent to double down on NFTs and other blockchain gaming innovations. Square Enix’s announcement implies a steadfast dedication to adopting evolving technological advancements and harnessing the creative potential of its team to offer superior entertainment to its global customer base.
Despite receiving backlash from the gaming community for every NFT release, Square Enix has recently announced that it is working on a blockchain-based game on Polygon. Only time will tell if the new CEO will exclude NFTs or make them an even more integral part of Square Enix’s business model.