Amid the turbulent world of play-to-earn gaming models and Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs), SEGA, once a trailblazer in Game Finance (GameFi) and blockchain-based gaming, has reportedly withdrawn from the sector. This unexpected move by the gaming titan comes after promising a thorough evaluation of these models to ensure they weren’t perceived as mere revenue-churning mechanisms.
Rethinking the Blockchain Approach
In a recent interview with Bloomberg, SEGA’s co-Chief Operating Officer, Shuji Utsumi, articulated the company’s hesitance about blockchain technology. The surprising revelation of canceling plans to develop blockchain games is now a stark reflection of the company’s wary stance on the emerging technology.
Utsumi candidly expressed his concerns, questioning the potential of the technology in the gaming industry. “The game action in play-to-earn models seems to be lacking excitement. If the games aren’t delivering an engaging experience, then what’s the point?”, Utsumi stated, indicating the company’s disillusionment with the technology.
Third-party Development and SEGA IP Management
Despite its decision to retract from the sector, SEGA doesn’t plan to abandon blockchain technology completely. SEGA has previously intended to hold back some of its renowned games and intellectual property (IP) from the blockchain world. However, it will continue encouraging third-party developers to explore and create blockchain-based games.
In a strategic move last year, SEGA announced its collaboration with a development firm, Double Jump Tokyo. This alliance aims at creating blockchain games based on SEGA’s lesser-known IPs, clearly indicating SEGA’s cautious but sustained interest in blockchain gaming.
Since its inception into blockchain gaming, SEGA has consistently maintained a cautious stance, promising withdrawal if the venture were perceived as a straightforward money-making scheme. The company has always been transparent about its approach, balancing its innovative initiatives with its responsibility towards its users.
Investment in the GameFi Landscape
SEGA’s interest in blockchain gaming and GameFi also extends to its investment activities. The company holds a stake in the Asia-based cryptocurrency fund IVC, which invests in various GameFi projects. Despite its recent decisions, this investment connection underscores SEGA’s broader interest in the digital finance and gaming sectors.
While SEGA’s withdrawal might raise questions about the future of blockchain gaming, it also presents an opportunity for a renewed discussion on blockchain technology’s real value and potential within the gaming industry. Only time will tell if this step back is a strategic retreat or a sign of the future challenges the sector might face.
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