Japanese gaming giant Square Enix has invested JPY 7bn ($52.7m) into game developer Gumi to create blockchain games, mobile games, a Metaverse initiative and an NFT (non-fungible token) marketplace. The two companies plan to provide a one-stop service for the development, distribution, sale and distribution of blockchain games, tokens and NFTs. The partnership will also allow Gumi to use certain intellectual property from Square Enix.
Plans for NFT games and Metaverse initiative
Square Enix and Gumi have announced their intention to collaborate on the development of a variety of NFT games, which are expected to include Metaverse integrations. In addition to this, the companies have also revealed plans to launch an NFT marketplace. The companies have coined the term “Wow and Earn” to refer to games built on world-famous IP that are integrated with blockchain-based play-to-earn (P2E) features. The aim is to create value while offering fun and excitement, rather than highly speculative blockchain games of the past. Gumi is also working on its Metaverse-focused business to diversify its revenue streams beyond mobile games.
Square Enix and Gumi’s previous partnership
Square Enix and Gumi have a long history of collaborating on various projects, including mobile games in the Final Fantasy Brave Exvius series. The two companies also teamed up on the Oasys blockchain gaming project, which is working to create its own platform for P2E gaming.
Beeple speaks on NFT art future
According to digital artist Beeple (aka Michael Winkelmann), it is his belief that all physical art will eventually be accompanied by an NFT. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Beeple argued that NFTs will significantly benefit the art industry by offering improved ways to track provenance and store verifiable authenticity data. He went on to say that NFTs will eventually help to create a standardized art database that is widely relied upon.
Pokémon Company International takes Australian company to court over NFT game
Pokémon Company International has taken Australian company Pokémon Pty Ltd to court for advertising an unlicensed NFT-based Pokémon game called Pokeworld. The company has advertised the game on Ethereum as a “metauniverse” P2E game, and has claimed to have an official partnership with Pokémon Company International. However, Pokémon Company International is seeking to restrain Pokémon Pty Ltd from representing that it holds any license, partnership or rights to sell Pokémon NFTs, and is calling for the game to be halted and for the company to stop promoting it using Pokémon trademarks
HSBC files for NFT and Metaverse trademarks
HSBC has filed for a number of NFT and Metaverse trademarks with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The trademarks include “HSBC NFT”, “HSBC Metaverse” and “HSBC Virtual Reality”. It is not yet clear how the bank plans to use the trademarks, but the filing indicates that HSBC is interested in exploring the potential of NFTs and the Metaverse.
NFT market continues to grow
The NFT market has continued to grow in recent months, with a number of high-profile sales and partnerships. In December, digital artist Beeple sold an NFT artwork for a record $69.3m at Christie’s, and luxury fashion brand Gucci announced that it would be releasing its own NFT collection. In the gaming industry, NFTs have also gained popularity, with companies such as Square Enix and Gumi exploring the use of NFTs in games and marketplaces.