Japanese Gaming Giants Line Up First Blockchain Games

4 min readSep 23, 2022

UpOnly | Research #29: Sega, Bandai Namco, and co. to debut Web3 gaming titles

The race amongst traditional gaming companies to make a mark on the Web3 gaming industry is gradually heating up. Famous Japanese gaming studios Sega, Bandai Namco, Double Jump, and Square Enix are all in line to launch their respective Web3 games despite public backlash.

This week’s edition of UpOnly | Research reviews these stories and considers mounting evidence that blockchain gaming will thrive, irrespective of the current apathy from mainstream gamers. How can investors position their portfolios for what’s coming?

Gaming studios march on with Web3 plans

The traditional gaming community has struggled to grasp the scope of benefits that blockchain integration could bring to gaming experiences. This has resulted in several gaming studios maintaining a degree of caution as pursuing their Web3 gaming ambitions comes at the expense of losing their current player base.

However, a handful of game developers are rising to the occasion by going against public ire to adopt blockchain-based gaming. A recent announcement confirmed that Square Enix had joined Sega, Bandai Namco, and Double Jump as validators on Proof-of-Stake (PoS) gaming-focused blockchain Oasys.

In addition to helping confirm transactions on the network, these companies will eventually release blockchain games to their respective players. The pedigree of these companies makes their involvement an exciting prospect for the Web3 gaming niche.

Founded in 1960, Japan-based Sega is one of the oldest gaming studios, having made its mark in the industry’s infancy. Sega’s most popular gaming titles include Sonic the Hedgehog, Football Manager, and Total War.

Sega’s long involvement with the gaming industry has continued in recent times. In late August, the company published a new megacampaign for their Total War: Warhammer 3 title, attracting over 100,000 players and topping the Steam charts as one of the most played games. A potential Web3 gaming release by one of the most experienced gaming studios globally underlines blockchain’s growing influence and inevitability.

Square Enix is another famous traditional game developer that has thrown its weight behind blockchain gaming. The Final Fantasy developer joins Oasys in addition to its several ongoing Web3 gaming initiatives. Square Enix remains unfazed by public backlash on social media and articles such as this one from gaming publication, TheGamer.

(Source: TheGamer)

Square Enix has already sold off one of its most famous titles, Tomb Raider, to help fund its Web3 gaming ambitions. Thus, the doubling down will likely continue irrespective of concerns expressed by the studio’s player base.

Game developers unfazed by public backlash

Mainstream apathy for blockchain-based games stems from misconceptions that NFTs are harmful to the environment and that their use in games only represents an attempt by developers to extort their user base.

However, critics ignore evidence that blockchain networks such as the one being embraced by Sega and Square Enix run on the less energy-intensive PoS consensus model. Even the world’s largest and most-used blockchain for NFT trading, Ethereum, recently switched to PoS.

Additionally, while the use of NFTs introduces some sort of speculation to gaming, they also enable gamers, for the first time, to self custody of in-game assets and profit from hours of gameplay.

In a recent interview, Oasys representative director Ryo Matsubara acknowledged that the firm’s partners recognize that blockchain has a substantial role to play in the gaming industry despite the initial backlash. Also, the consensus among developers is to initially release independent Web3 games instead of integrating NFTs and play-to-earn elements into existing games.

The first batch of Web3 gaming releases by Square Enix and the other companies on the list is expected as soon as next year. One would expect these companies to bring high-level gameplay to the blockchain gaming industry and further drive adoption.

Web3 gaming remains inevitable

Similar to many technological innovations, the initial public response to the adoption of blockchain for gaming ventures has been negative. However, the hostility seems to fade as more mainstream companies gradually stand their ground and embrace the change.

The result will likely be a world where most games integrate mechanics for rewarding gameplay or allowing users to move in-game assets off centralized servers into their self-custodial Web3 wallet. Such an outcome is looking increasingly likely as a matter of when not if.

UpOnly provides a comprehensive data dashboard for tracking upcoming Web3 games with huge potential. Capitalizing on insightful data allows investors to position their portfolios to profit from the inevitable adoption of Web3 games.

UpOnly’s week in review

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