For Final Fantasy publisher Square Enix, the metaverse, NFTs, blockchain games, and digital token-based economies are “here to stay,” according to president Yosuke Matsuda. In the company’s New Year’s letter, Matsuda showed support for those emerging technologies, and they could be one of the company’s areas of investment for this year.

Square Enix has been keeping a close eye on blockchain technologies as they continue to evolve over time. Matsuda said he sees “2021 not only as ‘Metaverse: Year One’ but also as ‘NFTs: Year One’ given that it was a year in which NFTs were met with a great deal of enthusiasm.”

He acknowledged that this year, there has been some “overheated trading” of NFTs with “speculative overtones,” but believes that this will be resolved over time as NFTs “become more commonplace among the general public.”

Matsuda’s belief that NFTs will become increasingly mainstream in 2022 is an optimistic statement that shows interest in NFTs and their relation to gaming. He also said Square Enix has been “aggressive” in its own research and development in the areas of AI, cloud, and blockchain technology.

According to Matsuda, blockchain games are in a “growth phase.” He mentioned the importance of blockchain-based tokens for such games and sees play-to-earn games as a kind of “diversification” in gaming.

For Square Enix, the concept of token economies with “explicit incentives” is key to implementing any kind of blockchain game. Matsuda believes that players and modders who create new content for games could be rewarded with digital tokens.

“By designing viable token economies into our games, we will enable self-sustaining game growth. It is precisely this sort of ecosystem that lies at the heart of what I refer to as “decentralized gaming,” and I hope that this becomes a major trend in gaming going forward,” Matsuda said.

Matsuda isn’t the only executive at Square Enix who is interested in NFTs and the metaverse, however. Final Fantasy 7 Remake producer Yoshinori Kitase recently showed interest in seeing “how new technologies such as NFT and metaverse will be involved in the game world,” in an interview with InputMag.

Moving into 2022, Square Enix joins the growing chorus of AAA gaming publishers like Electronic Arts and Ubisoft who have expressed major support for blockchain gaming. Maybe we’ll be seeing an ENIX token in the future.