Square Enix invests 7 billion yen in Gumi to develop blockchain games

Square Enix, the developer behind the Kingdom Hearts series, has reportedly invested 7 billion yen ($53 million) in blockchain game company Gumi to develop Web3 games. Alongside Square Enix, Gumi also received a significant investment from Japanese cryptocurrency giant SBI Holdings.

The company considers blockchain entertainment an integral part of its strategy for future growth. It has identified AI, cloud and blockchain as its focus investment areas. According to a press release translated from Japanese, this partnership would allow Gumi to develop fun blockchain games and was established because traditional gamers keep saying Web3 games are not fun to play.

To encapsulate the concept, Gumi will emphasize its blockchain game philosophy, “Wow and Earn,” which refers to games built off of famous IPs integrated with play-to-earn (P2E) features. Gumi aims to develop high-quality online mobile and blockchain games, most notably the Final Fantasy Series as well. At the same time, Gumi wishes to use recognizable leading content for its future blockchain titles.

“In the future, while considering the use of powerful content that everyone recognizes, we will break away from the highly speculative blockchain games of the past and create value while enjoying fun and excitement,” Gumi wrote in a translated press release.

“We strongly recognize that it is necessary for game users all over the world to create a blockchain game that realizes ‘Wow and Earn.'”

Square Enix, Gumi’s venture into Web3

According to Chris Tepedino of Rarity Sniper News, Square Enix and Gumi may also follow two other Web3 paths. One involves the creation of a one-stop-shop NFT marketplace, and the other is issuing a cryptocurrency for crypto exchanges in Japan. Gamers would be able to trade in-game NFTs in the NFT marketplace, while the cryptocurrencies would play the role of “Earn” in “Wow and Earn.”

This partnership is not Square Enix’s first venture into the world of Web3. Months ago, the company issued a digital collectible of a popular central character of Final Fantasy VII, Cloud Strife. This NFT has some real-life perks, like a chance for the holders to win a physical Cloud Strife figurine.

Square Enix has previously partnered with the Oasys blockchain-gaming project to build its own designed network purely for P2E gaming. In the press release, Gumi also said that it had plans to focus on the metaverse, but there are no further details yet.

Square Enix, Gumi’s other projects

Other than Final Fantasy, Square Enix also said that Dragon Quest would be brought to Web3. Joshua Robertson from The Gamer wrote that Square Enix doesn’t plan to leave the world of blockchain, even if they become unpopular.

Gumi has also previously worked with Square Enix on several mobile games as part of the Final Fantasy spin-offs — Final Fantasy Brave Exvius and War of the Visions. The two have performed moderately well. There is also another game in development titled Aster Tatariqus. However, there is no mention that the game will use the blockchain or NFTs.

Currently, Gumi operates several blockchain games like MyCryptoHeroes and Brave Frontier Heroes. In addition, the company also protects blockchain nodes like Klaytn (KLAY) or Theta Network (THETA).