Sega, known for its advocacy of blockchain integration in gaming, has announced its withdrawal from the space due to the ongoing crypto winter.
Co-COO Shuji Utsumi stated that Sega is yet to determine the value of blockchain and is considering excluding it from a flagship “supergame” planned for release in 2026.
In an interview at a gaming conference, co-Chief Operating Officer Shuji Utsunmi revealed that Sega will refrain from involving its major franchise in third-party blockchain gaming projects to preserve the value of its content. This decision effectively means that the company will halt the development of blockchain games.
Last year, Sega announced a collaboration with Japanese blockchain company Double Jump Tokyo to create a new game based on the Sangokushi Taisen series.
Although the integration of blockchain in the game was not clearly defined at the time, Sega producer Masayoshi Kikuchi expressed optimism about the inclusion of NFTs in future gaming experiences.
So, why is Sega pulling out?
Since the collaboration was announced, the blockchain space has faced criticism and experienced various setbacks. The FTX debacle in late 2022 pushed numerous crypto startups into debt, causing many to shut down.
In early 2023, the market attempted to recover, but the emergence of chatbots diverted attention, capturing the audience’s fascination with Artificial Intelligence. The blockchain industry has been struggling to regain momentum.
Additionally, Sega’s collaboration with Double Jump Tokyo faced significant criticism. Around the same time, their rival company, Konami, announced the auction of Castlevania NFTs on the OpenSea marketplace to celebrate the game’s 35th anniversary, which drew condemnation from the gaming community.
Critics’ Perspective on Sega
Critics argue that game developers like Sega have adopted blockchain and NFT technology as strategic ploys for profit rather than genuine innovation.
This negative sentiment may have influenced Sega’s decision to withdraw from developing a blockchain game. Utsumi mentioned that Sega is stepping back because “the action in play-to-earn games is boring. What’s the point if games are no fun?”
While Sega is not dismissing the potential of blockchain entirely, it is currently evaluating the best ways to entertain its audience and exploring different possibilities.
This announcement may be seen as a victory for traditional gamers who have protested against a complete transition to play-to-earn games.
However, it remains to be seen what impact this decision will have on Sega as the blockchain industry continues to evolve and introduce new developments, potentially challenging skeptics and rewarding enthusiasts.
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