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Japan's video game industry is wary of turning off players by diving too aggressively into crypto, while gamers say they do not want the real world worry of having to earn money encroaching on their pastime. (Photo by Yuki Kohara)
Business Spotlight

Japan's video game heavyweights tiptoe into blockchain

Square Enix aims to monetize NFT project while 'play-to-earn' games sour globally

WATARU SUZUKI, Nikkei staff writer | Japan

TOKYO -- Some of Japan's biggest gaming companies are quietly bringing blockchain technology to their virtual worlds even as the fervor for cryptocurrencies -- especially their use in video games -- is cooling in much of Asia.

Square Enix, creator of the massively popular Final Fantasy series, set up an internal division in February dedicated to developing blockchain projects. These include Shi-San-Sei Million Arthur, a collection of digital stickers backed by non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, a type of digital proof of ownership. Sales of its digital stickers recently topped 100,000, after the fourth edition of the collection recently went on sale.

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