You know what no one could ever have predicted?
That a market based on imaginary ownership of infinitely duplicable jpeg images might not be end-game, long-term sustainable. As The Wall Street Journal reports, the NFT market is “flatlining,” down 92 percent from last September. Which makes it just the most incredible time for Japanese publisher Square Enix, famed for properties like Final Fantasy, to sell off most of their Western-facing IP and studios to gamble on the batshit scheme.
Square Enix is intending to sell Crystal Dynamics, Eidos Montreal and Square Enix Montreal to the monolithic The Embracer Group, along with IPs for games like Deus Ex, Tomb Raider, Thief, and Legacy of Kain. Why? Because, to quote Squenix, “the Transaction enables the launch of new businesses by moving forward with investments in fields including blockchain, AI, and the cloud.” Which is to say, its previously announced desire to milk the NFT/blockchain market.
feel like the most extraordinarily precise emblem of the 2020s. It’s all a glaringly obvious pile of bullshit. Companies are literally selling a line of code on what they call a blockchain, to repackage the extremely old idea of digital asset ownership as the next big investment you should get in on now while the going is good. You’ve been able to own things like video game skins for a long time, of course. Somehow, though, many of these companies are putting a lot of effort into pretending that you can now own a picture, and then pretending that in doing so the picture somehow becomes imbued with inherent worth—all given life by enough idiots clapping their hands and shouting how they believe in fairies.
If not, well, I’ve got these lovely jpegs of some bridges I could sell them.
NFTs were always going to be a bubble, and no doubt they’ll have little spikes, resurgences of interest with each new nonsensical twist, reaching nowhere near as high as 2021’s but allowing the True Believers to keep duping themselves and others for a while to come. But let’s hope that this news of a market collapse is finally enough to scare the games industry away from this ludicrous money pit. We’ve reached out to Square Enix to ask if the news has given them any pause.