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Square Enix and Enjin Alliance are bringing Final Fantasy NFTs to Polkadot


Final Fantasy NFTs are coming to Polkadot thanks to Square Enix and Enjin Alliance.

Final Fantasy is one of the most popular video game series of all time. In 2023, NFTs based on the Final Fantasy series will be released thanks to a partnership between Japanese publisher Square Enix and blockchain gaming company Enjin.

But the NFTs won’t be made up of only digital products. They are linked to Final Fantasy VII action figures and trading cards to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the original PlayStation game.

In the spring of 2023, Square Enix will start selling physical packs of trading cards for $4 per six-card pack. Each one comes with a code that can be used to get a single NFT trading card made by Enjin on its Efinity platform, which is based on the Polkadot blockchain.

In November 2023, the game’s main character, Cloud Strife, will be made into an action figure. Both the standard figure and the “Digital Plus Edition” will come with a code to redeem an NFT certificate of authenticity, but only the “Digital Plus Edition” will come with an extra NFT: a digital copy of the physical toy. The price of the standard figure will be $130, and the price of the Digital Plus Edition will be $160.

The Efinity blockchain is a Polkadot parachain, also called a dedicated subnet. It is part of the larger Polkadot ecosystem. Unlike Ethereum, which is the most popular NFT platform, Polkadot uses a proof-of-stake consensus model that doesn’t require mining, which uses a lot of energy.

Witek Radomski, the CTO of Enjin, told Decrypt that the company’s first project with Square Enix was hosting websites for Final Fantasy XIV online guilds. This was a few years ago.

But Square Enix’s interest in blockchain technology and NFTs is growing at the same time as this new partnership. Since 1987, 168 million copies of Final Fantasy have been sold all over the world.

Radomski said, “They looked at many different blockchains and tried them out.” He went on to say that Square Enix was looking for a platform that could “meet the expectations of players,” taking things like low transaction costs and energy efficiency into account.

An NFT is a token on the blockchain that can be used to prove ownership of both digital and physical items. NFTs are often used for digital art, profile photos, collectibles, and interactive video game objects. The NFT industry is expected to reach $25 billion in trade volume in 2021 alone.

In recent years, Square Enix has put more effort into blockchain and non-fungible tokens (NFTs). It put money into The Sandbox, a metaverse game based on Ethereum, in 2020, and said early this year that it planned to bring its Dungeon Siege brand to the NFT-powered gaming world.

Last year, the company used the LINE blockchain platform to sell NFT collectibles based on its Million Arthur game series in Japan. This year, Square Enix’s president wrote enthusiastically about the potential benefits of NFTs and tokenized economies. He also showed interest in “play-to-contribute” experiences, in which players make money as a game becomes more popular.

Square Enix recently sold a number of important properties, including Tomb Raider, and three of its gaming studios for $300 million, ostensibly to fund its growing ventures in the crypto sector. Square Enix recently came out as an investor in Zebedee, a Bitcoin game company that just got $35 million in Series B funding.

Radomski said that Square Enix’s work with Enjin on NFTs has been “extremely careful,” with the goal of making the process easier for players who may be learning about NFTs for the first time. “That lets us change our goods even more,” he told Decrypt. “This has been great.”

Enjin’s development

Enjin has also worked with Microsoft and Samsung. However, its contributions to the Ethereum ecosystem may be its most well-known work. Radomski made the multi-token NFT standard ERC-1155 for Ethereum, and Enjin Coin (ENJ) is an ERC-20 token. But the company slowly realized that game developers would be limited by Ethereum’s slow transactions and rising fees.

“Back in 2018, when the fees were about a penny, I realized that Ethereum would have limits at some point,” he said. “We can’t handle a million transactions at once.” Because it would be too much, we won’t be able to run hundreds of games on Ethereum.”

Radomski said that Enjin looked into scaling solutions that might work well for games and collectibles, but in the end, they decided not to build anything new. Instead, the team chose Polkadot, which he called a “framework for blockchains” that builders can change in any way they think is best.

Radomski said that Enjin is changing its business model along with changing to Polkadot. Instead of a SaaS model where Enjin hosts content with the help of game developers, the company is letting creators use the open Efinity platform to install their own infrastructure and make NFT-powered games.

He says that’s what he’s wanted to do for the past five years, and now it’s happening.

Efinity is based on the Polkadot parachain, but Enjin wants to add the ability to connect to other blockchains and work across chains. Radomski said that bridging to Ethereum is coming soon, so it’s possible that these Final Fantasy NFTs will be able to be moved to Ethereum by the time they come out. There could also be other blockchains that work with the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM).

NFT gaming expansion

Radomski thinks that having big publishers like Square Enix and Ubisoft take part in NFT gaming is good for the industry as a whole. Even though these Final Fantasy NFTs aren’t meant to be used in any game, Square Enix has shown interest in making games with tokenized economies that are powered by NFTs.

These publishers are building on the success of independent developers who have tried out blockchain technology for NFT-powered games in recent years, sometimes with huge success, like the play-to-earn game Axie Infinity, which is powered by Ethereum.

But loud gamers are angry about NFTs because of how some platforms affect the environment and because of scams and wild speculation. Some NFT-powered games are more about getting tokens than having fun, which is a problem for other players. This is a point of view that experienced game designers might be able to change.

“Gamers need to see that developers plan to use these things in an honest and creative way to improve gameplay, not just as a way to make money,” Radomski said.

He said that Enjin has recently talked with “a number of AAA publishers,” which means “important” publishers. These companies not only know how to make complex games for the general public, but they also have a lot of money. They don’t have to sell non-fungible items just to pay for making games. This could lead to more powerful games that use blockchain technology to give players new kinds of experiences.

He thinks that it will take another year or two before there are more games that use NFTs in interesting ways. “However, it’s happening—people are thinking about it.” I think the AAA [publishers] will come up with some new ideas. They have the money to find out more about these interesting new ideas for NFTs.”

About Humano

He is a freelance writer based in Turkey. He loves NFTs, football, film and technology.

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