Sega may Avoid NFT Games if Players Reject Them

Sega NFT

A number of major game companies have expressed interest in cashing in on the NFT trend, but at least one may yet back off. Comments by Sega CEO Haruki Satomi indicated that the company could abandon its intent to experiment with NFT and “play-to-earn” blockchain games. The comments come from the transcript of a Q & A session held by Sega leadership on December 14, 2021 [Thanks, PC Invasion].

During the session, a questioner asked Satomi to elaborate on Sega’s plans to implement play-to-earn (P2E) in its games. P2E refers to a concept linked to blockchain-enabled games, typically supported by NFT assets. In P2E games, players are awarded or can gain NFT assets that they can later trade or sell freely for cryptocurrency.

Satomi responded by emphasizing that while Sega has “already started many different studies and considerations,” there are no concrete plans regarding P2E implementation. He further clarified that many users, both domestically and overseas, have shown a negative reaction to NFT and P2E-related announcements, including from other companies.

On future Sega NFT or P2E plans, he mentioned that the company would need to carefully weigh its options. These include seeing how Sega “can mitigate the negative elements, how much [Sega] can introduce within Japanese regulation, and what will be the users”. Ultimately, those pans would be evaluated against Sega’s motto “Constantly Creating, Forever Captivating.” Satomi stated that if the plans were perceived as nothing more than “simple money-making”, he would opt not to proceed.

Based on the comment, it appears that, compared to the enthusiasm expressed by Square Enix’s leadership, Sega has adopted a more cautious attitude towards the future of NFT and play-to-earn titles.  It maintains interest in experimenting in the space, but is aware of the backlash that other efforts have prompted. Finally, Satomi at least, would want to make sure that any plans it did go forward with aligned with the company’s values, rather than just earnings potential. Of course, it remains to be seen just what plans do come up in the future.

Sega has no current plans to implement NFT or play-to-earn monetization in its games. Meanwhile, Konami’s auction of planned Castlevania NFTs is scheduled for January 12, 2022.

Josh Tolentino
Josh Tolentino helped run Japanator as Managing Editor since 2012, before it and Siliconera teamed up. That said, it's been years since he watched enough anime to keep his otaku license valid. Maybe one day he'll see enough of a given season to pretend to know what's hot. Until then, it's Star Trek reruns, gacha games, and bylines at Destructoid and GameCritics.