22/07/2022 Square Enix make Final Fantasy 7 NFTs a real thing

Jessie smiles as she points her finger in Final Fantasy VII Remake
These don’t seem like something Avalanche would approve of

Square Enix are threatening to overshadow the 25th anniversary ofFinal Fantasy 7by partnering with Enjin, a cryptocurrency platform, to launch non-fungible tokens (NFTs) based on the long-running JRPG series. To coincide with the anniversary, Squeenix will be releasing a digital collection of cards on Enjin’s Efinity network for owners of physical cards that are expected to go on sale in 2023. There's an NFT linked to a Cloud Strife action figure too. Feel free to watch the trailer forFinal Fantasy 7 Rebirthbelow to take your mind off this woeful event.

When Square said there was going to be a Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth, I didn't think NFTs were what they meant.

If you were so inclined, you could plonk down $160 (£134) for theCloud Strife action figure, which comes with an NFT to gawp at on your smartphone or computer. That's the 'Digital Plus Edition' of the statue, but it's $30 (£25) cheaper if you just buy the standard figure with no NFT attached. Not a good look, Square Enix.

It gets worse, as Square Enix have even drawn attention to the possibility of not being able to use the NFTs if Enjin's service was to ever end. Under a section titled 'Caution before Purchasing' on the listing for the Cloud statue, Squeenix say "Warning: In case the Enjin services becomes unavailable in the future, you may lose access to the NFT digital certificate of authenticity and digital version of the figure".

"This partnership marks a coming-of-age phase for digital assets and entertainment; Square Enix, an esteemed developer with iconic intellectual property, is paving the way for the industry," Enjin executive Witek Radomski said. Enjin say they offer “environmentally-friendly solutions for building decentralised gaming products", and have committed themselves to making their NFTscarbon-neutralby 2030. Maybe just don’t use the technology in the first place?

One tweet summed the whole NFTs situation up quite nicely:

Squeenix’s presidentgreetedthe start of the year by setting a course towards a future of blockchain for the company. Yosuke Matsuda didn’t seem to know how that would work at the time, however, saying the company would “keep a close eye on societal shifts in this space while listening to the many groups of users that populate it, and ramp up our efforts to develop a business accordingly, with an eye to potentially issuing our own tokens in the future".

It’s not just Squeenix jumping on the blockchain bandwagon in shambolic fashion though.Konami,EAandTake Twohave all expressed their interest at entering crypto. Companies usually cite it as the future of gaming, in some appropriately intangible way.

Square Enix and others may have committed to NFTs and the blockchain, but some games companies are more wary of the controversial technologies. Only yesterday, Minecraft devs Mojang Studiosissued a statementsaying they wouldn’t allow either NFTs or blockchain to “create models of scarcity and exclusion that conflict with our Guidelines and the spirit of Minecraft”. Mojang did clarify that they’d keep an eye on how blockchain evolves to see if it could offer security or practical ways to improve the game in the future, though.

The next instalment of the Final Fantasy 7 Remake saga,Rebirth, was announced on a 25th anniversary stream last month. It’s due to release in winter 2023 on PlayStation, but could be some way off on PC given thefirst parttook a year and a half to arrive.



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A figure, Alex, stands mostly naked in the midst of a physical and psychological maelstrom. He is clad only in nostalgic 80’s era socks, on a tenuous island between active waters and a variety of shark denizens. Sharks on the right side of the image are all beached, including a shark with a quartz crystal snout, an orange shark wrapped in a life buoy, and a shark further in the distance wearing an 80’s style shirt with the number “88”. On the left side is the largest shark, wearing bright glossy red lipstick and brandishing prominent teeth with braces. She is cordoned off from the figure by a roped float divider, and within her thought bubble is a warning symbol. Behind the figure, hovering in the air, are Grey aliens emerging from the distance, out of a series of elliptical UFO shaped interdimensional membranes. The Greys take on the visual form of spermazoa ostensibly impregnating the interdimensional thresholds. As is typical, these Greys inhabit a zone just behind the unconscious topology of Alex’s dissociative mind. Though Alex’s bottom half is representative, his top half mutates into a psychological cornucopia. In a manner akin to “Auto-Erotic Sphinx”, a predecessor work, the figure has self suctioned—an act of sensual infatuation, enjoyment, and exploration. Upward exists the figure’s primary conscious eye, adorned with a revolutionary beret emblazoned with a Bitcoin badge. The figure’s summit features the nose of a fighter jet facing off against video game Bullet Bills, one of whom is marked by a communist North Korean star. A cropped section of a UFO observes the contest. Alex’s mind branches both left and right. To the left is more singular embodied consciousness, manifesting two eyes and a Ganesh trunk grasping crayons. The right branch dissociates upward diagonally, emerging into an array of eyes, faces, teeth, tail, a unicorn horn, and much more—all of which participate in expressing his unconscious being; a democracy of psychic factions representing thought impressions and associations. All illumination and darkness– fernal, infernal, high consciousness and corporeal underbelly–reside in this realm. In the distance are relatively languid, light clouds, and against the firmament hovers a colossal distant eye peering over the scene and far beyond. This painting possesses underlying genetic traits with previous works such as “Auto-Erotic Sphinx with Toys”, “Dionysus”, and “Fuku-Shiva”. The work serves also as a nod to an earlier period of art inspiration during late teens and early twenties— born out of the nakedness, vulnerability, curiosity, and wonder inherent to coming of age and all subsequent psychedelic revelation.
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