Last week, Square Enix filed a trademark for ‘Symbiogenesis’ that many fans assumed would be linked to a revival of its long-dormant franchise, Parasite Eve. As it turns out, this wasn’t the case as Symbiogenesis is actually a new NFT project from the company that’s being billed as “new franchise” built around blockchain and non-fungible tokens.
Symbiogenesis was announced recently by Square Enix as a franchise starter with NFTs integrated into its core experience. It’s described as the “first digital collectible art project designed from the ground up for Web3 fans.” Symbiogenesis will be a self-contained world where “a wide cast of characters symbiosis, all of which can be collected as digital art.”
The art that is collected in Symbiogenesis can then be used as a character in a story that takes place in an “alternate world where the player can ’untangle’ a mystery by completing missions that revolve around questions of the monopolization and distribution of resources.” The irony is unmissable.
Square Enix says the sale of Symbiogenesis NFTs will begin in spring 2023 alongside a free browser service. This marks one of the first big pushes made by the company into the realm of blockchain and NFTs after it committed to exploring the potential of the technology. Square Enix wants to do things slightly differently, however, as it aims to make more “story-focused NFTs” that are integrated into the gaming experience instead of being an afterthought.
Square Enix President Yosuke Matsuda said, “It’s still too early to consider making Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy blockchain games.” If Symbiogenesis proves to be a successful endeavour for the company, it will probably move ahead with its plans to introduce NFTs based on its staple IPs like Final Fantasy.
Among many gaming companies announced their commitment to exploring NFTs (such as Ubisoft), Square Enix has remained firm on its ambitions to push ahead despite the negative backlash and stigma surrounding them.