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From Square Enix to Nexon: The Largest Web2 Game Publishers Building NFT-Powered Games

Several traditional game developers worldwide are now building games on blockchains. Crypto analytics platform DappRadar reports that most of these video game studios are based in Asia. It also predicts that this continent will dominate the blockchain gaming space in the near future.

Here are some Web2 companies developing NFT-powered games:

Square Enix

Based in Japan, Square Enix stepped into the blockchain industry in 2019. The company is known for its popular games Kingdom Hearts and Final Fantasy. It released a collection of NFT trading cards in 2021 that sold out within a day. That year, Square Enix became more serious about its crypto journey, selling off three studios to raise funds to finance its blockchain ambitions.

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In February 2023, Square Enix announced it would release a Polygon-based NFT game dubbed Symbiogenesis before the year ends.

Besides pursuing its own NFT projects, Square Enix invests in other blockchain-based games. The game studio recently participated in The Sandbox’s funding round that saw the metaverse game raise over $2 million.

Electronic Arts

In May, Electronic Arts (EA), another popular video game studio, announced its partnership with Nike to integrate the sportswear company’s polygon-based NFTs into its games.

Electronic Arts is the game publisher behind big franchises like FIFA and Madden NFL. This means its move into the NFT space will help attract millions of Web2 players to blockchain games.

As of this writing, we do not know when EA will release a video game featuring Nike’s NFTs. But traditional games, EA Sports FC 24 and Madden NFL 24, are set to launch later this month.

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Electronic Arts CEO Andrew Wilson recently said his company sees NFTs in video games as important elements that would help shape the industry.

Nexon

South Korean video gaming company Nexon is in the process of completing its NFT-based game titled MapleStory Universe. Although it’s built on Polygon, Nexon said in March that it would consider moving it to a private blockchain in the future.

The Web2 version of MapleStory Universe, which was created in 2003, has been played by more than 250 million gamers as of August 10, 2023. Meanwhile, Nexon CEO Owen Mahoney says his firm is working with Polygon Labs to ensure its game launch is successful.

Sega

Sega stepped into the blockchain industry in 2021 but through a licensing deal. At the time, the Japan-based video game publisher licensed the IP of its Battle of Three Kingdoms game to Double Jump Tokyo to build a Web3 game on the Oasys chain.

Last month, Bloomberg featured Sega Chief Operating Officer Shuji Utsumi in an article where he was quoted saying that the firm was planning to abandon its Web3 ambitions. However, at the start of August, Utsumi told Forkast that Bloomberg misquoted him. He then revealed that Sega had licensed another IP of an undisclosed game to Line Next for its blockchain gaming platform, Game Dosi.

It is worth mentioning that Sega itself has not announced launching its own Web3 projects.

Krafton

This South Korean video gaming firm plans to roll out a metaverse game called Migaloo. Once it launches, players will be allowed to create their own NFTs under the “create-to-earn” program. Krafton recently bought a majority stake in tech firm Naver Z. The two companies are now working together to develop Migaloo, which as per Krafton’s recent announcement, it will launch before December.

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Besides working on Migaloo, Krafton has partnered with Solana Labs to develop more games on the Solana Blockchain.

Zynga

Headquartered in the United States, Zynga is popular for its smash hits such as CityVille, Words, and Farmville. The gaming company announced earlier this year that it would build NFT-powered games to keep up with the market trend. Although Zynga hasn’t made more announcements regarding its progress since then, the firm’s website lists a Web3 developer job opening, suggesting that Zynga’s Web gaming department is still active.

However, it is still unclear when the company will launch its first blockchain game.


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Andrew Richard

Andrew is a news writer for Tokenhell, he enjoys tuning in to the daily crypto markets and writing about the latest updates and happenings.

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