Square Enix invests up to $35million in Bitcoin startup


FINAL Fantasy creator and publisher Square Enix has invested up to $35million (approximately £30million) in a Bitcoin startup company.

This move comes just two months after selling some of the company’s studios and popular gaming franchises.

The Tomb Raider franchise was reportedly sold to raise funds

Embracer Group purchased three of Square Enix’s studios; Crystal Dynamics, Eidos Montréal, and Square Enix Montréal for $300million (£250million).

Along with the staff, the group acquired a number of the publisher’s successful IPs.

The Thief, Deus Ex, Legacy of Kain, and Tomb Raider franchises now all belong to Embracer Group.

It was rumoured that Square Enix was liquidating some of its assets in order to invest in the blockchain and cryptocurrency markets. 

According to a report by Decrypto, blockchain gaming startup Zebedee raised $35million at its latest investor round, with the most prominent investor being Square Enix.

It is unclear how much Square Enix contributed; it is likely a significant portion of the total.

Zebedee’s platform allows developers to incorporate cryptocurrency micropayments into their games.

This means that players can earn and receive small amounts of Bitcoin for taking part in–game events. 

Another way Zebedee is incorporating crypto into gaming is via gambling.

In 2021, the company showcased a method it had created for betting on the outcome of Counter Strike: Global Offensive matches within the game.

So far no major gaming companies have incorporated Zebedee’s software into their games.

It is unclear whether Square Enix will do so or if it simply wishes to invest in the market.

Ubisoft was one of the first major companies to incorporate the blockchain into its games. 

NFTs were released in Ghost Recon: Breakpoint via the Ubisoft Quartz programme at the end of 2021.

It appears the scheme was unsuccessful, and the company stopped sales in March.

There was backlash over Ubisoft’s decision to include NFTs in its games from both players and staff.

Square Enix president Yosuke Matsuda spoke positively about incorporating blockchains into gaming back in January.

He said, “By designing viable token economies into our games, we will enable self-sustaining game growth.”

Written by Georgina Young on behalf of GLHF.