PC & Video Games

Square Enix starts the new year off strong

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Square Enix starts the new year off strong

...by announcing that they fully embrace all the terrible trends coming.



https://www.videogameschronicle.com/news/square-enix-says-it-hopes-nfts-and-blockchain-become-a-major-trend-in-games/
In his letter, Square Enix’s Matsuda listed NTFs alongside the metaverse (a term used to describe a hypothetical, online virtual world), cloud tech and cryptocurrency as major trends he sees in the games industry, which he indicated the publisher would pursue.

The president said he believed that blockchain games “hold the potential to enable self-sustaining game growth” by pushing a “play to earn” concept. He also acknowledged cynicism around blockchain from some corners, but claimed that it could attract a new audience.

Matsuda also said that Square Enix could introduce its own cryptocurrency to power such games.

“I realize that some people who ‘play to have fun’ and who currently form the majority of players have voiced their reservations toward these new trends, and understandably so,” he wrote. “However, I believe that there will be a certain number of people whose motivation is to ‘play to contribute,’ by which I mean to help make the game more exciting.

“Traditional gaming has offered no explicit incentive to this latter group of people, who were motivated strictly by such inconsistent personal feelings as goodwill and volunteer spirit.”
Such a visionary he is. Face With Rolling Eyes If that's the direction they're heading, then it looks like I won't be playing too many more Square Enix games.

Full Letter: https://www.hd.square-enix.com/eng/news ... ent_2.html
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“Traditional gaming has offered no explicit incentive to this latter group of people, who were motivated strictly by such inconsistent personal feelings as goodwill and volunteer spirit.”

Who are these people.
Good job SE, I'm sure you really care about this group of people
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CFRTim wrote: “Traditional gaming has offered no explicit incentive to this latter group of people, who were motivated strictly by such inconsistent personal feelings as goodwill and volunteer spirit.”

Who are these people.
Good job SE, I'm sure you really care about this group of people
The group of people are probably investors, shareholders, and board members. The rest of us are just people who "play to have fun", that's not worth it.

This is the opening paragraph in his New Years letter.
The metaverse was a hot topic in 2021, inspiring a lively global conversation first about what the metaverse is and then about what sort of business opportunities it presents. Against this backdrop, Facebook changed its name in October to Meta, serving as evidence that the concept is not a mere buzzword but here to stay. The metaverse garnered so much attention that 2021 was dubbed the “Metaverse Year”
The guy is using Facebook as an example of the direction things are going like it's somehow a positive thing.

YongYea did a really good video breakdown of the letter.

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Still surprised how major publishers are brazenly embracing NFTs. EA, Ubisoft, Take Two, Sega and now Square. I'm sure I'm missing a couple.

Will be interesting to see how this plays out in the next few years. There is an opening for major third party publishers to garner goodwill by not embracing NFTs for the time being.

I'm sure there will be a regulatory framework eventually with respect to NFTs. It will take time for politicians and the general public to get a grasp of what this entails. I think any legislation will likely come from the UK or EU first, since the United States and Japan are somewhat laggards in consumer protection.
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heywhatsmyname wrote: Still surprised how major publishers are brazenly embracing NFTs. EA, Ubisoft, Take Two, Sega and now Square. I'm sure I'm missing a couple.

Will be interesting to see how this plays out in the next few years. There is an opening for major third party publishers to garner goodwill by not embracing NFTs for the time being.
Ubisoft's recent foray into NFTs doesn't seem to be doing great. This was from 2 weeks ago, so things might have changed, but introducing an NFT into a middling game probably doesn't help its cause: https://www.engadget.com/ubisoft-nft-quartz-ghost-recon-blockchain-140720063.html
Now, it appears that the effort is a financial bust so far, too, as the company reportedly sold just 15 NFTs of a Ghost Recon Breakpoint gun skin as of yesterday, Eurogamer reported. It appears to have sold two more M4A1 tactical weapons and one "Wolf Enhance Pants #76" for a total of 18 as of today.
What's annoying and puzzling to me is that none of these in-game items really NEED to be done through the blockchain. They're in-game skins that are only available/usable within their controlled ecosystem. I don't know why they can't just implement some other in-game way to track ownership of these things that doesn't have to be confirmed using blockchain technology...

... or am I looking at this the wrong way, and is the point that these NFTs will be usable across multiple games/properties?
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M1GOmigs wrote: What's annoying and puzzling to me is that none of these in-game items really NEED to be done through the blockchain. They're in-game skins that are only available/usable within their controlled ecosystem. I don't know why they can't just implement some other in-game way to track ownership of these things that doesn't have to be confirmed using blockchain technology...

... or am I looking at this the wrong way, and is the point that these NFTs will be usable across multiple games/properties?
indeed, you got the jist of it. NFT is just a proof-of-ownership token. The way they're used right now is about as useful as those "own a piece of the moon" deeds, or those websites that sell irish plots of lands so you can call yourself a lord lol

It can totally be done with local servers or the cloud, which how it's been working so far. I guess the weakness of centralized approaches is that a company can pull the plug overnight or change the conditions and you would lose all your micro-transactions. When it's on a public blockchain, at least evidence of your purchase cannot be tampered with. In theory, it means any game developer can honour your NFTs purchases and allow you to redeem an equivalent item in their game. So a small indie company could just say: "hey if you own Ubisoft tokens, join our game and we'll give you some goodies if you present your NFTs to us" (just showing your nft, not sell them), and Ubisoft wouldn't be able to stop you from doing that.

So maybe companies think this will encourage people to buy more, but it's a very stupid way of using blockchains. The technology has much more potential than that.
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Somewhere over the r…
As someone who has played video games for almost 50 years and never ever had any interest in unlocking or even caring about cosmetics in a game, except perhaps by the very rare item or amour you could have by accomplishing feat "x" which would be difficult to do but have zero impact on gameplay other than bragging rights I'm confused by the hatred for this.

Am I just in the minority and an outlier when it comes to cosmetics? If its a skin that has to be paid for, why do people care if some get it but others can't? Isn't it comparable to a deluxe version of a game that costs an extra $30 but comes with the musical soundtrack, artwork, and extra collectables that have no bearing on gameplay but are collectables? If your willing to shell out an extra $30 you get some "cool stuff" that others don't. What's the difference?

Maybe I am just an outlier because I do see 2 of my kids shelling out ridiculous sums of money purchasing the new Fortnite skis or emojis. If I added up all the money they spent between the 2 of them on fortnight alone just for character costumes and new emotes, it would have to be close to $1k over the years. Both of them just blew $200 of the money they got from xmas, on Fortnite skins.

Isn't this just essentially a collectors card no different than hockey or baseball cards? If so why the hate?

Am I in the minority here or is it just a small loud very vocal minority kind of like anti vaccers? Or am I missing something altogether?
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Worriedone wrote: As someone who has played video games for almost 50 years and never ever had any interest in unlocking or even caring about cosmetics in a game, except perhaps by the very rare item or amour you could have by accomplishing feat "x" which would be difficult to do but have zero impact on gameplay other than bragging rights I'm confused by the hatred for this.

Am I just in the minority and an outlier when it comes to cosmetics? If its a skin that has to be paid for, why do people care if some get it but others can't? Isn't it comparable to a deluxe version of a game that costs an extra $30 but comes with the musical soundtrack, artwork, and extra collectables that have no bearing on gameplay but are collectables? If your willing to shell out an extra $30 you get some "cool stuff" that others don't. What's the difference?

Maybe I am just an outlier because I do see 2 of my kids shelling out ridiculous sums of money purchasing the new Fortnite skis or emojis. If I added up all the money they spent between the 2 of them on fortnight alone just for character costumes and new emotes, it would have to be close to $1k over the years. Both of them just blew $200 of the money they got from xmas, on Fortnite skins.

Isn't this just essentially a collectors card no different than hockey or baseball cards? If so why the hate?

Am I in the minority here or is it just a small loud very vocal minority kind of like anti vaccers? Or am I missing something altogether?
In relation to collecting cards, those started off as amusement collectibles. There was never any intention of profiting from scarcity of product, or speculative future value. That's kind of changed of course, but at least they were initially playthings.
From my rudimentary understanding of NFT's, they purely exist as a speculative virtual product based on a created scarcity and virtual authenticity of ownership. Value only exists on this virtual item if the people trying to create this market can convince enough suckers to agree that they have value. But in hindsight, no one should be surprised they exist, as we've been moving more and more towards giving valuation towards virtual things. Physical ownership is becoming passe. Bitcoin etc. are all just that, agreeing on the value of virtual scarcity. It can be relatable to Fortnite skins, but at least those skins have a period of relevancy to the owners. Keep playing the game and the skin has value. In the case of NFT's, value is in saying you own a .jpg that anyone can download and share? Lolwut?
c'mon get happy!
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Worriedone wrote: As someone who has played video games for almost 50 years and never ever had any interest in unlocking or even caring about cosmetics in a game, except perhaps by the very rare item or amour you could have by accomplishing feat "x" which would be difficult to do but have zero impact on gameplay other than bragging rights I'm confused by the hatred for this.

Am I just in the minority and an outlier when it comes to cosmetics? If its a skin that has to be paid for, why do people care if some get it but others can't? Isn't it comparable to a deluxe version of a game that costs an extra $30 but comes with the musical soundtrack, artwork, and extra collectables that have no bearing on gameplay but are collectables? If your willing to shell out an extra $30 you get some "cool stuff" that others don't. What's the difference?

Maybe I am just an outlier because I do see 2 of my kids shelling out ridiculous sums of money purchasing the new Fortnite skis or emojis. If I added up all the money they spent between the 2 of them on fortnight alone just for character costumes and new emotes, it would have to be close to $1k over the years. Both of them just blew $200 of the money they got from xmas, on Fortnite skins.

Isn't this just essentially a collectors card no different than hockey or baseball cards? If so why the hate?

Am I in the minority here or is it just a small loud very vocal minority kind of like anti vaccers? Or am I missing something altogether?
The issue for me is that there's no need to use the blockchain for this if it's just about skins - they can easily control the dissemination and sale of those within their systems. Why turn it into an NFT?

Cryptocurrency & NFTs can be problematic because of the environmental impact of the computing required for certain blockchain verification methods - especially proof of work methods that require relatively large amounts of energy whenever an NFT is created, purchased/sold, transferred, etc. There's no need for this...
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M1GOmigs wrote: Cryptocurrency & NFTs can be problematic because of the environmental impact of the computing required for certain blockchain verification methods - especially proof of work methods that require relatively large amounts of energy whenever an NFT is created, purchased/sold, transferred, etc. There's no need for this...
yes, however proof-of-work is slowly becoming obsolete and being replaced with much better proof-of-stake systems which do not require mining nor gpus to function, so the environmental issues will eventually be resolved.

still, it's good that the bad rep has forced the blockchain community to react and address those issues. We should put the same kind of pressure on cloud providers and especially AI practitioners, as training some of those neural networks have an insane carbon footprint.

even things like a Zoom call (especially a group call with everyone turning on their camera) produces an insane amount of co2...
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@johncraven ....so the environmental issues will eventually be resolved.

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johncraven wrote: yes, however proof-of-work is slowly becoming obsolete and being replaced with much better proof-of-stake systems which do not require mining nor gpus to function, so the environmental issues will eventually be resolved.

still, it's good that the bad rep has forced the blockchain community to react and address those issues. We should put the same kind of pressure on cloud providers and especially AI practitioners, as training some of those neural networks have an insane carbon footprint.

even things like a Zoom call (especially a group call with everyone turning on their camera) produces an insane amount of co2...
That's the thing... I'm more forgiving of a Zoom call when needed for work, or to see family who you have not seen for years. There's no alternative to that. But an NFT in a game has no benefit to most users, and only really serves as tangential source of revenue to the publisher and some of the gamers who are on top of it.

Now, if they can find a way to make it so that simply playing the game IS in some way the proof of work/stake calculations used to confirm a transaction on the blockchain, then that would be super interesting. I won't pretend to know how all of that would work, but if that's what they manage to do, then that's where I can see blockchain/NFTs being kinda beneficial for all.
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M1GOmigs wrote: That's the thing... I'm more forgiving of a Zoom call when needed for work, or to see family who you have not seen for years. There's no alternative to that. But an NFT in a game has no benefit to most users, and only really serves as tangential source of revenue to the publisher and some of the gamers who are on top of it.
PoS systems have already achieved carbon neutrality, so it is a non-issue. But you do need to be careful and inspect what is the underlying system behind whichever nft you are interested in. Avoid anything that's related to Bitcoin or Ethereum, those are the main polluters.

There is always a green alternative to whatever we are doing, it's hard to draw the line. Instead of using Zoom, you could have made a telephone call and avoid having it hosted on the cloud. Instead of using Google Home, you could always manually turn on or off your lights, to avoid the necessity of training a single NLP model which burns the equivalent of the lifetime emissions of 5 cars, etc.
Now, if they can find a way to make it so that simply playing the game IS in some way the proof of work/stake calculations used to confirm a transaction on the blockchain, then that would be super interesting. I won't pretend to know how all of that would work, but if that's what they manage to do, then that's where I can see blockchain/NFTs being kinda beneficial for all.
Unfortunately playing a game is not a deterministic and verifiable source of work, unless its very limited. For example, the protein folding game could be a potential substitute for PoW. But PoS bypasses the need for any work to be done anyway, so this whole line of thought is no longer necessary.
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SE has basically turned into Shinra at this point. Kind of apt when you think about it. 'Write what you know, and all that'.
Bored...
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Just noticed a bunch of my co-workers are into NFTs, as I keep seeing them on random computers around my workplace. Am I missing something Thinking Face
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CFRTim wrote: Just noticed a bunch of my co-workers are into NFTs, as I keep seeing them on random computers around my workplace. Am I missing something Thinking Face
The only NFT's I've gotten into are NBA Topshot... and with my initial $15 purchase of a pack about a year ago, I've got about $700 worth tied into 56 moments, 3 of them are rookie moments.
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Fock NFT and the supposed amazing marketplace it will create for me and all gamers! I don't get it and I want it OFF MY LAWN!

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