Sonic doom

Sega might scrap NFT initiative after fan fury

Trolling around at the speed of sound.

Sonic Frontiers looks a lot like Zelda.

If you're one of those video game companies that prides themselves on keeping up with all the new hip trends, you're probably already working on some kind of hare-brained NFT scheme that will alienate both your investors and players alike. Now, following public backlash, notable publisher Sega is apparently reconsidering its jump into the muddy waters of non-fungible tokens, though it stopped short of actually pulling out of the deal.

Taking the temperature — In April of 2021, Sega announced that it was going to produce NFT content based on its notable franchises with another developer, Double Jump.Tokyo. Since then, however, we're seen quite a few big publishers launch NFT initiatives that were immediately panned by fans and players, especially in the case of Ubisoft Quartz.

At a Christmas meeting, important Sega executives indicated that "nothing is decided" with regard to the company's non-fungible endeavors, noting that there have been "negative reactions" from users who want nothing to do with a game that lets you buy a picture of Sonic's misshapen feet for 0.5 BTC. The executives further say that if the initiative is perceived as "simply money-making," they might dump the plans entirely.

Grinding the fence — Given all of the controversy that has surrounded these wonderful NFT programs, it makes sense that a company like Sega would think twice about its own. That said, this is pretty much the definition of fence-sitting, with a bunch of guys in suits basically saying "if the Overton window changes on this by an inch or two, we'll happily dive into the world of crypto!"

Unfortunately, this sort of wishy-washy statement appears to be the party line of big gaming companies, and Square Enix just published a New Year's letter from its president Yosuke Matsuda that struck a similar note. It seems that large gaming publishers are going to watch public opinion on NFTs carefully for the next few months or so, as they're quite aware that there's a lot of money to be made on the whales who are willing to spend their daughter's college fund on a lo-fi gif of the transformation sequence from Altered Beast.