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Sega back-pedals on NFTs but GameStop announces dedicated marketplace

Sega collage of characters

The publisher is still on the fence about incorporating NFTs into its games (pic: Sega)

While the likes of Square Enix and even GameStop embrace the NFT market, Sega is surprisingly more cautious about the whole thing.

It honestly wouldn’t be surprising to see Sega go all in on the NFT trend/scam, but the company is a bit more hesitant to the idea compared to other companies.

During a December management meeting, Sega was asked about its views on the concept of pay-to-earn, and while it didn’t rule it out entirely, the publisher is clearly wary about the negative connotations that come with it.

‘In terms of NFT, we would like to try out various experiments and we have already started many different studies and considerations but nothing is decided at this point regarding P2E,’ it said.

‘There have been many announcements about this already, including overseas, but there are users who show negative reactions at this point. We need to carefully assess many things, such as how we can mitigate the negative elements, how much we can introduce this within the Japanese regulation, what will be accepted, and what will not be by the users.’

Sega even suggests that if it decides that P2E is nothing more than ‘simple money-making,’ then it will abandon the idea entirely. It’s worth noting that Sega has already flirted with NFTs, with a social media post from last April saying that it would be selling them in the summer.

The publisher seems slightly less impressed with the concept of the metaverse as, bluntly saying: ‘The goal is not to create a metaverse, but the most important thing is to create a high-quality game.’

Compare this to the likes of Ubisoft and Square Enix, who have fully embraced NFTs and have addressed the common criticisms they face, like their high carbon footprint and lack of proper ownership, by essentially sticking their fingers in their ears.

That’s not to say that Sega isn’t immune to the hype of meaningless buzzwords. After all, the same company keeps talking about making super games in the future and has yet to actually explain what a super game is.

Although Sega now says a super game could be a metaverse if it has enough active users and tens of millions of downloads, suggesting that companies are starting to apply the metaverse term to games like Fortnite and Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

Taking an entirely different perspective to NFTs is GameStop, which plans to create its own marketplace for them and establish cryptocurrency partnerships to improve profits.

The Wall Street Journal was the first to break the news, but CNBC has since revealed that stock in GameStop jumped by 20% following the announcement, which shows exactly why NFTs are becoming popular with games companies.

Square Enix also saw an 8% jump in stock prices when it announced its NFT plans, underlining that these decisions are being made to please shareholders and not necessarily customers.

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 10: A pedestrian walks by a GameStop store on March 10, 2021 in San Francisco, California. Trading of GameStop shares was halted several times on Wednesday due to volatility after the stock surged to a record high of $348.50 per share before falling to below $200 per share. The stock closed at $265 per share. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Do people really want GameStop branded weapon skins or something? (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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