Sega isn't as all in on blockchain gaming as it was before, now withholding its biggest IP such as Sonic the Hedgehog from being used in third-party blockchain games. This move is to ensure that Sega doesn't devalue its own content.
Speaking with Bloomberg, Sega co-chief operating officer Shuji Utsumi panned blockchain games as "boring."
"The action in play-to-earn games is boring. What’s the point if games are no fun?" Utsumi said.
However, Sega will still let external partners use characters from lesser known franchises such as Three Kingdoms and Virtua Fighter as NFTs. Utsumi noted that the technology remains useful in instances where it's possible to move characters and items between different games.
Sega is also pausing its own blockchain gaming projects for now and being indecisive about implemetning Web3 technology in its upcoming suite of "super games."
However, Sega is still open to using blockchain techology if it ever does become successful, as Utsumi said that the audience shouldn't doubt risk-takers.
"For the majority of people in the video game industry, what blockchain advocates say may sound a bit extreme, but that’s how the first penguin has always been," Utsumi explained. "We should never underestimate them."
Blockchain gaming has been a controversial topic over the past few years. Many companies jumped onto the trend, including Square Enix and Ubisoft. However, many gamers weren't fond of this. More companies have also dismissed blockchain gaming after it hadn't taken off as high as expected. Electronic Arts initially spoke positively about blockchain gaming but then later stated it wasn't "driving hard" in that direction anymore.
George Yang is a freelance writer for IGN. He's been writing about the industry since 2019 and has worked with other publications such as Insider, Kotaku, NPR, and Variety.
When not writing about video games, George is playing video games. What a surprise! You can follow him on Twitter @Yinyangfooey