A new Sega NFT logo has emerged online and it suggests the Japanese video games publisher hasn't completely given up on the idea of creating NFTs. A new trademark filing published on Friday by the Japan Patent Office included two new Sega NFT logos. And it's got fans wondering what it's all about.
Last April Sega announced it was developing games and collectibles around the play-to-earn business model that has seen titles such as Axie Infinity and The Sandbox become hugely popular.
Sega had also planned to partner with developer Japanese company Double Jump Tokyo to create NFT drops for old art, classic music, and popular background designs. (See our explainers if you're still wondering what are NFTs?, or want to know all about how to make and sell NFTs).
Following fan backlash amidst concerns over the environmental impact of NFTs, Sega hit the brakes. But the logos were designed ahead of Sega cooling on the idea of getting into NFTs. In a recent management meeting reported on TweakTown Sega CEO, Haruki Satomi, revealed there were now no plans for a Sega NFT. He said: “If it is perceived as simple money-making, I would like to make a decision not to proceed."
However, the new Sega NFT logo and its partner project, the Sega NFT Classics Collection, have ignited the imagination of fans. As well as being able to buy and collect old art and music, the Sega NFT Classics Collection logo suggests something bigger, the opportunity to buy and resell digital classic games. This could see Sega make use of NFTs to create a digital retro games marketplace.
Some fans have already suggested a similarity between the Sega NFT logo and a classic Sega game – it resembles the Jet Set Radio font, suggesting a new game. But saying that, Jet Set Radio fans are always looking for an excuse to claim Sega is about to launch a new game in this cult series.
This aside, both logos are, well... hideous. Neither pick up on the classic Sega logo we know and love, based on the dual-lines of the Yagi Double font. Neither do they reference the even older Sega logo of the 1950s and early1970s that resembled traditional Japanese script – the font was created by Sega for its original 1956 logo. Maybe it's a good thing the Sega NFT is dead.
And yet, Satomi-san's comments that Sega will, "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,” suggest that the NFT project may still have legs.
The comments leave room for the Sega NFT to happen if and when the circumstances are right. The IP registration and logos suggest the Sega NFT was quite far into development and may still happen, even if for now Sega is out of the NFT business. We hope if it does proceed that both logos are redesigned, perhaps with the aid of our pro guide to logo design.
Sega isn't the only video games publisher to look at NFTs, and had to deal with fan backlash. Konami launched its Konami Memorial NFT collection to bad publicity, while Ubisoft had an equally hard time when it announced the development of its own blockchain, Quartz. NFTs for video games are here to stay, but the fans need to be on-side for a future where they can collect and trade art, music and items.