Square Enix's secret project is actually an NFT game

Symbiogenesis; a logo for a game with a painterly splash of colour behind it
(Image credit: Square Enix)

Square Enix's new secret game wasn't a Parasite Eve remake as many fans of the Final Fantasy developer had believed, but instead a story-driven NFT art project called Symbiogenesis, due for release in Spring 2023. Naturally, gamers went on a web-rampage.

As news broke of the first proper Square Enix NFT game, fans took to Twitter and vented. "I get that in Japan, NFTs don't have such a negative status, but it's insanely tone deaf to ignore the rest of the world condemning NFTs due to them being a huge scam," wrote BGG.

Square Enix's Symbiogenesis is a new NFT art collectibles project with a teased web-based game world. It should come as no surprise the Japanese games publisher is beginning to tease its NFT games. As we reported in the summer, Square Enix sold off Tomb Raider and other big game franchises and development studios to fund its NFT games.

So what is Symbiogenesis, exactly? That's still a bit of a mystery. Square Enix is promising unique characters and hero art that doubles as digital collectibles. Your NFT character can be used in an interactive story online that involves accepting missions and 'untangling mysteries'. Of course, you can also use your NFT as a profile picture.

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Gamers have form with Square Enix, as fans were furious earlier this year when the publisher announced a series of Final Fantasy NFT collectibles. This is partly because NFTs are still seen as environmentally damaging, though this is no longer the case. Read our guides 'What are NFTs?' and 'NFT Crypto' to discover how non-fungible tokens have changed to greener technology.

To counter some of the fan outrage, there were voices on Twitter that defended Symbiogenesis and the general push for NFTs in video games. Gamer Simon Duffy wrote: "So much regurgitation of MSM hysteria here. NFTs are going to give gamers ownership of their stuff. You’ll be on the leading edge of a sea change with this move and I’m all for it."

The struggle to convince mainstream gamers that NFTs could be a good thing is an ongoing struggle. In my article 'What do NFTs mean for gamers?' I explore how NFTs could be used in games, including offering players genuine ownership of their digital purchases. Of course there have been some terrible NFT games, such as Pixelmon – a game so bad it's become a meme. I expect this debate to rumble on, maybe Symbiogenesis is the NFT game to turn the tide.

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Ian Dean is Digital Arts & Design Editor at Creative Bloq, and the former editor of many leading magazines. These titles included ImagineFX, 3D World and leading video game title Official PlayStation Magazine. In his early career he wrote for music and film magazines including Uncut and SFX. Ian launched Xbox magazine X360 and edited PlayStation World. For Creative Bloq, Ian combines his love to bring the latest news on NFTs, video game art and tech, and more to Creative Bloq, and in his spare time he doodles in Corel Painter, ArtRage, and Rebelle while finding time to play Xbox and PS5.