Sega makes U-turn, pulls back from blockchain gaming

The company, otherwise regarded as one of the top advocates for blockchain gaming is now being cautious to not devalue its franchise

Sega makes U-turn, pulls back from blockchain gaming
Photo credit: Sega.

Sega Corporation, the multinational video game company, has announced that it is pulling back from Web3 gaming. The company will withhold its biggest franchises from third-party blockchain gaming projects and shelve plans to develop Web3 games in the immediate future. 

The details 

  • Bloomberg was the first to report the development, citing co-Chief Operating Officer Shuji Utsumi. 
  • Utsumi expressed little faith in blockchain technology, saying that the company is looking to see whether the technology will “take off in this industry after all.” He added that the action in play-to-earn games is “boring” and pointless.  
  • However, while the company would hold back its much bigger franchises from Web3 gaming, it would allow external partners to use some of its lesser-known game characters as non-fungible tokens (NFTs). 

Key quote 

“The action in play-to-earn games is boring. What’s the point if games are no fun?” 
  • In describing risk-takers who are the first to take the chance with the technology, he added: 
“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. We should never underestimate them.” 

Zoom out 

  • Web3 gaming appears to have been on a downward spiral, becoming even less popular since the “crypto winter.” 
  • Play-to-earn gaming projects such as Axie Infinity, which promised riches to its community, imploded when the value of its token plummeted. Its subscribers lost money and Axie’s P2E promise died. 
  • Nigerian-based crypto venture studio, Nestcoin, following FTX’s collapse, spun off its gaming project, Metaverse Magna as an independent entity in hopes to keep it alive. It also pivoted away from the original P2E model.
  • The P2E platforms have themselves been described as shaky and unsustainable since they rely mostly on their ability to attract new users to pay existing ones. The volatility of the system was further exposed when the “crypto winter” brought about capital flight. 
  • In an interview with Mariblock, Metaverse Magna’s CEO Yemi Johnson opined that the P2E model was flawed and wrong.