December 5, 2023

The widely-acclaimed Japanese video game company Sega told Bloomberg it would stop developing blockchain games temporarily. Chief operating officer Shuji Utsumi explained that play-to-earn game mechanics are “boring.” As a result, it will stop using blockchain technology for its top-tier franchises.

Cryptocurrencies have been a popular trend from 2020 to 2022. However, the novelty wore off as its market collapsed, causing investors to lose money from digital currencies. Nowadays, Sega and other companies are moving away from Bitcoin and other cryptos.

As a result, it could affect the video game industry’s long-term development. This article will discuss why Sega reconsidered its plans to create blockchain games. Later, I will cover other video game trends, such as new titles and technologies.

Why did Sega stop making blockchain games?

Sega COO Shuji Utsumi told Bloomberg the game studio would prevent its largest franchises from being licensed for third-party blockchain games. He explained, “The action in play-to-earn games is boring. What’s the point if games are no fun?”

Blockchain news outlet Decrypt says Utsumi refers to the heavily monetized mechanics of earn-to-play titles. Many blockchain games focus on how people can make money by playing.

Unfortunately, they usually neglect to make gameplay mechanics enjoyable. As a result, playing them feel like chores. Conversely, most video games allow players to explore breathtaking worlds and engage their tendency to compete and complete challenges.

Sega was enthusiastic about blockchain games in 2022. Nowadays, that excitement turned to doubt. Utsumi said, “We’re looking into whether this technology is really going to take off in this industry after all.”

The popular developer will not create a blockchain game for its Sonic franchise. However, it may license out its smaller titles. For example, Decrypt mentioned Sega licensed its Sangokushi Taisen intellectual property to developer Double Jump Tokyo.

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The latter will use the IP to create a Battle of Three Kingdoms game on the Oasys blockchain. Also, the crypto news website said blockchain game development is split into two different approaches.

On the one hand, some game devs continue to market their play-to-earn games. On the other, more platforms prioritize gameplay by making NFTs optional.

The Sega COO explained the actions of blockchain game supporters. “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.”

Despite Sega’s decision to distance itself from blockchain gaming, Utsumi still respects this growing industry. “We should never underestimate them,” he stated.

How is the video game industry growing?

Online trend tracker Exploding Topics said global video game enthusiasts increased significantly in seven years. Specifically, it gained over 1 billion players.

Nowadays, roughly 3.09 billion people play video games worldwide, and that population will likely grow to 3.32 billion by 2024. More importantly, the industry has been adopting new technologies like artificial intelligence.

For example, NVIDIA ACE uses generative AI to create character dialogue. Previously, video game developers had to record voice lines for in-game people to enhance immersion.

Its major limitation is companies can only record a few lines for specific queries. Conversely, NVIDIA ACE could create natural dialog for infinite interactions based on preset personalities and voices.

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Other game companies have been using artificial intelligence to create new titles. For example, Chinese game developer HoYoverse used it to create Honkai: Star Rail.

This online turn-based role-playing game lets you gain new characters from its gacha system. The latter offers random rewards in exchange for money.

The company said it used the latest AI technologies to ‘improve the facial appearance and behavioral patterns of characters, enhancing the immersive gaming experience with a more natural representation overall.”


Sega COO Shuji Utsumi said the game development firm will rethink its blockchain game projects. It will not license its major IPs for this tech, but it is willing to use lesser-known titles.

Believe it or not, many people are still developing blockchain technology. However, they have been steering away from its initial get-rich-quick image.

Instead, companies and countries have been applying it to more important purposes. Learn more about the latest digital tips and trends from Inquirer Tech.

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