Sega shelves plans for blockchain gaming, citing play-to-earn as ‘boring’.

Japanese gaming giant Sega Corp has decided to suspend earlier plans to enter the blockchain gaming sphere. The company will no longer bring its popular titles onto the blockchain until further notice, according to co-chief operating officer Shuji Utsumi.

In addition to withholding existing titles, the gaming giant is abandoning plans to develop new blockchain titles. In a conversation with Bloomberg, Utsumi said blockchain gaming seems to take the fun out of gaming:

“The action in play-to-earn games is boring. What’s the point if games are no fun?”

This is a U-turn from the company’s earlier position regarding blockchain technology. Sega, the longtime maker of popular titles like Sonic The Hedgehog, Total War, and Yakuza, believed that entering the blockchain space could help the games’ popularity, likely opening them to a wider audience. Sega rivals like Square Enix Holdings Co (Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest), and Bandai Namco Holdings Inc (Pac-Man and Elden Ring) also shared the same view about blockchain technology at the time.

The gaming giants’ excitement likely came from play-to-earn titles like Axie Infinity gaining heavy popularity among gamers. However, this interest may be lost since the crypto market downturn has lasted a while.

Sega Is Not Completely Closed to Blockchain Technology

Interestingly, Sega is not against partners putting some of its characters from Virtua Fighter and Three Kingdoms on the blockchain as NFTs . Sega revealed its intention for NFTs in a 2021 tweet .

Utsumi also told Bloomberg that Sega is still unsure about any kind of Web3 involvement, especially since the company announced a “Super Game” initiative to create new games for the global online community. Utsumi said that they are “looking into whether this technology is really going to take off in this industry, after all.”

According to Utsumi, Sega is still open to the blockchain. The co-COO confirmed that the company might put some titles on the blockchain. Also, Sega will invest a few hundred million yen in the project. Utsumi believes blockchain technology has certain advantages, including interoperable gameplay that allows the exchange of items and characters between games.

In addition, Utsumi spoke well of video game firms taking the plunge into blockchain technology, praising their penchant for risks:

“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.”

Sega to Acquire Angry Birds Parent Company

In April, Sega’s parent company Sega Sammy Holdings Inc (TYO: 6460) announced its intention to purchase Rivio Entertainment Oyj, the Angry Birds developer. The deal was worth nearly $776 million and was a 19% premium compared to the company’s last share close before the announcement.

Sega Sammy’s Group CEO Haruki Satomi said the plan was to expand Sega’s reach into the mobile gaming market. According to him, a merger of both companies would create “significant synergies” for the brands.