SEGA Japan today announced that it will be entering the blockchain business this summer, by partnering up with Japanese game company Double Jump.Tokyo to sell NFTs “related to its classic IP”.
While this might sound like interesting news for SEGA fans – who wouldn’t want another reason to own some nice digital content from the good old Mega Drive days? – the news quickly attracted criticism due to the intention to sell these items as Non-Fungible Tokens (or NFTs), a controversial new data type that has become the darling of wealthy tech aficionados and the bane of environmental activists and artists worldwide.
Simply put, NFTs were recently introduced as a means for tech-savvy users to securely purchase and ‘own’ assets such as artwork, music files, photos and other digital media. A buyer purchases a piece of art from an auction, for example, and an NFT is generated with a unique token, stating that only that person has ownership of that content.
It sounds relatively harmless, but NFTs rely on blockchain technology, which in turn relies on an enormous amount of generated electricity to exist. So much so that it is believed that blockchain activities such as bitcoin mining and NFT generation is contributing to an acceleration of climate change. And, while certain megastars and rock bands have taken to jump on the NFT trend, many artists fear that the ‘wild west’ nature of the marketplace opens the door for bad actors to lift their work and sell it for incredible amounts of money without them even knowing.
So, what’s SEGA’s plan with the blockchain anyway? According to the full press release, its partnership with Double Jump.Tokyo (best known for the MyCryptoHeroes game and the MCH+ blockchain gaming platform) “will be the start of a sequential expansion into a variety of content, including IPs currently in development and new IPs to be released in the future.” More details will be announced in the future, but it was revealed that SEGA also invested an undisclosed amount in Double Jump.Tokyo. So whatever its planning, it seems to be betting a lot on it.
Following the announcement, SEGA began trending on Twitter – but it wasn’t for a good reason. Its Japanese Twitter account has been overwhelmed by fans who are disappointed in this decision.
Some noticed that this news came just a day after SEGA America’s own official Sonic the Hedgehog Twitter account posted a fresh meme to celebrate Earth Day.
And one or two people didn’t need more than three words to make their point.
We will keep an eye on this and if SEGA has any updates we’ll be sure to share them with you.