‘Robotnik Finally Wins’ – SEGA Announces Blockchain Partnership to Sell NFTs

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.

Published by

Dreadknux

Founder of The Sonic Stadium and creator/co-organiser of the Summer of Sonic convention. Loves talking about Sonic the Hedgehog in his spare time. Likes Sonic Colours a little too much for his own good, apparently.

16 Comments

  1. This sucks. And not in a “oh this game is bad” kind of way but in a “this is Captain Planet villain shit in real life” way. I hope the negative press makes Sega reconsider

  2. Even putting aside the environmentally focused responses, I just see this as an incredibly cynical way for Sega to capitalize on their IP… announced about two months after it would have actually been relevant.

    Yeah, it on its own probably won’t have the significant environmental impact that people are suggesting (though it arguably might in aggregate with every other NFT maintainer out there, I didn’t look up the actual math), but when you really break down the fact that they want to sell you virtual collectables of classic game art and music you buy with real money or Ethereum or whatever, it just comes off looking a bit gross and desperate and chasing fads.

    1. This issue I can at least get behind if a little bit. The “Robotnik wins” statement is a bit of an overreaction imo, but thematically it does kind of contradict at least the early messages of the franchise. Lately I haven’t seen much posturing on Sonic’s part regarding the environment lately though so I hope people forgive me when I’m a little confused as to why there’s outrage over it.

      I feel like my lack of anger comes from not understanding why we get mad over this when we use plenty of electricity on the games themselves to play them, the TV’s or monitors we use to view them and the devices we use to interact on social media to express this outrage.

      Heck maybe I can’t read the room either, but seems to me like this room is harder to read than others. Am I just being unfair here or…?

      One thing is for certain though. I don’t see any practical use for owning little gifs or whatever for bragging rights. Kind of a weird thing to monetize but people will buy it. Those are the folks ya should be mad at I would think.

      1. The issue is that while certainly electricity is used by average people on non-essential things, blockchain shit that NFTs use is on a whole different scale. The power wasted on the tech behind owning these frivolous little images and digital garbage is greater than the output of most countries, roughly the equivalent of the Netherlands. And for what purpose? To say you own a link to an image that anyone can simply right click on and save? And despite being a very new trend, trackers even already exist that show not insginficant numbers of these images being linked to already going down, so that the link the person owns directs to nothing but a 404 error.

        To be sure, it is not the only problem facing the climate, nor the most severe, but it is the one that is the most pointlessly destructive. Think of it like burning literal tons of coal to use the soot to draw in the dirt and then see it get washed away the next time it rains.

  3. I heard that squareenix, capcom also are doing nft stuff. Have they got any backlash or is this another hate on sega for being sega situation?

    That being said I just learned about this nft stuff last night and I got to say this is dumbest thing I ever heard. Can’t believe people are buying the bragging rights to “original” gifs 🤦

    1. I also believe that Nintendo, Sony, Microsoft. Valve, Epic Games, GoG and the likes could go down this same path in the future.

  4. Well, if eggman would exist in real life with all his gargantuan contraptions,gizmos and all. He wouldn’t be a crazy dude working for the government as in the movie, but own a tech megacorp and pretty much monopolize every market.

    So He would win anyways.

  5. I feel like I would need Robotnik’s IQ to understand what on Earth this article is talking about.

  6. OK I did not know what NFTs were, or what the Block chain was.
    So I looked it up. I still don’t fully understand it all but I think its like bitcoin.
    And I still don’t fully understand that. As for the environment I don’t see how its any worse then server farms? Yes the NFT stuff is dum but should we feel bad for leaving SEGA genesis’s running on pause in the days before saving?

    1. NFTs are not worse than server farms because they necessitate server farms. They contribute to that existing issue, and as they and other blockchain shit is used more and more, more and more server farms have to be created.

  7. I first read about this earlier on another gaming site, had to look up what NFTs were. From a business perspective it’s not surprising a company would go down this road, and I heard some others (like Capcom) are also doing this, but its still sad nonetheless.

  8. I don’t believe in “global warming” but I do think it is ironic that Sega decides to unveil their NFTs right after writing a tweet on the Sonic twitter about Earth Day.

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