Sega reins in its plans for “boring” blockchain gaming

Sanic Teh Hegehog with Sega NFT logo blockchain

Sega has shelved some of its to develop games based on the blockchain. “What’s the point if games are no fun?” said Sega co-COO Shuji Utsumi.


According to a report from Bloomberg, Sega is planning to “withhold its biggest franchises from third-party blockchain gaming projects to avoid devaluing its content”. Co-Chief Operating Officer Shuji Utsumi said: “The action in play-to-earn games is boring,” adding, “What’s the point if games are no fun?”

There was a big rush towards ‘play-to-earn’ games last year, with Square Enix in particular being one of the technology’s biggest cheerleaders. The company is still working on a blockchain game called Symbiogenesis, where players can earn NFTs, which can then be traded.

Sega revealed similar plans to embrace the blockchain in 2021, announcing a partnership with Double Jump to create a game based on NFTs, and registering a trademark for ‘Sega NFTs’ in January 2022. The move led to criticism from Sega fans, and Sega CEO Haruki Satomi promised that the firm would reconsider its plans if NFTs became perceived as a “simple monkey-making” scheme.

But following the collapse of the cryptocurrency bubble and the implosion of the NFT market last year, Sega is now dialling back on its blockchain experiments. “We’re looking into whether this technology is really going to take off in this industry, after all,” said Utsumi, who wouldn’t commit on whether the ‘Super Game’ the company has promised before March 2026 would leverage blockchain technology. The ‘Super Game’ will apparently be composed of several titles, which according to an interview with Utsumi translated by VGC, will be “interactive titles that go beyond the traditional framework of games”.

However, in the Bloomberg report, Utsumi said that Sega does still plan to let external partners use characters from lesser known franchises – such as Virtua Fighter and Sangokushi Taisen – for NFTs. And it appears that the partnership announced with Double Jump in 2021 is still continuing.

Double Jump is working on a new Sangokushi Taisen called Battle of Three Kingdoms, which will use NFTs. Sangokushi Taisen originally debuted in Japanese arcades in 2005, and involves placing physical trading cards on a playing surface, which are then detected by the machine and used in battles set in the Three Kingdoms period of China. There have been several sequels since then, as well as versions for PC and Nintendo DS. Battle of Three Kingdoms will launch on PC in late 2023.

The upshot of all this is that Sega is still dabbling with blockchain and NFTs, but is seemingly a lot more lukewarm on the technology than it was at the start of 2022. And from the sounds of it, it’s unlikely any of Sega’s top-tier characters, like Sonic the Hedgehog, will be turning up on NFTs any time soon.

Although perhaps a Sanic teh Hegehog NFT is still a possibility?

Read more: Symbiogenesis | A closer look at Square Enix’s curious NFT game

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