Square Enix has announced its intention to Yosuke Matsuda as the company’s President, applying for approval to install current Director, Takashi Kiryu, as “President and Representative Director.”
The decision’s approval will come at the company’s annual shareholders’ meeting in a few months, with the reason given for the shift being the “rapid change of business environment surrounding the entertainment industry” with the goal of “adopting ever-evolving technological innovations and maximizing on the creativity of the Company’s group in order to deliver even greater entertainment to its customers around the world.”
Takashi Kiryu’s journey at Square Enix has taken him from a General Manager in mid-2020 through to being appointed Director early last year, and now potential President, and although fans might be hopeful the blockchain stuff is behind them, the above statement and Kiryu-san’s prior role as Chief Strategy Officer could be seen as more indicative of the opposite.
Matsuda, on the other hand, has recently painted himself as a bit of a target after advocating heavily for NFTs and blockchain technology, with initiatives like NFT-enabled collectible Final Fantasy figurines and a thoroughly-disappointing Parasite Eve NFT project called “Symbiogenesis” happening under his watch. You can also fight him as a boss in NieR Automata’s “3C3C1D119440927” DLC:
Matsuda had previously said that the aggressive focus on monetisation of NFTs and blockchain in gaming will take a backseat to how the technology can provide a “means to an end” and revealed that the company has even more blockchain-based projects in the works than we currently know about.
“Our Group has multiple blockchain games based on original IPs under development, some of which we announced last year, and we are undertaking preparations that will enable us to unveil even more titles this year. We are also engaged in global sourcing from an investment perspective and will continue to take stakes in promising businesses whether we find them in Japan or abroad. Blockchain has been an object of exhilaration and a source of turmoil, but with that in the rear view mirror, we hope that blockchain games will transition to a new stage of growth in 2023.”