When Square-Enix, one of the most famous game publishers in the world, announced that it was going dive into the world of NFTs – even as the world of NFTs crashed and burned around it – gamers were concerned about how their games, all of Final Fantasy for, um, *check notes* Varied daily life, could be affected. It turns out that the first steps are infinitely dumber than we imagined.
Square-Enix’s first tentative foray into NFTs didn’t start with its Games, but it’s goods, starting with three Final Fantasy VII collectibles in the Pos line “Bring Arts”capable action figures. Of course, Cloud, Tifa and Aerith had a millions of cool toys before, but these those actually attempt to directly translate Tetsuya Nomura’s iconic design work for the original PlayStation game, in 3D form.
They are, perhaps all the more infuriating given the circumstances, incredibly cool. It’s quite amazing how much like Nomura’s art they watch, and rendered in full form, it’s almost like a fascinating blend between the classic polygonal aesthetic, spiky and chunky the first playstation was able to do in 1997, and the more realistic renditions of it that we saw in VIIis recent Remake. Like someone who loved FFVII as a kid i walked away from it, then i realized how special it was for me to play again RemakeI would buy them in an instant.
Except for the fact that they all come with a “digital certificate of authenticity” which is actually just an NFT. The system requires collectors to sign up for a wallet with the Enjin blockchain network, and there’s even a “Digital Plus” version of every digit you can get that, for an increased cost, lets you trade an NFT that gives you access to a 3D replica of the character visible in the real world thanks to an augmented reality site. You can’t just buy the numbers themselves – both versions come with the NFT. And if you buy the digit and just choose not to sign up for a wallet, not only does the token still exist for that digit in the first place, you’re also paying a whole lot more for nothing at all – each FFVII The Bring Arts figure costs $130, while earlier typical versions cost around $85 to $100. It’s a lot more for something you don’t want!
The absurdity of it all or the crap of the mandatory token itself is one thing, but what is makes this even more bizarrely stupid as Square-Enix’s tentative first foray into the blockchain hypewagon does so with characters from Final Fantasy VII. It’s a game about a group of radical eco-terrorists, Avalanche, and their allies who are rising up against the megalomaniac megacorporation Shinra, who are bombing their power plants because they are literally over-reap life itself strength of their planet as an energy resource, accelerating the rapid deterioration of the world. Of course, of course, possibly VII goes in the direction of most RPGs and you have giant meteors summoned to destroy the world and what you have, but basically it is fundamentally a story about the environment, and people angry enough at the systems and structures around them to fight to save it.
Cloud, Aerith, and Tifa would tell you to stop wasting your Gil and push that NFT where the sun doesn’t shine. Or they would, when these numbers eventually come out in sSpring 2023. I guess you just have to hope that Enjin is still around then, which given the current state of the crypto market might not be exactly the the safest guarantee.
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