Square-Enix’s new president mentions blockchain and generative AI in new year letter

But it's not like last year


The departure of Yosuke Matsuda from the presidency of Square-Enix in 2023 means that at the top of 2024, he has not written a greeting insisting that Square-Enix will be pursuing blockchain projects. Instead, new president Takashi Kiryu has penned the letter doing so, although it’s telling that the letter mentions it exactly once in an almost offhand sense talking about Square looking into blockchain and web 3.0 along with AI and the cloud as three new fields to explore and invest within.

Most of Kiryu’s letter focuses on how 2023 was a challenging year for the industry and how the company is both looking to improve its development and publishing pipelines while also exploring the role that AI can serve within its development structure.

“We also intend to be aggressive in applying AI and other cutting-edge technologies to both our content development and our publishing functions. In the short term, our goal will be to enhance our development productivity and achieve greater sophistication in our marketing efforts. In the longer term, we hope to leverage those technologies to create new forms of content for consumers, as we believe that technological innovation represents business opportunities. […] In terms of new business domains, we previously identified three focus investment fields, namely blockchain entertainment/Web 3.0, AI, and the cloud. Last year we redefined our overarching mission and goals for these three fields. We are currently working to modify our organizational structure and optimize our resource allocations to support these efforts.”

Unlike Matsuda’s previous letters, this one offers little new to stand out as a gigantic red flag, much less any specific strategies for blockchain projects. Whether you read that as a sign that Kiryu is trying to respectfully distance himself from his predecessor or just moving more quietly remains an exercise for the reader.

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