Square Enix stoked the slow-rolling dumpster fire that is Web3 by announcing a NFT version of a physical Cloud Strife action figure from hit video game Final Fantasy VII and its subsequent Compilation, Remake, and Rebirth. This, to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the original 1997 title. The figure is scheduled for release in November 2023 on the official Square Enix Store.
The game it’s based on, a tale of capitalistic excess leading to an ecological epoch no doubt seems like prime material to leverage for some quick fake money, assuring investors that you are absolutely, definitely down with the hip new internet thing in exchange for hollowing-out any creative integrity that went into your most renowned title.
While the normal action figure costs $129.99, the “Digital Plus Edition” will run you an extra $30, but you’ll get a fancy digital “certificate of authenticity” from Enjin owned by a third-party called Efinity Network, a decentralized “cross-chain blockchain network” that’s aiming to make NFTs more palatable to gamers. You’ll need a Square Enix account and a Enjin wallet app, also not operated by Square Enix, and the ability to deal with more red flags than Final Fantasy Tactics Advance.
What happens to your certificate should this network go poof? Who can say. Apparently the figure can also “be enjoyed on a dedicated website through PCs and smartphones.” You know — show your friends your sick media literacy skills with a “cool spiky hair guy with sword.”
It’s not the first time Square Enix has trotted out NFTs to consumers, in Japan, NFTs are a staple of smartphone social game Kai-ri-sei Million Arthur. Early this year, you’ll recall a wildly-derided New Years message that laid out their plans to expand their NFT and crypto ambitions as a “major strategic theme” for 2022. Some, not all, of Square Enix’s prize for selling off Eidos Montreal and Crystal Dynamics will also be reinvested in crypto.
It seems that Square Enix is trucking along with their commitments to growing their NFT and crypto, as previously stated, and I find it kind of a shame it’s the second major corporation to do Cloud dirty. So it goes.