Square Enix’s NFT game is the worst I’ve ever seen

Square Enix’s NFT game is the worst I’ve ever seen

Square Enix deserves all the spoiled tomato fans and critics have thrown at them in recent years. Amazing games like Final Fantasy 7 Remake and PowerWash Simulator keep them in good graces with most casual consumers, but it continues to release great gems and refuses to promote them, only to complain when none of us are invested. It’s also one of the industry’s biggest proponents of cryptocurrency, and seems determined to eradicate all goodwill by taking us along for the ride. I say this from the heart: please fuck yourself.

Symbiogenesis is an upcoming ‘Digital Collectible Art Experience for Web3 Fans’ that aims to make use of familiar game mechanics and ideas JRPG fans have grown accustomed to over the years. The official site emphasizes the ownership of unique art and characters over the actual act of playing the game, drawing dumb players in with potential value rather than artistic integrity or creative vision. It’s ugly, soulless and rotten with grim jargon that resembles a mobile phone application intended for buying stocks rather than going on a grand adventure. I scanned through the site before writing this piece and it’s all a mess of tables and spreadsheets with terminology aimed at crypto bros.

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This game has been bubbling away in the background for months now, and in recent days Square Enix has revealed the floating island setting where it takes place. Countless factions and lore have been revealed on social media (including a hilarious group known as ‘Normies’) to draw in more casual players, but everything I’ve seen only serves to reinforce the soulless corporate identity at the center of it all. There isn’t a press kit to be found like other titles in the library, just an official website and Twitter account with no worries about being understood. As long as it makes money and deepens the company’s dedication to blockchain, it will be sufficient.

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Symbiogenesis feels like a generic anime created by a computer program, which I imagine all the suits at Square Enix thought were more than good enough for the glorified pyramid scheme. Early adopters are drawn in with the promise of early draws on valuable NFTs, while a roadmap of various chapters and features I’m sure a poindexter on the moon would find exciting is peppered alongside them. The art of characters and places shared on social media is so clearly produced by AI. Facial proportions are uneven, outfits look generic or incomplete, hair is clipped behind hats, and quite a few avatars are missing the right amount of fingers.

It couldn’t be lazier if it tried, and represents the very worst principles of capitalism found in modern technology. Companies may make amazing games and products that we can find joy in, but the sad reality is how underneath all the emotion and creativity is a room filled with greedy men who want nothing more than to milk us dry. Unless we want the games industry to become even more of a capitalist hellscape than it already is, it’s our sole responsibility to highlight projects like this and how transparent their intentions really are.


Money is the only endgame here, when Square Enix can pool resources to enable new voices, bring back forgotten classics, or do literally anything but throw piles of cash down a well for another hearty dose of blockchain bullshit. I know I’m beating a dead horse at this point, but until it’s completely broken down and well out of sight, there’s no other choice.

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