Square Enix President talks about metaverse and NFTs

Today: GoldenEye 007 for Xbox might never see the light of day, but its achievements may live forever — Final Fantasy XVI director promises news this spring — Lego serves up a Green Hill Zone set

Square Enix is curious about crypto

Square Enix president Yosuke Matsuda

Square Enix president Yosuke Matsuda has announced that his company is joining Ubisoft on the NFT bandwagon. While cautious, Matsuda's New Year's Letter is also unabashedly crypto-curious.

The letter opens with the inevitable nod to the metaverse, noting that Facebook's parent company is now called meta and musing about the business opportunities the metaverse might provide.

  • Ubisoft recently launched its Quartz NFT service, without much fanfare
  • GSC Game Worlds announced and then canceled NFT and metaverse plans for S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2
  • Matsuda is skeptical of “goodwill and volunteer spirit” motives
  • NFTs offer a way to compensate players for user-generated content
  • Valve has banned blockchain-based games from Steam

Baby steps: Matsuda thinks blockchain technologies “are at this very moment enteirng a growth phase” in the games industry, and believes this could lead to “self-sustaining game growth”.

Motivation: While Matsuda acknowledges that most gamers “play to have fun”, he believes that user-generated content is mostly motivated by “goodwill and volunteer spirit” and that explicit incentives might open new possibilities for involving players in co-authoring game experiences.

What kind of vehicles do you race in Initial D parody Densha De D?

a) Spaceships
b) Ostriches
c) Trains
d) Horses

The answer will be revealed at the bottom of today's issue. Join up with our community on Twitter and Facebook to discuss what the answer could be.

Demon Gaze Extra on Nintendo Switch

Demon Gaze Extra opening movie

The new year is off to a slow start, and there's not much more coming out this week than the dungeon crawler Demon Gaze Extra, which hits PlayStation 4 and Switch on Thursday. Hold on tight though: January will get real interesting real soon.

Thursday – January 6th

  • Demon Gaze Extra for NS, PS4

GoldenEye 007 achievements in the wild

Nintendo 64 box art of GoldenEye 007

TrueAchievements is an achievement tracking website, and they just published the full list of achievements for GoldenEye 007 on Xbox which reveals that two notable Rare developers have been very busy.

The users BigSheep and Xtinamcgrath dominate the leaderboards, and those accounts belong to none other than Rare lead engineer James Thomas and community head Christina McGrath. They are also the only accounts on record playing the game.

Licensing: After acquiring Rare, the studio completed work on a GoldenEye 007 remaster for Xbox 360 that never got released thanks to licensing problems. The complete game eventually leaked online, and fans cobbled together a playable PC version.

Online leak: Chris Tilston and Mark Edmonds, who directed the remaster project, recently said they didn't think the remaster would ever come out, and jokingly suggested Microsoft leaked it on purpose just to put it out there. Could something finally be about to give with the licensing issues?

Square Enix, Sega, EA and fishing sims

Square Enix Winter Sale banner

It's a new year, and that means new Humble Bundle sales! First out is the Square Enix Winter Sale, offering up to 90% off, alongside the EA Winter Sale that actually offers a 92% discount on a certain game.

The Sega Holiday Sale offers up to 85% on a wide range of big games, and if you just want to relax and wait for something to bite then the Ultimate Fishing Simulator bundle has you covered.

  • NFL legend John Madden passed away at age 85, leaving behind a signficant legacy including EA's Madden series and popularizing the turducken
  • Naoki Yoshida promises news about Final Fantasy XVI and suggests the “next big reveal” is coming this spring
  • Lego unveils Sonic the Hedgehog set based on Green Hill Zone, which you can buy right now
  • Epic Game Store is giving away the new Tomb Raider trilogy until January 6th
  • Hideo Kojima wishes his fans a happy new year and teases a “radical project” in the works at his studio

What kind of vehicles do you race in Initial D parody Densha De D?

A scene from Densha de D: Climax Stage as a train drifts into a station

ANSWER: Trains!

Who needs an AE86 when you have a Hankyu 2000? Initial D is frequently lampooned for its Eurobeat-laden drifting excesses, but no parody goes harder than Densha De D. Based on the manga parody of the same name, Densha De D brings hardcore drifting to trains.

Train races might sound a bit stupid, and Densha de D embraces this with gusto, relishing in tight turns and cheesy techno. It's hard to describe exactly how joyously silly high-speed train drifting is, so just feast your eyes on some multitrack drifting instead.

It's good to be back, we're looking forward to finally playing all the delayed games that got pushed to 2022. What's your most anticipated release for this year?

Today's issue of DailyBits was written by Gavin Herman, Erlend Grefsrud, Simon Priest, and Jamie Davey. If you have any feedback or news tips for the team, please email us!