After the backlash they first received when they announced Symbiogenesis back on 2 November 2022, Square Enix does not seem to waver in pushing this Non-Fungible Tokens (NFT) game to the market. On 14 March 2023, they announced a teaser trailer on YouTube and unsurprisingly, received another backlash.
Since last year, Square Enix’s now former president, Yosuke Matsuda, has shown a strong interest in integrating NFT into a video game, however, they do not want to take the risk of damaging their existing IPs such as Final Fantasyー, especially after their most recent backlash for attempting to integrate NFT to Final Fantasy 7 in the form of a figurine, they decided to create new series as its test subject.
Thus, the game Symbiogenesis was born
The game was first announced on 2 November 2022, previously thought of as a code name for Parasite Eve, one of Square Enix’s IPs first introduced in the PS1 era.
Summarised by GamesHub, Symbiogenesis will feature 10,000 “collectible artworks,” or NFTs, which will have “real game utility.” These artworks will be based on the different characters, as well as their races and professions, and players will be able to use them as profile pictures. However, they won’t be available all at once because the game will unfold in six major chapters, each coming with its own set of NFTs that contribute to the story.
The 10,000 “collectible artworks” itself might sound a bit too good to be true for those who think that it will be unique considering it came from Square Enix.
And that seems to be the case, as seen on the previewed characters above. Even at a glance, it is easily noticeable that these characters are a product of randomly generated images just like other NFTs. The same facial shapes, featuresー hence, even just by looking at its cap we can see that the cap is just like a sticker slapped on the character’s hair.
Square Enix also revealed a “Mechanism to Control NFT Selling Pressure” on the website… which does not sound very fun.
And again, even just by looking at it, it’s hard to see where the “fun” element is, even though Square Enix advertises Symbiogenesis to be a “fun” story-driven game. Granted, we have yet to see a proper explanation about the gameplay aspect of the game so perhaps a benefit of the doubt might be justifiedー even though it should have been the norm if a developer announces a game, then the game itself is the one that should be presented.
Receives a lot of hate train
Just 3 days after its first “teaser trailer”, the YouTube comments have been flooded with the majority of negative comments. Major game news articles such as Kotaku and Game Rant have also revealed their disappointment.
A YouTuber Yong Yea also found out that Square Enix is actually silently disabling its dislike button on the trailer. Thus, making it impossible to see the number of dislikes even with a plugin.
On Twitter, some disappointment can also be seen in comments as well as on quoted retweets. The majority of positive comments mostly only came from NFT collectors rather than gamers.
Square Enix, even after a huge backlash from gamers during its first announcement, kept pushing Symbiogenesis and confirmed that it is currently in active development.
Despite being advertised as a game, we have yet to see the gameplay aspect of this series. The teaser trailer is so barebone and explains nothing. On the other hand, they instead focus more on explaining the NFT aspects of their site.
You can watch the Symbiogenesis teaser trailer down below.