The Japanese securities, banking, and crypto heavyweight SBI and the Tokyo Stock Exchange-listed gaming firm Square Enix have announced a crypto gaming M&A deal. The companies have signed a share purchase deal for Gumi, an up-and-coming crypto and blockchain gaming company.
The deal is worth around $53 million – and both SBI and Square Enix now plan to make significant moves in the crypto and blockchain gaming space.
In a press release, SBI wrote that it would “combine” Gumi’s “game development and operational know-how” with its own “token listing” prowess. SBI added:
“We aim to list [Gumi-developed crypto gaming] tokens on cryptoasset exchanges such as SBI VC Trade and Bitpoint Japan.”
SBI owns both trading platforms. The firm added that it would use its own NFT marketplace, SBI NFT, “as a secondary distribution market for NFTs acquired” in Gumi-developed games.
In a Gumi press release, the Tokyo-based gaming firm explained that the deal would see SBI emerge as the largest shareholder, with 22.46% voting rights. Square Enix’s investment grants it a 3.01% share. Square Enix is famous as the firm that created the Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest game titles.
What Are Square Enix and SBI’s Crypto Gaming Plans?
Earlier this year, Square Enix said that focusing on traditional forms of gaming would “not be enough” for it to succeed in the future. The company suggested that user-created content such as non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and play-to-earn crypto titles could be included in future business models. The Gumi move could represent one of Square Enix’s first tentative moves into space.
SBI added that it was also “considering” a plan to launch “a platform dedicated to blockchain games.”
It stated that “collaboration” would allow it to “develop a one-stop service” for gaming – one that allowed it to “develop and distribute blockchain games,” as well as “selling and distributing tokens and NFTs.”
SBI has previously made its own tentative moves into the gaming space. It operates an e-sports franchise – with its roster paid in XRP. Its CEO Yoshitaka Kitao is a Ripple board member. In 2019, he claimed that “every bank in Japan” would be using XRP by 2025.