SoftBank Corp, the Japanese telecoms firm, will become a validator for the Oasys blockchain, which is optimized for web3 gaming. It joins major gaming companies, including Bandai Namco, SEGA, Ubisoft, and Square Enix, which are validators verifying which content is written to the blockchain.
SoftBank also plans to collaborate on the development of blockchain-based services. “We are very excited about the Oasys blockchain’s flexible, user-centric architecture, which meets the needs of both users and IP content owners, and look forward to working with Oasys to promote Web3’s social implementation and resolve social issues,” said Keiichi Makizono, SVP & CIO of SoftBank.
While Oasys has only been around since 2022, there are already a dozen playable games on its Proof-of-Stake (PoS) eco-friendly blockchain. The mainstream gaming community and press have pushed back against blockchain gaming on the basis that NFTs are scammy and blockchain games switch the focus away from gaming for fun.
Ubisoft is one of the few Western exceptions to embrace the technology, and Asian gaming firms have been more receptive. Square Enix recently launched a blockchain division. Its CEO highlighted the potential of in-game tokens and play-to-earn economies in community driven blockchain platforms, arguing that a self-sustaining game economy would be enabled by passionate players who create in-game content.
Meanwhile, different parts of the SoftBank group have been embracing web3. A SoftBank Group fund led the $680 million funding of fantasy NFT sports platform Sorare. In April 2022, SoftBank Vision Fund II participated in a $150 million funding to build blockchain and web3 metaverse brand M2. In November 2021, the Fund led a $93 million Series B round fund for metaverse game The Sandbox.