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Final Fantasy Just Joined This Controversial Trend

Back at the beginning of 2022, following Ubisoft's uproarious foray into gaming NFTs, Square Enix announced it wanted to continue the trend of introducing NFTs to gaming and planned to start looking for ways to implement the technology across its brands. Then, the company made the surprising decision to no longer invest in the controversial technology. Now, the company has apparently reversed course once again, as Square Enix has begun advertising a new "Final Fantasy" figure — with certain editions that include an NFT.

As baffling as the whole situation is, it only gets more bizarre, as the NFT can't be traded or sold at this time, and there's even an acknowledged chance that players will lose access to it in the future. While the jury may still be out on exactly why Square Enix keeps flip flopping on whether it wants to get involved with NFTs or not, "Final Fantasy" fans aren't too happy seeing the brand they love being associated with practices they condemn. Here's why this new "Final Fantasy 7" figure is causing an uproar among the fan base.

Cloud's true strife is the fact he's bundled with an NFT

On Square Enix's online store, there are two listings for a new Cloud Strife figure. One retails for $130, an outwardly expensive but ultimately standard price for a high-quality collectible. The other listing is for $160, and that's for the same exact figure but with the addition of an NFT version of the figure. For those with investments on the mind, a bonus NFT for $30 might sound like a pretty good deal — looking beyond the controversial environmental concerns of NFT ownership, of course — but there's a catch to this deal.

In the product listing, under a section titled "Caution Before Purchasing" Square Enix says, "At time of product release, the digital certificate of authenticity is not supported on marketplace and cannot be transferred or sold to third party." Further, Square Enix outlines that there will be a specific redemption period for those who actually want to pursue ownership of the Cloud Strife NFT, and missing those dates means players forfeit their chance. To top everything else off, there's also a warning that, at any point, the NFT could vanish and become unavailable if the hosting platform, Enjin, becomes unavailable for any reason.

The move has left a sour taste in the mouth of fans, many of whom have taken to social media to show their disapproval. One fan, seeing the irony in the situation, slammed Square Enix for essentially "[celebrating] a game with environmentalist themes by burning down real-life trees!"