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Sega Registered NFT Trademark: Ambiguity or Hypocrisy?

Sega can’t stop thinking about NFTs. The big gaming corporation, which created Sonic the Hedgehog as well as many other successful series, such as Crazy Taxi, Ecco the Dolphin, OutRun, Comix Zone, and so on, registered its “Sega NFT” trademark in Japan. The Japan Patent Office published it together with a new logo for Sega’s NFT project.  

Curiously enough, just a week ago, Sega higher-ups claimed they are not going to proceed with NFTs if they’re considered as simple money-making ploys by the community. On the other hand, the patent was applied for in December of the previous year. Furthermore, having a trademark secures Sega’s ownership. Therefore, there is nothing hypocritical in this move.  

Previously, the community stopped Sega with mass implementation of NFT collectibles. However, the idea still seems interesting to the company.  

It’s important to note that Sega has interesting relations with its fan base. After the discontinuation of the Sega Dreamcast console in the early 2000s, the company lost its mass audience. However, it became a game publisher and developer, still keeping in touch with “true fans.” While the newest 3D Sonic games are receiving mixed reviews from the community, the company is used to listening to and supporting most dedicated fans. For example, the company officially released Sonic Mania, a 2D retro-influenced platformer, which started as just a fan project.  

The company is most likely going to keep this approach: pleasing the fan base while trying to experiment. And it seems like a good and safe strategy so far.  

Maybe, Sega will manage to prove that blockchain and NFTs can benefit games, not just exist as a money-making scheme.  

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