The Pokemon Company International has posted a new job listing outlining a role that requires in-depth understanding of NFTs, the blockchain, and metaverse technologies.
The listing for a Corporate Development Principal based in the US, posted to LinkedIn in early March 2023, is described as an ‘instrumental role’ in the company. The listed responsibilities include ‘driving, assessing, and prioritising the long-term strategic direction’ of the company, as well as monitoring the market for ‘trends in gaming, media and entertainment, and related sectors.’
The new hire will also be responsible for designing and running the TPCi Innovation Challenge, an internal idea-sourcing platform aimed at assessing and introducing ‘brand new Pokemon experiences (products and experiences) to the world.’
While this seems like a standard role for a company that is experiencing ‘unprecedented’ growth, and is looking to continue to branch out further and capitalise on its success, the ‘what you’ll bring’ section of the listing is causing concern for some Pokémon fans.
The role description outlines that successful applicants should possess a ‘deep knowledge and understanding’ of Web3 and metaverse technologies, as well as being ‘deeply connected’ to investors and entrepreneurs in these sectors.
The Pokemon Company isn’t the first gaming company to dip its toes into the world of NFTs and blockchain technology, despite the environmental and economic impact, and moves from platforms like Steam to ban the sales of all games with NFTs and cryptocurrencies on its site. Konami launched a recruitment drive in 2022 with a focus on Web3 development, and Ubisoft has also previously released NFTs on its own blockchain platform, Ubisoft Quartz. However, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot clarified in September 2022 that the company’s work in the blockchain and metaverse space was simply ‘research’ and ‘exploring’ the technologies.
As recently as 3 February 2023, Square Enix held its Outline of Financial Results Briefing, in which current CEO and president Yosuke Matsuda said that the company had plans to launch blockchain games in the 2023/24 financial year and beyond. The company previously partnered with blockchain company Double Jump Tokyo in 2021 to release NFTs, and seems to have doubled down on the commitment to Web3 development since then.
While the recently-posted job listing isn’t a guarantee The Pokemon Company will be diving headfirst into Web3 technology or minting new Pokemon NFTs, it does look like it is, at the very least, exploring the possibility going forward, as it continues to expand.