Final Fantasy is going to invest in the Bitcoin world!

Zebedee raised an additional $35 million to enable in-game payments through the Lightning Network, and gaming giant Square Enix got involved.

Although much of the crypto gaming takes place in the Ethereum and Solana ecosystems, Zebedee has consistently promoted Bitcoin over the past two years. Today, the startup raised new funding with the help of an amazing gaming giant: Square Enix, the publisher of Final Fantasy.

Zebedee today announced a $35 million Series B funding round led by Kingsway Capital, with participation from Square Enix and The Raine Group, along with Zebedee’s existing investors Initial Capital and Lakestar.

The Zebedee platform allows game developers to integrate micropayments through the Bitcoin-based Lightning Network. Game studios can offer small amounts of bitcoin as rewards for playing games, for example, and the company provides an application programming interface (API) for developers to implement the technology and an app where players can access their bitcoin rewards.

In early 2021, Zebedee demonstrated its technology by launching dedicated servers for Valve’s popular online shooter Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO), allowing players to bet and earn Bitcoin rewards for participating in online matches. According to the company, the average transaction size on its platform is just $0.08 in bitcoins through the Lightning Network.

It’s September 2021, and the company says it’s raised roughly $50 million so far. The firm claimed in a press release that its user base has grown tenfold since its Series A round.

As for new apps on its platform, the representative mentioned Fumb Games’ Bitcoin Miner and Vestly and said that many of its apps “had a permanent commitment“.

Square Enix is ​​a major video game publisher behind not only Final Fantasy, but also Kingdom Hearts, Dragon Quest, and other popular games. Until recently, the company was also behind Tomb Raider and Deus Ex, but it sold those and other franchises along with three of its game studios for $300 million to finance its projects in the blockchain sector.

Along with Ubisoft, Square Enix is ​​one of the major video game publishers most vocal about the impact of blockchain technology on gaming. Square Enix first released NFT collectibles in 2021 in Japan based on its Million Arthur franchise, and will also bring its Dungeon Siege IP to The Sandbox, an Ethereum metauniverse game it previously supported, in 2020.

Square Enix president Yosuke Matsuda has also written positively about the potential of NFTs and the future metaverse, a 3D evolution of the internet powered by blockchain. “By developing a viable token economy in our games, we will ensure the autonomous growth of the gameMatsuda wrote in January.

Square Enix’s blockchain initiatives have drawn the ire of longtime fans and casual gamers alike, some of whom have come out strongly against NFTs, citing the environmental impact of certain platforms, fraud and…other issues. However, the Japanese gaming icon appears to be only diving into this space, as confirmed by news from Zebedee.