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Author Topic: Squeenix, going forward...  (Read 6295 times)
Evil Gately
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« on: October 18, 2006, 05:24:32 PM »

Dunno how many of you read this, I didn't remember spotting anything related in any of the 'Fan's E3 coverage earlier this year or in any threads (but then again, I was moving around this time!), but looking at some of the Wii build-up on Gamespot, I found this article regarding Square-Enix's plans for the future:

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Before the PlayStation 2 launched in 2001, Square Enix shares on the Tokyo Stock Exchange were trading for about 2,000 yen (about $17.07). The stock has had its ups and downs over the last five years, but these days it's trading for about 3,000 yen (about $25.61). Clearly a generation of Sony domination on the console gaming front--one in which Square Enix devoted its biggest games to the PS2--hasn't treated the publisher too harshly. But according to a company official, Square Enix wants the console wars to shake out a little differently this time around.

In a Wall Street Journal article about Sony's new system, Square Enix senior vice president Michihiro Sasaki told the paper, "We don't want the PlayStation 3 to be the overwhelming loser, so we want to support them. But we don't want them to be the overwhelming winner either, so we can't support them too much."

The article also says that Square Enix is planning to support Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo's consoles more evenly than it did in the last generation, having already committed two games to each system so far (Final Fantasy XI and Project Sylpheed for the Xbox 360, Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: The Crystal Bearers and Dragon Quest Swords: The Masked Queen and the Tower of Mirrors for the Wii, and Final Fantasy XIII and Final Fantasy Versus XIII for the PS3).

And while Sony's system will still be home to the latest proper installments in the Final Fantasy franchise, the Wall Street Journal reports that Square Enix "hasn't yet decided" which console will play host to the Kingdom Hearts series going forward.


I find the most interesting part of this to be the comment about Square-Enix not wanting the PS3 to be the runaway "winner" of the next generation of console wars. Combine this with the fact that the platform of the future of the Kingdom Hearts series was still under discussion at that point, I see that as yet another indication that developers as a rule appear to be shying away from Sony's new beast, somewhat.

I recently wrote a post on another gaming forum, thinking back to the launches of the Saturn and the PSX. Back then, it was Sega relying on brand loyalty to carry it into that particular generation, just as Sony seem to be doing now. And again, the people who make the games are voting with their feet, to the point where some of them are saying that they won't release anything for the machine until 2008 because it's simply too much of a pig to program for at the moment.

Lack of 3rd party support was what killed the Saturn, and Sega as a console manufacturer, and it can do the same to Sony, too. At the moment, I think Sony are feeling a little burned at the relative performance differences between Nintendo's DS and their own (technically) vastly superior PSP. There are lessons to be learned there, but Sony are ploughing ahead with hardware delays, high price tags and high dev costs.

And when a voice that has had no small part to play in a company's success starts saying they want to diverge their interests and play the field a little more, you have to start thinking there may be something to it!
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Losfer
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« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2006, 05:38:46 PM »

Sounds good to me.  I don't plan on getting a PS3, so if Squeenix is gonna develop a bit more for, let's say, Nintendo, win for Richard.

Not that I am saying that I want Sony to fail, cause I love my PS1 and PS2 games to death.  Especially my RPGs.  But Sony's just doing too much lately that I don't like.

Anyway, I'd like to see Square and co move around a bit more.  Having the majority of everything on one system is kinda crap imo.
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TurnBasedDude
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« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2006, 05:47:09 PM »

Quite an interesting article and good comments on your part. It is nice how Square-Enix is giving fair support to all of the consoles including the 360 which I find it welcoming though I don't own one (yet). Xbox was good, but a lack of Japanese titles (especially RPG's) is what made it the least appealing out of the three in my opinion (and did not like Morrowind very much)

Bit surprised even SquareEnix has it's doubts on the PS3 thinking they might lose this war, though they still are giving good support to it as well as the others.

It goes to show new super technology doe's not automatically lead to victory. It really comes down to the games followed by good and simple functionality of the console (or handheld). Technically Xbox 360 may not be as powerful as the PS3 (Or maybe not much different now, need to see specs again), but very strong use of it's xbox live along with a lot of other nice features, it really is a step in the right direction (again, not much appealing games, but it's getting there)

Best of luck to the three this generation.
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« Reply #3 on: October 18, 2006, 08:36:32 PM »

Hm....
I frequent a private messageboard for game industry folks only.  And several posters are working in japan in a studio which works closely with SE(I won't name it) and a few other big flyers in japan.  Word on the grapevine in their office they said is SE is going multiplatform for FF13, which IMHO makes sense, lots of people are doubting the ps3's long term success, and the costs to make a game like ff13 is expensive, releasing it exclusively on a system with an uncertain future could mean lots of money lost.   Could be SE is playing it safe.
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« Reply #4 on: October 18, 2006, 09:51:38 PM »

Logick you mean you are a guy that work in the  industry? let me have doubt in you.... and what you said is very unreality 1.
first the xbox360 maybe have the power to run ff13 that true but square-enix wil never put
a main ff game on more than one console not in the same generation at least. it wil make the series seems cheap to the wide public eye and square never allow that trust me.
2. square is after all japan company and as such have interest that japan company would rule the industry even with what they said in the article ...
3. the wii is not powerful to run ff13 so it can't be be multiplatform game.
4. sony stil has (very small ) part in square i don't sure if it can  stop the game be nultiplatform but it sure didnt help to it be
p.s i wish it can be true but i realistic
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Dincrest
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« Reply #5 on: October 18, 2006, 10:48:15 PM »

I've known Logick for a while, and he's the real deal.  And remember, the video game business is just that- a business.  And if multi-platforming can put the game into more peoples' hands then that's more money the company can make.  And I don't know what SE's current financial numbers and profit margins are, but they're probably less/lower than we think.  

But, yes, the varying power of the consoles could be an issue.  After all, the Wii is much less powerful than the PS3.  But since SE does have a publishing deal with Nintendo as well as Sony, I wouldn't be surprised is some kind of FF games hits the Wii.
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« Reply #6 on: October 18, 2006, 11:41:45 PM »

well salinger, remember this:
1. SE is a business, money is very important to them, if a system they are developing on is a failure, they're not gonna continue making exclusives for them.  They also released FFVII, FVIII, FFXI multiplatform and close to each other(relatively).

2. ten years ago that was the case yes, but things have changed, japan is no longer the #1 game buying market, japanese game developers need to look at other markets to insure profit, even hiring talent from other countries(like my friends) to insure new ideas(look in the credit for many Japanese games you will see western, chinese, and korean names mixed into the japanese teams now).  If these markets don't have japanese hardware in the lead, it would be plain suicide to ignore it.  Look at konami many of their games come out in the US first, same with tecmo, capcom, etc.  Japanese companies are looking at US studios to make games also.  My new work place is a newly opened US studio from a japanese company.  Times are changing.(as a side note, the ps1's processor made in the US, the N64, PSP, GC, and wii also made in the US, hardly japanese systems)

3.  You are correct, remember FF13 is going to be several games, 2 ps3 and one cell phone so far.  A wii game might be a possibilty, SE is supporting the wii.    

4.  Actually after the enix thing, they no longer do, first sign was the 360 version of FFXI.
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« Reply #7 on: October 18, 2006, 11:54:22 PM »

Logick im soory if i hurt you or something i really not meant to but you can guess why ... i hope :)
Dincrest i got your spot but i think that squarenix now more than ever is the underground force that rule the video game industry i will try to explain that view. in the ps1 era that console win because ff7 it make the evreyone to buy it and by the way force the other big japan company's as konami and namco to devlop for it cause they want the japan gamers to play the games they made. that process himself impact the amarican

devlopers to move for the ps becuase they go to where the big one goes
ea is maybe the richest but they devlop theirs main games to everyone and so not have so much impact as square. that process repeat in the gen of the ps2 and wil in the next. now more than ever that ff is worldwide hit and make milions to chose the console.
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salinger
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« Reply #8 on: October 19, 2006, 12:21:57 AM »

1. money is important to them that true but if they hurt the name of the ff series they in a big prob and they not wil make that also the point is that the square games are the ones that wil "force" other one to devlop for the ps3 as it did in the ps2 era i belive for exmpale that if square wil back the main ff to nintendo console it wil force all the other to devlop games for it cause milions are buy it.

2. it all true but i stil think that as japan developr hideo kojima and the others want the japans gamers to play theirs games and so wil go to where square go cause it mean most of the japans

3. i was think we talk about a main game those side games with all the respect not mean nothing and ff7 and ff8 come to other platforms only after they sell milions of milions on the ps and to computer!! not other console in the gen as n64 or dreamcast. they can make side game for xbox360 and call it "final fantasy: crystal gates" but they not devlop the main for it.
4. yea i think you right here
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Alexander
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« Reply #9 on: October 19, 2006, 12:30:44 AM »

Squeenix (Sqauresoft in those days) broke ties with Nintendo a looong time ago, I see no reason why they wouldn't bring their business to a different flavor of console today.
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« Reply #10 on: October 19, 2006, 01:09:02 AM »

Apparently, every single game that was going to be on PS3 is going multiplatform, according to somebody's friend's brother's cousin's girlfriend's former roommate's boyfriend. It seems that kicking on Sony just because of the price, then quoting some phantom source to claim that a triple-A franchise is going multiplatform despite no official claims, and no real examination of the facts (the XBox 360 is not a popular system in Japan, despite their attempts to rectify that) has become the status quo. I think lots of people just don't want to admit that the games that they want to play are going to the PS3.
We get people bitching about the price at my work while they shuffle through the tracklist on their iPod, while browsing the internet on their cell phones. Cool stuff is always expensive. Is $600 nothing? Of course not. But thats the price that they have set. If you don't want one, don't get one. And the odds are very good that you won't be playing Final Fantasy XIII, or Kingdom Hearts III (whenever it comes out).
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« Reply #11 on: October 19, 2006, 01:29:03 AM »

I actually see it as very likely that KH3 will wind up on the Wii over the PS3. That's a more family-oriented console, and I imagine that their overall target audience is more likely to own a Wii than a PS3. Plus, what better way to solidify the 'no overwhelming winner' goal than having two of their most profitable overall series on opposing consoles? They could totally fulfill this by having Dragon Quest on the X360, but while that might just be what is needed to actually make the system take off in Japan, I don't see it likely. They'll probably just use the X360 for their more Western-styled games and letting smaller developers like GameArts mess around with it. FFXIII I don't really see as being multi-platform for no other reason than Square used that series as the pinnacle of gaming graphics, and they're likely to stick with the most popular/powerful system for that purpose.

I'll note that EA's going to have more sway on a whole, but I think Square's japanese influence and the fact they're a major US company means that what they decide /will/ be influential to the industry. Ultimately though, I think their effect in the US is more or less sealed, unless they can get some good spin offs beyond Crystal Chronicles on the Wii.

Sony owning stock in SE's irrelevant by the way - I'm sure they'll have some say, but they won't have absolute control over the company, and so SE can just do what they want. Plus their percentage of stock hold halved when Enix bought/merged with them. And yes, Square /will/ care about the US market, and they have for over half a decade. Want a good example? Look at the art style of FFVII, then FFVIII. A more realistic design meant to appeal to American gamers more while not alienating the original japanese audience.
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Professor Gast
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« Reply #12 on: October 19, 2006, 01:54:45 AM »

Sony Computer Entertainment might have had some sway due to being brought in as the number 2 shareholder back then by Square. However already back then they could not prevent Square from developing Crystal Chronicles for the GameCube. After the merger created Square Enix, Sony Computer Entertainment is still the company's third largest shareholder, but their 8% stake does not allow them to do a lot obviously, in particular not influence Square Enix's business decision.

As for the interview, what Sasaki said is a rather logical step to take. Think about it this way: The Wii will most likely be way more successful than the GameCube, the 360 will remain the console with the biggest installed hardware base in the US for quite some time, so ignoring those two consoles would be foolish.

Now, I don't see Square Enix going multiplatform with particular titles, other than their next-gen MMORPG and other online games. Sure, they will continue to support the DS in a big way, certain Final Fantasy XIII spinoffs might appear on the Wii, and potentially even Dragon Quest IX. As somebody pointed out, they will definitely bring some games geared towards western markets to the 360. That being said, I just don't see that Square Enix or the majority of the other major Japanese third party publishers now will start to emulate their western counterparts into going multiplatform in a big way (I'm of course aware that Winning Eleven of several Sega franchises are already multiplatform). They don't have the human resources and I dare to doubt that Square Enix would outsource the porting of a such a major title like Final Fantasy XIII.

Also despite all the bashing that has gone on, PlayStation 3 still has solid third party support and a reasonable amount of exclusives (at least from Japan, exclusives from European and US publishers are basically gone anyways), if you ask me. If you look at Enterbrain's (parent company of Famitsuu whose president has been rather impartial to the next-gen race) recent forecast, PlayStation 3 will trail the Wii until 2007 and then overtake it in late 2007. Just because the third party publishers don't support PlayStation 3 in such an impressive way as PlayStation 2, doesn't mean the system is bound to fail. Even if a lot of people do hope so, it can't be in the industry's interest to see it fail, that's something Sasaki mentioned as well, by the way.
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« Reply #13 on: October 19, 2006, 02:24:10 AM »

You expressed it far more pointedly than I ever could, Gast. Thanks.
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« Reply #14 on: October 19, 2006, 03:42:01 AM »

Gast said what i mean better too but it quite obvious we won't see ff13 on the xbox360 sad fact but there noting we can do. but hey that situation give us a (minor) hope for a new chrono game until now square didnt need a new chrono game the hope for a new chrono game for the ps2 was alone a reason to buy it for chrono series fan (i buy it for it i admit)
now square can make it for one of the consoles the wii in particular see it
ps3 get- dragon quest ix and ff13 and other inclose kingdom hearts 3
xbox- online games the crap that gast noted
wii- crystal bla bla and a new chrono
the chrono series trademark of new gameplay and risk fits the wii theme and if squarenix really want to do well on that console it will use chrono it
game that if wil make according what the fans wants can reach a sell of over 2 milions the chance is bigger becuase chrono trigger sure be offer for download in the wii service
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