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Author Topic: Squeenix, going forward...  (Read 6539 times)
Eusis
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« Reply #15 on: October 19, 2006, 03:58:50 AM »

The thing is, throwing /all three/ of their biggest franchises on one system, while it wouldn't really surprise me, is counter intuitive to the goal of not allowing there to be one clear winner. I'm sure that if you were to ask the average person which they'd want more, the system with all of the mainline installments to their favorite series, or the system with all the side games, they'd pick the one with the mainline installments. People would just buy that one system, and if they were big fans or simply wanted more enough, they'd get the system with all those side games. Ergo, if they want other systems to dominate, they throw one or two of the mainline games on an opposing system, and balance things out.

Edit: And like noted, at it's core KH3 will be a /kid's game/. Unless they abandon the Disney License and do something entirely different with it, it's a game that doesn't have the hardcore in mind (though it won't alienate them), but is meant to be a fun action RPG that anyone can play. Most likely, a system that's $600 and hogged up by the hardcore initially would not be the ideal system. Might be different in 2 years or so though, and also depends on how much popular it /really/ winds up being.
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salinger
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« Reply #16 on: October 19, 2006, 04:42:51 AM »

that what i said eusis by put a chrono game on the wii (we all accept that chrono is big franchises right?) square not let the ps3 be the absolute winner i think over than 2 milion wil buy the wii for that game ...  chrono
has the ability to become peer with kh or maybe even more if it wil be only wii series\game and really make the game the fans want akira toryima artwork etc ...
ps. someone know how much kh2 sell to date worldwide?
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« Reply #17 on: October 19, 2006, 04:56:06 AM »

Although I would say two years is a good chunk of time to expect the PS3 to become popular, I would say we have at least five years to wait for Kingdom Hearts III to come out, and so by that time, the PS3 may have reached saturation level.
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Hidoshi
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« Reply #18 on: October 19, 2006, 05:00:03 AM »

I hope that was sarcasm. Chrono is perhaps the lowest-priority property Square-Enix has, short of Bahamut Lagoon and other one-shots that we're still waiting on sequels for.

It's true S-E's a big system-seller when it comes to Final Fantasy, but the trend of late has been to diversify. You can talk about "doing it for Japan" all you want, but that's sheer nonsense. A company like S-E has no reason to place vested interest in nationality when it comes to sales. It has to be more concerned as to where its larger fanbase is. There's a reason they have North American offices for distribution after all. Granted there may be a pro-Japan slant at a certain level, but it's hardly the driving force here.

S-E is after money. Go where the money is. If Europe turned into the number one market in the world and only bought Microsoft systems, you can be sure S-E would give Sony the heave-ho. There's no cash in single-system publishing, because business doesn't work one way. Take the DS for instance. By all common sense, the PSP being the more powerful system should outsell the DS, but it doesn't. Why? Because the DS uses a different marketing scheme than the PSP. It isn't concerned about being bigger and better, it's concerned about being different enough, without becoming just a gimmick.

The way I see it, we're going to see S-E diversify even further than before. Where Sony once held stock in Square, it doesn't in S-E, which immediately breaks with the exclusive deals of the past. That's why we saw Crystal Chronicles on the GameCube, KH: Chain of Memories on the GBA, etc. It's going to go more that way, count on it, especially if Wii sales are good. XBox 360? Maybe not. It depends on who the system caters to, and if the market is large enough to warrant distribution. MS hasn't been faring well in Japan due to a heavily North American game library, which simply doesn't appeal to our neighbours across the pond. There's probably a ton of other reasons too, including poor marketing, the fact MS has very little presence outside of the office, and the whole nationalism thing (even if it plays no role for the developer, it certainly might for the consumer).

Will we see FFXIII on a Wii? No. Let's not even go there. The two major components (fuck cellphone games) are going to be PS3 titles and we all know it. Maybe 360? Sure, but that's a huge maybe. What we are going to see is spinoffs and sequels. We're going to see Kingdom Hearts on multiple platforms, for the reasons Eusis said. It makes sense, especially since KH is family friendly and so's the Wii. We're going to see another game like Dirge of Cerebus (or something similar), and yes, it will make use of the Wiimote. Diversification is S-E's pattern at this point, and we can expect more of it. Otherwise that whole slew of FFVII material wouldn't exist. Given the announcement and the same mentality towards product diversification, the next logical step is to get off a single-platform model and go multi-platform.
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Eusis
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« Reply #19 on: October 19, 2006, 05:11:37 AM »

Gast pointed out that FF:CC was being made before the merger happened (and was released shortly afterwards I believe), and the only reason they took that long was because Hiroshi Yamauchi was still in charge, and was still pissed off at Square. What the Enix merger did was trivialize to some degree the sway Sony held over the company, but technically it's still there.
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« Reply #20 on: October 19, 2006, 05:15:37 AM »

Quote from: "Hidoshi"
I hope that was sarcasm. Chrono is perhaps the lowest-priority property Square-Enix has, short of Bahamut Lagoon and other one-shots that we're still waiting on sequels for.


Yeah, I was thinking that too, Dosh...  I mean, Chrono Trigger was a good game, but Chrono Cross was moderately semi-alright to somewhat kinda okay.  Certainly not...  A big name at all.

I'd go out on a limb and say that Parasite Eve was a bigger franchise, simply cause it had TWO PS1 games as opposed to just CC...  :P
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Eusis
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« Reply #21 on: October 19, 2006, 05:21:27 AM »

Oh yeah, as for CT: While significant... It's not significant /enough/ for that. Again, they need something big. It can be a lot of hot air, and they would in fact just throw some of their smaller franchises on the less popular system (IE FM) while focusing strongly on FF, KH, and DQ on one console, but games like that and Chrono are only hundred thousand sellers, a million only by virtue of strong sales across multiple territories.

Admittedly, that throws in tri-Ace: Perhaps they focus on the X360 with SE released games too? I'd say Star Ocean is about as significant as Chrono, maybe a bit more or a bit less.

Oh, and we should probably steer away from expression opinions on CC here: That coudl turn ugly, and quality is not necessary for good sales.
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salinger
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« Reply #22 on: October 19, 2006, 05:37:39 AM »

Hidoshi you have many good points in your post but i wholly feel that i was right when i said that chrono is one of squarenix strong series i mean look chrono trigger sell 2.5 milion in the snes virsion without never publish
in Europe i and chrono cross maybe sell "only" 1.5 milion but that quite good for a game that consider letdown for the fans.. and for a game that as trigger didnt see publish in Europe... i think that "chrono" game without
akira toriyma art is equal to kingdom hearts without disney what it will sell without it ? and the mana series is bigger than chrono in sells when you consider that chrono have only 2 games ? i d'idnt think so ... for a series that without reasonable reason have only 2 really
games that one cheating the fans is sell amazzing well
...
according to wikipdia trigger sell in japan more than 2.36 milions alone! and 290,000 in usa if if it was publish in europe it sure reach 3 milion
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Eusis
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« Reply #23 on: October 19, 2006, 05:55:58 AM »

Quote from: "salinger"
i think that "chrono" game without
akira toriyma art is equal to kingdom hearts without disney what it will sell without it ?

Apparantly 1.5 million, if your figures for Chrono Cross are accurate.
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salinger
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« Reply #24 on: October 19, 2006, 09:57:10 AM »

heheeee Eusis i mean what kigdom hearts wil sell without disney? yea right it lost many of its appeal. cross is sell 1.5 milions and it letdown for the most and without
 pal zones... so to say that chrono series dont have power? you guys are have to be the one to kidding not me... but yes it stil more reasonable that we see a kingdom hearts or kingdom hearts spin off on the wii because it wil hard for square to create a chrono game that didnt disappointed the fans and they probably prefer not touch in the series.
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Professor Gast
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« Reply #25 on: October 19, 2006, 11:42:06 AM »

Quote from: "Eusis"
Gast pointed out that FF:CC was being made before the merger happened (and was released shortly afterwards I believe), and the only reason they took that long was because Hiroshi Yamauchi was still in charge, and was still pissed off at Square. What the Enix merger did was trivialize to some degree the sway Sony held over the company, but technically it's still there.


Eusis: The old Yamauchi was particular pissed off at former Square president Hisashi Suzuki with whom he feuded in the Japanese media for quite some time. During the negotiations between Nintendo and Square back then, the main sticking point was this: Square was only interested in making GameBoy Advance games (read: Final Fantasy ports and remakes), but they had little interest in the GameCube. Hiroshi Yamauchi however apparently insisted on Square making a Final Fantasy game for the GameCube, otherwise they would not get their desired GBA license. Had Square waited a little bit longer until the merger took place, they would have gotten the GBA license by merging with Enix (which back then already had one).

Mark: As mentioned above, Sony Computer Entertainment back then was the number two shareholder of Square, when Square decided to develop a Final Fantasy game for the GameCube. Apparently Ken Kutaragi, who was abroad when the announcement was made, was furious and Square's management had to come to Aoyama and explain themselves at SCE headquarters. My point is simple: SCE never was in a position to force Square's management to do this or that, even during a time when SCE held a significant stake in Square. This investment by the way, was made following a request by Square itself. The decision to bring the majority of their RPGs to PlayStation and then PlayStation 2 was a business decision made by Square, which obviously made perfect sense, given the two systems' sucess.

Salinger: I agree with you, Chrono Cross is a great game, but there are a couple of things to keep in mind, when thinking about it:

1. The development team that worked on Chrono Cross has become Square Enix's online gaming division. They have made Final Fantasy XI and now work on the untitled next-gen MMORPG. Chrono Cross' director Masato Katou left Square Enix after working on Final Fantasy XI. He has since returned, but now seems to focus on the Seiken Densetsu series.

2. By today's standards, Chrono Cross' sales look perfectly fine, given that the game was only released in Japan and North America. However  Square back then (during the PlayStation era) expected a AAA title like Chrono Cross to sell one million copies in Japan alone. In particular, if you keep in mind that we are talking about a follow-up to the most successful non-Final Fantasy title in Square's history in Japan, Chrono Trigger. So, Square's management probably was not too impressed by Chrono Cross' sales (given the high development costs).

3. Chrono Trigger was released in 1995, Chrono Cross followed in 1999 (Japanese release dates). Kingdom Hearts on the other hand debuted in March 2002, followed by Kingdom Hearts Chain of Memories in 2004 and Kingdom Hearts II in December 2005. Apart from the more impressive sales performance, your average gamer is more likely to know about Kingdom Hearts than about the Chrono series. Thanks in part to the cooperation with Disney, Kingdom Hearts' brand awareness is just very high and it has become Square Enix's third major franchise behind Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest. So odds are they will make Kingdom Hearts III rather than say, Chrono Brake or Parasite Eve III.

Last but not least, I would like to comment on Square Enix's platform choices: I also don't think PlayStation 3 will get all three flagship series. Either Dragon Quest IX or the new Kingdom Hearts game (or may be both) will end up on the Wii. In addition to Final Fantasy XIII, Final Fantasy Versus XIII and one version of the multiplatform next-gen MMORPG, Front Mission VI and a new Compilation of Final Fantasy VII might be in store for PlayStation 3. However, if you think about their production values, visuals and (at least in case of Seiken Densetsu) focus on more action-oriented gameplay, I would not be surprised to see Hanjuku Hero, Seiken Densetsu and SaGa on the Wii.
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« Reply #26 on: October 20, 2006, 12:06:32 AM »

1. gast i know the history of the chrono team and that most of it establish monolith soft i only want to say something on kato that i want to say long ago i dont him to be the only one to write the story at least not all by himself that guy done superb job on the plot and twists of cross but the characters was on of the worse as we all know ... this guy not was the so genius behind trigger as square want us believed nor it was "the dream team" kato as it seems from interview hated trigger from the button of heart i can to understand him square treat him awful bad at the time they

devlop trigger didnt give him freedom with the story insert parts he didnt want.. he once tell that each day he fear to wake up for work becuase square ruin what he write yesterday and so he come to the work the fast he can to defend what remain...square are diablo indeed. with all that said he cant wirte the story all alone this to much for him he need Kitase to help him as in trigger
 those two are the mind behind trigger not just kato..

2. square maybe expect aaa sales from cross but they didnt made the story in the level of depth the fans want and throw akira toriyma from the window that after make us all to think that he returm to do cross art remember the site with trigger artwork in them before cross was out?
maybe they not use him becuase kato phobia from trigger or because he work about dq7 at the time but if so they didnt was need to expect aaa sells if i was square manager i was know that.... and you right kingdom hearts is
bigger than "chrono" but chrono is stiil stronger than anything else there and i hope square didnt forget that

ps. high cost to devlop ? that game was done in year and half and tnaka once said it was easy to devloper becuase square team expert in the ps1 hardware maybe the biggest thing about money was to hire Mitsuda but that about it
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Hidoshi
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« Reply #27 on: October 20, 2006, 03:03:13 AM »

What you may not be clear on regarding Cross' sales:

1.5 million at the time of Cross' release is every bit as good as its predecessor's sales. Why? Because the market was and still is shrinking in Japan. There are lower profit margins, which has been an increasing trend of Japanese sales.

Further, how can you say Chrono anything is a strong S-E property if there's been no release of it in years? There's a whole generation of gamers who have little to no idea what Chrono Trigger is. They're the 15-16 year olds who got into RPGs with FFX, or something similar. They may have heard the CT name before, but they associate nothing with it. While the older generation does remember it, it's fading from our perspective as a relevant property. Why? Because it's inactive. Chrono Cross failed to deliver as a title, even if it did succeed financially. There was too little reference even in spirit to its predecessor. In many ways, Cross was less of a sequel, and more a wholly new title wrapped in the shroud of Trigger.

"Chrono" as a property is dead, face it.

In regards to "Cross" as a spiritual successor to Trigger. It isn't Toriyama's involvement that changed a thing. You could probably have thrown Amano or Nomura and you'd get a similar product. The problem was that it was too complex. It didn't fail to deliver a strong story, it failed to deliver the right story. Trigger was simple, straightforward, and didn't wallow in philosophical tangents like Cross did. It was very much a hand-crafted adventure, and had all the right elements to make it a classic because it didn't require a specialised pallet to enjoy. Cross on the other hand asks you to dig through the quagmire that is its story. FATE this, time that, weird crayon worlds where clowns walk on the walls? Unnecessary. If you're going to make a game like that, make a new series. But Square didn't go that route. It ceased to be a handcrafted game and became an over-lavished product of corporation.

Maybe I'm romanticising the whole issue, but that's how I see it.
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Eusis
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« Reply #28 on: October 20, 2006, 03:13:47 AM »

I should note that series long thought dead, and inactive for longer periods than Chrono, HAVE made a comeback, namely Metroid, Ninja Gaiden, and Doom. While seemingly improbable, the only way it can be guaranteed dead is if SE flat out dies, and no one grabs the property. And I'm not touching spiritual/unofficial sequels here.

Nevertheless, the point's been made: It's not strong enough of a name to use  as an example of giving strong support to all consoles. If they do bring it back, it'll be alongside a stronger property, like one of the big three, or even a new one with remarkable success.

And man, it's hard to tell what you mean. When I replied above, I thought you didn't realize Toriyama didn't do the artwork for CC. :P
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Professor Gast
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« Reply #29 on: October 20, 2006, 04:03:38 AM »

Mark: You are right, the market has begun to shrink during the PlayStation years. But Square was still used to sell a million copies or more of its AAA (and some AA) games back then. Otherwise, Final Fantasy Tactics, SaGa Frontier, Chocobo's Mysterious Dungeon, Parasite Eve all would not have sold one million or more copies. Even the target of everybody's love and hate, Xenogears sold close to one million copies in Japan (while failing to be very successful in the US, though). What I'm trying to say here is simple: Square Enix (Square) has always been about profitability and this trend has increased in recent years. With the possible exception of Koei, there are few game companies that are more profitable than Square Enix, and they look at ways to keep that profitability on its high level. The easiest way to do that is make new installments of Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest or Kingdom Hearts or develop/port games for/to a handheld platform with a big installment base
and low development costs (read: GBA and now DS). Since Cross did not manage to get past the one million mark, a new Chrono game after seven years is unlikely to do the trick.

Eusis: Well observed. Square Enix too decided to bring back Hanjuku Hero after almost a decade a few years back.

Salinger: Tetsuya Takahashi and the people who left Square to found Monolith in 1999, were working on Xenogears and then left the company (Monolith Soft was already founded in 1999). Some of them have been involved in Chrono Trigger but not in such major roles (directors, producer etc.). And sorry, the fairy tale that  "most of them" left the company to found Monolith Soft is not true, as producer Hiromichi Tanaka or the main programmers (the majority of the team, in fact) are still working for Square Enix. Given his involvement in the series, Katou is rightly generally considered its mastermind. It goes without saying, though, that Yoshinori Kitase and Takashi Tokita who served as directors back then obviously contributed their share as well.

Of course, Square knew the PlayStation platform well by then. That being said, this has little to do with actual development costs. If you have a huge development team working on such a high profile game like Chrono Cross for 1.5 to 2 years (which was not short, but normal back then), then the development costs are high.

And sorry, I have no idea what site you are talking about, but that there was Chrono Trigger artwork by Toriyama appearing on websites back then for a reason: A few months before Chrono Cross, Square had released a PlayStation version of Chrono Trigger. That's all. As for Chrono Cross not being deep enough, I don't even know what to reply to that.

And seriously, I don't know your sources, but do you seriously believe a company likes Square gives a damn about fanboys on message boards complaining about Katou? They probably couldn't care less. Besides, Katou never touched the Dragon Quest series. He worked on Final Fantasy VII, Xenogears, Chrono Cross and then Final Fantasy XI from 1996/1997 until 2002 for Square.
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