Square Enix President Talks About Their FutureFinding balance between the IPs of old and new.10.22.15 - 11:28 PM
"To spread happiness across the globe by providing unforgettable experiences." That's the current philosophy of Square Enix, according to their 2015 annual report. What they are doing to ensure the continuity of this on the video gaming side has been quite extensive. In the report under "The Way Forward," President Yosuke Matsuda discussed the revitalization of existing Intellectual Property:
"We will revitalize some of our strong IPs in ways that meet the needs of the modern gaming market. For example, we will take an IP developed for earlier generations of game consoles and recreate it for the latest consoles, while also proactively developing versions for play on smart devices."
A statement that older fans may slightly cringe at, especially given the extensive history of re-re-re-remakes for Square Enix games. However this is a business, and businesses need to make money. At the end of March 2015 Square Enix experienced a 49% growth in profit per their financial report from previous statistics. Not many console games were released during that period, but the majority of growth came from their mobile catalog and MMOs (Dragon Quest X, Final Fantasy XIV). From that, Square Enix made it clear that mobile gaming would be the focus going forward, especially with the success of games like Final Fantasy: Record Keeper and Mobius Final Fantasy. For over a decade they have been involved in over 70 mobile games stateside, and nearly 200 nationwide across several platforms.
"We expect games for smart devices and PCs, as well as online games including MMOs, to continue to drive earnings. Moreover, the second half of the fiscal year will see the launch of new HD game titles developed by our European and North American studios. These major franchise titles embody the brand value of the Square Enix Group and continue to occupy a key position in our product portfolio. Moreover, digitization has expanded the lifetime product value of these titles, sustaining sales for a much longer time."
A great deal of intriguing news has happened in 2015 regarding Square Enix's other ventures:
- Project Setsuna — or "The Sorrow of Sacrifice and Snow" — is one of several potential traditional JRPGs being developed under the umbrella of Tokyo RPG Factory (reported to consist of external and freelance developers).
- In the upcoming Paris Games Week, Square Enix is showcasing many of their single player games, along with Nier: New Project and a new announcement from their community driven Collective entity.
- Back in September 2015, a Technical Beta test ensued for Shinra Technologies' cloud gaming service allowing Texas users who had a Verizon FiOS Internet connection to play games like Final Fantasy VII International and Deus Ex: Human Revolution, to function as a stress test.
- Sony Computer Entertainment Europe filed trademarks for "PlayEnglish", while the home office filed "Shinra Game System." Both fell under the categorization of "Computer game software; downloadable application software; downloadable audio and video recordings and media."
- Even though "Amusement" made up 24% of Net Sales, we hope the success of the Dissidia Final Fantasy arcade game generates interest in bringing the experience out West (or at least give us a PS4 version).
- Don't forget the conversation from Square Enix Europe CEO Phil Rogers about crowd-funding for localizing their Japanese games.
One thing is for sure, Square Enix is busy. We just hope that gamers looking for a more "pure" single player experience will still be a deciding factor with the decision making for existing and new IP.