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Square Enix To Reform, Focus On Region-Specific Titles & Good Communication

Author:
Jonathan Lester
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News
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Square Enix

Square Enix To Reform, Focus On Region-Specific Titles & Good Communication

Following a crushing financial report that saw the likes of Tomb Raider branded as commercial failures, Square Enix has identified some key areas in which they can improve.

Step one: Talk to customers more. Step two: produce new mobile games rather than insanely expensive ports of ancient IP. Step three: focus on region-specific titles rather than trying to please everyone with everything.

Step five: profit? More below.

A new shareholder report (translated PDF here) suggests that making customers wait for enormous lengths of time between titles is hurting their relationship with consumers. Square Enix will therefore attempt to engage fans as much as possible with plenty of regular development updates, which should hopefully improve brand loyalty.

“One could go as far as to say that in today’s times, making customers wait for years with little to no information is being dishonest to them. We’re no longer in an age where customers are left in the dark until a product is completed. We need to shift to a businessmodel where we frequently interact with our customers for our products that are in‐development and/or prior to being sold, have our customers understand games under development, and finally make sure we develop games that meet their expectations.”

Personally, I feel that their smartest move is to "construct a product portfolio tailored to consumer tastes in respective served regions," which boils down to 'horses for courses.' This approach should allow JPRGs to continue pleasing their "niche" audience without being hopelessly homogenised (see also: FFXIII), while still supplying some quality titles for Western audiences.

Elsewhere, Square Enix also pledged to develop brand new games for phones and tablets, designed to deserve earn their whopping price tags. Considering that you can currently spend the best part of £15 on a Final Fantasy III port, this can only be a good thing.

I would have liked to see them admitting that their outrageous, insane budgets for AAA titles had landed them with an "extraordinary loss," but hey, the shareholders don't need to know that. Even if everyone else on the internet does.

Add a comment6 comments
Breadster  May. 28, 2013 at 13:30

Are JRPG's really niche? Isn't Final Fantasy one of the biggest game series' ever?

Just hurry up and remake FF7 already. Surely if they plan on listening to consumers more, they're going to hear that a lot.

Tsung  May. 29, 2013 at 07:49

I thought they did a tart up job on FF7 for the PC then made the stupid decision to release it on their own store only.
"How shall we release this game? should we use the steam game platform which has access to millions of gamers willing to part with their money or create our own store that no-one has heard off?". Whoever made that call should be fired first.

Breadster  May. 29, 2013 at 13:17

Yeah that wasn't really a remake though, it just had a couple of new features like cloud saves and achievements. I want to see a huge blockbuster remake with ridiculously good graphics. I do worry that they'd just mess it up in some way though.

Late  May. 29, 2013 at 14:47

Step one: Talk to customers more.
It's not a difficult conversation. 99% of them (us) are clamouring for FFVII.
Make it happen.

Step two: produce new mobile games rather than insanely expensive ports of ancient IP.
Given the prices of your current mobile games, don't bother. I love a bit of retro FF, but I ain't paying £10-£15 for it. You could at least give a trial version, to hook people, but no - it's pay £15 blindly or walk away. I'll go with the latter option, thanks.

Step three: focus on region-specific titles rather than trying to please everyone with everything.
Not sure about that one, either, tbh.
Game development costs are high. Translating games is presumably a tiny element of that. And aside from language translations, I don't think there's much more tailoring required from region to region.
I imagine those in Asia are perfectly happy with the look and feel of Squeenix' Western titles such as Tomb Raider and Hitman. Equally, folk in America and Europe are happy with the look and feel of the company's more Eastern-oriented (if that's a pun it's unintentional) titles.

Step four...?
Ummm. What's step four?... :p

Step five: profit?
Canny idea, tbh! Should be sorted by making FF7.

JonLester  May. 29, 2013 at 14:53

Heh, I purposefully left step four out - partly because it's a South Park reference, but also because SE have to actually DO IT. ;)

Breadster  May. 29, 2013 at 17:39

I just wish Japanese companies would make Japanese games. When they try and make western style games it just doesn't feel right, leave it to the western developers. I love the quirkiness of Japanese games and there seems to be less and less of it these days. That's probably one of the reasons I love Platinum so much, most of their games are just bonkers and that's great, it's what they do best.

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