Square Enix' latest financial report has raised eyebrows right off our faces, in that it details a somewhat controversial new gameplan. Going forward, the publisher intends to massively ramp up their freemium and mobile offerings, and shift their "overseas studios" to developing online games.
Studios like Eidos Montreal and Crystal Dynamics, perhaps?
Discussing their new strategy in terms of "strategic changes in the digital entertainment business," Square laid down three basic ground rules.
Square cited the recently-revealed Nosgoth as an example of an "online-based," title, and went as far to suggest that their one-off purchases should be shifted into "online-type" titles with a freemium or variable earning business model. It's very on-trend right now, dahling.
Domestic studios are also going to be tasked with bringing ports and sequels to mobile devices, such as Dragon Quest X to iOS.
It's important to note that we actually love the free to play model, multiplayer games and the mobile market. God knows there have been plenty of success stories over the last few years, and there's nowhere to go but up. But as someone who's always looked to Square Enix for satisfying singleplayer and unforgettible storylines , a part of me can't help but wonder whether this is possibly a knee-jerk reaction to the meagre earnings they've made due to spiralling development costs and runaway budgets. Also, it's probably worth noting that many of Square's mobile games have been utter toss (see also: Final Fantasy: All The Bravest).
We'll see what happens once Thief and the next Deus Ex title hit shelves, the former of which is slated for early next year. If Square has actually budgeted and projected properly this time, hopefully we'll see them supporting both traditional boxed retail alongside mobile and online games - and make some money to boot.