Square Enix CEO Yosuke Matsuda was recently interviewed in the Nikkei, where he discussed the future of the brand and how it will approach this next half-generation of consoles. NeoGAF user "zeromcd73" has provided us with a translation of all of the major points covered throughout the course of the interview, and there is a lot of really interesting information to digest here. I'll post everything right here, but pay special attention to last few points, and then we'll come back to discuss their implications:
- Talks about extending the life of titles through updates and DLC allowing them to continue selling for longer periods of time (FFXV in this case)
- Notes that releasing titles in Japan than waiting several months to release their titles overseas is not a good business strategy, especially for their story/adventure focused titles and continues to note the importance of worldwide releases
- Smartphone titles in the first half of 2016 did poorly, their motto this year is 'something else as they have to stand out and be different from the competition in order to attract users on phones and not just continue making these games using the same templates as they have before
- Smartphone users aren't just looking for light games anymore, but more hardcore experiences
- Japan/China/North America account for 80% of the smartphone market, so no need for worldwide releases for smartphone titles
- Has an interest in the Middle East/India as a potentially large untapped market for the future
- More announcements to come for FF's 30th anniversary
- Notes that 2017 has Nintendo Switch, Xbox Scorpio, Windows 10 game mode and Google's Tango
- Out of all of these Square Enix is focusing most on Nintendo Switch
Pretty interesting, especially for a developer and publisher known for its cinematic, AAA RPGs. That's not to say, by the way, that the Switch is incapable of playing beautiful, big-budget games, but lately we've associated Square Enix's ambitions with games like Final Fantasy XV, which is capable of making even the PS4 Pro chug at a labored pace.
It's welcome news for Switch owners, though. We're very much looking forward to games like Project Octopath Traveler, which represents an entirely new IP from Square Enix. We're also very open to past games making their way to the console. I for one would rejoice at the version of Final Fantasy VII that made it to PS4 coming to Nintendo Switch. And hey, how about some Crisis Core and Final Fantasy Tactics? Every single classic Final Fantasy game leading up to the PS3 era needs to make its way to the Switch so we can play them any time, anywhere.
And this certainly doesn't mean that Square Enix won't be supporting Project Scorpio. Final Fantasy XV as an Xbox One game will be playable on Microsoft's new console, and we're expecting all of Square Enix's future projects to make their way there as well.
In the meantime, we're holding out for E3 to be an exciting time for both the Switch and for Scorpio. With the Switch out in the wild and Scorpio's specs revealed all that's left are the games. Let's see 'em, Square Enix! Our bodies are ready.