Square Enix hit a rough patch this year, posting “extraordinary losses” in its financials and changing CEOs in the process. Former CEO and President Yoichi Wada has been officially replaced by voter-approved candidate, Yosuke Matsuda, who also led the company on an interim basis, and he recently stated his vision of “change” for the company.
From his wording, it sounds very much like Matuda will be more heavily involved in the social and mobile gaming network, but also seems to want a constant flow of revenue from DLC.
“Up until now, the profit of home-console games have been decided by price x number [sold]. Development and and sales were divided, and the game developers only needed to concentrate on their work. That’s where the strengths of our company laid within.
At the very beginning, the game business started out with ‘how can we get people to insert coins’. Afterwards, consoles became popular, and our company grew as game design and billing [methods] were divided. Presently, online games are prosperous, which again, has the theme of ‘how can we charge the people,’ as developers and sales have become inseparable.”
In addition to laying out the company’s new plans, Matsuda also took the time to introduce himself and his history with the company. He went on to explain that his “number one [memory] is the merger between Enix and Square,” which myself and a lot of other Square and Enix fans have contention with as it marks a time when the two seemed to lose their motivation in pushing their libraries forward without the other to compete against.
Aside from that, Matsuda still dug at Square Enix’s rich legacy and history and pointed towards it as a sign of hope and inspiration.
“The DNA of providing high-quality content is in us. We will continue to honor this, while changing what needs to be changed. I am convinced we can make this drastic change into a chance of opportunity.”
How about it? Is Square Enix about to make a turn down a path that takes it even further from is legacy, making quick dollars through micro-transactions and mobile games, or will the long history of the company prevail in the end, allowing it to reclaim its role as the leader of quality JRPGs throughout the world?
Do the two even have to be mutually exclusive? Can the future of JRPGs and Square Enix rest in the social and mobile gaming scene, and is the giant just getting a head start? JRPGs, by and large, have already migrated to Nintendo and Sony handhelds. What’s to stop them from going to smartphones and tablets?