Ever since the leadership change at Square Enix that saw Yosuke Matsuda take over at CEO, the company has been put back on the fast path to get into the JRPG genre. Not since the Square-Enix merger has the company been more flush with the JRPG titles, and that is because the process of getting games green-lit has become a bit easier.
From the best sellers like Final Fantasy XV to classic revivals like Star Ocean and even original franchises such as I Am Setsuna, it’s never been easier for producers to convince the brass that their game deserves to get made. Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness producer Shuichi Kobayashi recently described the new process in a sit down with Siliconera.
When the president changed from Wada-san to Matsuda-san, the approval process for creating new projects has changed too. When Wada-san was the president, everyone in the executive committee needed to agree to start a new project. When we changed to Matsuda-san, we created the business divisions and all of the approval processes will go from division to division so it’s become a lot speedier.
The approval process you have to go through became shorter too. It’s not that everything gets approved now, but because it’s faster it shortens the time to get approval. The idea behind this kind of process is at Square Enix as a company we want to push out more titles at a faster speed. That is why it has become easier to do this.
Even with this new process it doesn’t mean everything will get approved what came with this change in the approval process is a lot of responsibility. Whether you succeed or not, you have so much more responsibility now than before. We have to create something fun and something that will sell. That’s where each producer decides if they want to create a new IP (intellectual property) or if they want to use a previous IP to create something new.
But, we all have to think about creating something fun. If we succeed with Star Ocean: Integrity & Faithlessness then I will think about what I can do with Star Ocean next, but if I fail then I might have to think about what other titles I might be able to do. Each of the producers at our company are now thinking about what is fun to play with and what would be a good seller. When I was looking at the titles I could do, Star Ocean was the one I really wanted to work on and that is why I did Star Ocean this time.
Yeah, about that last part…
Still, it’s nice to see Square Enix digging around in its treasure box and digging up old franchises. Mana, SaGa, Star Ocean, and the rest could work in the modern world just as long as they get the right pitch from the right developer.
Which classic Square Enix series do you think deserves a new chance?