Square Enix Has “Aggressive Plans” For The West

In a recent conference call for investors, Square Enix CEO Yosuke Matsuda expressed his company's intentions for new releases in the West going forward and acknowledged that 'Games as a Service' could be the newest mainstream model for gaming.

Square Enix Has "Aggressive Plans" For The West
According to recently released transcripts from Square Enix's latest quarterly conference for investors, the publisher has big plans for North America and Europe, including an aim to "aggressively roll out both catalog and new titles to the Western markets going forward.”

Essentially, Square Enix plans to enhance digital sales by updating and integrating its own sales websites. This includes the development of an app version to “create a design that provides our customers with a seamless, user-friendly means of making purchases.” Additionally, “Multi Platform Utilization” will be a focus, something in which CEO Yosuke Matsuda mentioned was “the concept of essentially providing our contents on all of our platforms.”

He expressed the intention to design games able to generate recurring revenue streams in the future, saying, "Titles that have become global hits recently have tended to be offered via the 'Games as a Service' model, and we believe this is going to be the mainstream model for gaming in the future. In developing future titles, we will approach game design with a mind to generate recurring revenue streams.”

Though no new use on Final Fantasy VII Remake and Kingdom Hearts 3 were given, the common misconception is that each will release by 2020 at the earliest. Though this could very well be possible, when Matsuda displayed the slide featured below, he explained that the games marked “FY2018/3 and beyond” will be launched “in the next three years or so", meaning each could easily come much earlier than in three years.

The slide also includes the recently announced Marvel IP license, which is realistically within a three year time frame, since it will be revealed next year.

What do you think of Square Enix's approach? Let us know in the comments below!


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    Kill me now. The one company I always believe in and it’s games are going to be behind a pay wall. Kill me now.

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      Well, this doesn’t necessarily mean that content will be hidden behind a traditional paywall for sure. My interpretation is somewhere along the lines of how they’re handling Final Fantasy XV. Sure, there’s plenty of things to be bought to supplement the base game, but the standalone retail release is enough incentive to buy the game from the get-go. I just hope this is how they’ll maintain this model in the future.

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        I hate that. So basically, its a matter of taking a full game, finding detachable parts and removing them from the game, to be offered up as DLC. Basically, developers have hated that prices have remained at $60, so now, to get the full experience of a game, we will be buying the “minimum install base game” at $60, then pay more if we want more.



        Example of FFXV: $60 for base game, plus $25 for season pass, plus Kingsglaive movie (anywhere from $3 to rent, to $20 for full purchase). And if we somehow want a few extra bits, then some more.



        Basically, Square-Enix wants us to pay $100+ for their big games now. And in some ways, its hard to fault them with their 5-8 year development cycle of their biggest console franchises.

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        To your last point, development cycles and the cost associated with them aren’t even the last of publishers’ worries nowadays. Generally speaking, the cost of games hasn’t gone up in years and hasn’t coincided with the rise of costs associated with inflation. Practically, from a profit-motive perspective, it doesn’t make sense to produce games/product that won’t accrue a substantial return – otherwise, publishers simply wouldn’t exist.



        I get your point these practices aren’t too favorable in the eyes of the consumer, but either we stick with this service model as the way it is or raise the price of standard editions of games across the board.

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        Then they should just come out and say it: this game will cost $90.



        Because if they are giving us unfinished games at $60, that will eventually be their downfall. Hardcore gamers will understand and follow suit, and pay for the DLC, but most people won’t, and they’ll end up with a worse experience that will likely influence future sales of a franchise, which in turn leads to the company making more and more DLC, sucking up as much as possible from their hardcore audience, until even they can’t stand it.



        I guess they just have to be more careful. Make the $60 game a full, complete experience, and THEN you can add to it. Look at games like Witcher 3 and Zelda BotW, or Persona 5 and Horizon Zero Dawn. These are all complete games at $60, that still have DLC. But the base game experience is phenomenal.



        I guess I’m just very heavily influenced by the scammy tactics of FFXV missing story pieces from the game, and Square Enix’s obvious focus on their precious, service-focused MMO.

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        Again, I can definitely see where you’re coming from in each case. Given that each game (FFXIV and FFXV) could have had disastrous financial implications for the company if they didn’t make some smart decisions during development (or re-development) to turn things around, you have to give Square some credit: they managed to get what could have destroyed them and made it into something that benefited them in the long run.



        At the end of the day, the dichotomy between art and business will always exist, no matter what medium you’re interested in. It’s the job of companies to find the middle ground that benefits shareholders and consumers, and our job as fans to acknowledge that unfortunately, very little in the world of gaming exists without money.

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        “these practices aren’t too favorable in the eyes of the consumer” – No… these practices are HATED by consumers. People like to feel as though they are getting their money’s worth. Breaking a completed game into DLC or a subscription model is symptomatic of greedy publishers… and gamers usually wont tolerate it. Don’t believe me? Just look to the spectacular failed triple A budget games of recent times, and compare them to games like Witcher 3. The differences are stark. Witcher 3 was a very well crafted, and complete, game. The company refused to sacrifice quality for greed… and so were rewarded for good development practices.

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        I can see your point, but argue that Witcher 3 had a lot of funding from the get-go, with its parent company being somewhat of a European version of Valve. A lot of other companies – especially many of those located here in the States – just don’t have the same amount of finances and would rather not risk losing more money.



        Gaming has become an extremely expensive medium to fund, which is why so many publishers as of late have refocused their strategies in communicating with consumers. Let’s hope that what Square Enix does is something that satisfies the hardcore and appeals to investors too, since both sides are needed in order to produce a quality product in this day and age.



        Also, to bring things full circle, what Square Enix outlined doesn’t necessarily mean that they’ll be purposefully cutting out content from their games. This is an assumption that a lot of people are making. I can’t say for sure that they won’t go down this route, but I do have faith that they’ll listen to their fanbase with these “aggressive plans.”

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