The lights are on
Square Enix released the contents of a briefing held two weeks ago, and amid some internal turmoil, it appears as though the company is changing the way it approaches big-budget development.
The shake-up isn't exactly a surprise; new Square Enix president Yosuke Matsude promised to re-evaluate how the company does business and make changes as necessary. This briefing outlines three moves that Matsuda hopes will reinvigorate Square Enix's gaming business.The first is to reconsider its approach to long-term, large scale development, since it requires so much time to get games out the door. The slow development also makes it difficult for teams to give information to fans. "We're no longer in an age where customers are left in the dark until a product is completed," says Matsuda. "We need to shift to a business model where we frequently interact with our customers for our products that are in development." As illustrated by many gamers' frustration with Final Fantasy Versus XIII, a little communication would be nice.
The other two points of the plan include increasing focus on smart devices as gaming platforms, and tailoring each region's game portfolio to appeal specifically to that audience (rather than try to push one game in all territories). Square Enix has been around for decades (at least as it former pieces, Square and Enix), so it's sad to see the company struggle. A publisher that mainly produces a new Final Fantasy every couple years just can't cut it in today's landscape, so hopefully these initiatives can get the company back on the right track without sacrificing what made it popular in the first place.[Source: Square Enix via Joystiq]
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Man, this sucks. Square published some of my favorite games of this generation. Just Cause 2, Deus Ex HR, Sleeping Dogs, just to name a few. Seems like it's impossible for devs to be successful without CoD-like sales these days. Even if Square's expectations have been a little ridiculous lately...
The old ways of game design are increasingly a dead-end.
Everyone needs to change how they do things, not just Squeenix. I hope they can turn things around successfully--and that they get Dragon Quest X and Bravely Default out over here ASAP.
I hope Square Enix stays together, it would be a shame to see them pull a THQ.
They teased Just Cause 3 on twitter 2 months ago, so I'm sure they will be fine after E3.
Focusing on Smartphones is a bad move. Square Enix's original games for Smarphones are some of the worst around, with some of the most despicable "Free" to Play mechanics the gaming world has ever seen, including absurdly overpriced microtransactions. If they move to mobile, I fear it is the end for Square.
I loved sleeping dogs and the new tomb raider was great as well.
Sleeping Dogs deserves a sequel. When you consider that the developers originally intended for SD to be a downloadable game, and then having the game cancelled by Activision and picked up again by Square Enix,for it to be a full retail game, they did an amazing job and I can only imagine what they could create given a consistent development period.
I'm really hoping SE can get back on track. They need to focus on the franchises that the fans love as well as start producing some new, fun IP's with much better marketing and advertising. I would hate to see them slip even more.
I hate to say it, but i think SquareEnix will be the next "big" publisher to go under. Not anytime soon, but i have a gut feeling.
I still kind of like SE, so I hope that they their act together. Maybe this is the first step.
I really hope they can steer themselves right. They've got some good franchises.