The lights are on
Originally created to collaborate with India-based game developers on mobile games for a growing Indian market, Square Enix India has closed its Indian branch after one year and no released games. The studio's six employees have been laid off.
According to MVC, Square Enix India's producers were working with developers on several projects, none of which received the greenlight from Square Enix headquarters in Japan. MVC reports that Square Enix's similar Latin America-based studio could also be in danger of closing.
In 2012, Square Enix held the "Square Enix Game Development Contest India" in an effort to attract local developers. Honorary Square Enix chairman Yasuhiro Fukushima said at the time of the contest that the company's investment in India was for the long term.
“If this contest helps us discover some great games, that’ll be fantastic, but more than that, we’re looking for promising talent whom we can work with in the long term," he said." I envision that three years from now, there will be hit titles coming out of India that the world will enjoy, and five years from now, top Indian developers will be well known on the global stage.” None of the winners of the contest ended up being published by Square Enix.
In 2013, Square Enix made efforts to change how they treated AAA game development, moving towards an emphasis on crafting games for regional audiences, instead of for a global market. The company has since gone back on that idea somewhat after the success of the JRPG Bravely Default. Last month Square Enix President Yosuke Matsuda said that due to the company's regional focus they neglected to see that some games, such as JRPGs, can have a global audience.
[Source: MVC via Polygon]
Our Take:It's always sad to see studios close. Square Enix has had it rough the past few years, but last month's statements makes it seem like the company may be once again finding it's focus. It's just a shame that finding that focus doesn't come without casualties.
Email the author Cameron Koch, or follow on Game Informer.