Square Enix Outlines New Development Approach
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]