Square Enix is in some financial trouble because much like Scrooge McDuck, they don’t really know what to do with all their gold and think the best use for it is to swim in it. However, upon diving into their pool of gold, Square realised it’s impossible to swim through a pool of solid metal objects and is now on life support. That metaphor really overstayed its welcome but I think my point is made.
With Hitman Absolution they funded a whole new engine, with Sleeping Dogs they pulled out all the stops for a notable voice-cast and for Tomb Raider they spent the extra money to give Laura Tresseme hair physics. These were all reboots or new IP’s and not the kind of games you spend exorbitant amounts on. That said, Tomb Raider is one of the best performing games of the year and it still didn’t meet sales expectations because Square Enix has horrendous resource management.
Finally, things are about to change with company president Yosuke Matsuda hoping to re-invigorate Square’s business by changing the way it handles big-budget game development. Matsuda outlined three moves which could be crucial to the company’s future.
The first is to reconsider the approach to long-term, large-scale projects because it takes so much time to get the game out and a long dev cycle means it is difficult to keep fans informed and interested. ”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.”
At this point everyone is thinking of Final Fantasy Versus XIII, maybe we’ll see it on Xbox Two. The other two points refer to making a bigger investment in mobile gaming and tailoring games to suit each region rather than pushing a game in all territories. Does this mean region specific games to suit certain demograhics?
It sounds like something that could possibly work but is it enough to save Square Enix from itself?