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Square Enix: Gamers don’t like ‘games as a service’

2 min read


Are we headed for an always-online, microtransaction-driven, free-to-play future? That’s the sort of thing some publishers and developers are aiming to deliver. Square Enix is not one of those publishers. Maybe.

“There’s lots of talk in the industry about games becoming services – to be honest, as an expression this doesn’t always resonate with people, especially gamers,” said Western Squeenix CEO Phil Rogers. “For us online is a way to facilitate how we’re looking at the word service to build on a game. So we’re focusing on regular content updates, engaging gameplay mechanics, replayability and deep community.”

That may well smack of hypocrisy, given that Square Enix recently revealed plans in its financial to focus on online multiplayer and mobile games set within its owned franchises. One such example is Nosgoth, the free-to-play multiplayer focused game set in the Legacy of Kain universe.

“The emphasis in the financials was specifically to point out some new online games we’re working on, Nosgoth was called out and Heroes and Generals would be another worthy mention. Now these are very particular types of games being free-to-play and PC based, but there are core principles here which apply to all our games, whether we’re looking at our AAA console games which are a major part of our future strategy, smartphone and tablet games and PC games,” said Rogers.

Those same financials led many to believe that Square would focus less on actual single player games, particularly given the relative underperformance of Tomb Raider and Hitman: Absolution. So is that a thing that’ll be happening?

“You have to stand by what you believe in and we have to believe in quality and engagement as two key measurements to succeed, so we take comfort in the fact that we can develop critically acclaimed games which deliver a deep level of engagement,” was Rogers’ reply.

I honestly have very little idea what Rogers means; he speaks circumloquacious corporate PR, a language I refuse to learn. What’s your take on games as services? Me? I like my games are products, thank you very much. I buy it, I play it, it’s done.

Last Updated: November 11, 2013

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