Despite releasing some damn good games this generation, it isn’t easy turning a profit over at Square Enix right now. For ever Sleeping Dogs success that they’ve had, there’s been a Final Fantasy game that has sucked the profit right out, thanks to lengthy development times. And right now, Square Enix is looking to change that issue.
The company released their briefing onto the web this week, and apparently big budget game development is killing them. And here I was thinking that unrealistic expectations happened to be the culprit.
According to their results briefing via Joystiq, the company is currently $134 million in the hole for the latest fiscal year. Obviously, some new ideas are needed in order to keep Square Enix afloat, and Senior Exec. Managing Director Yosuke Matsuda has three of them.
The first idea is to start developing games based on regional tastes, while plan deux is to start focusing on mobile platforms. But the biggest idea they have so far is to completely overhaul their ideas for long-term development games. In other words, more games with a quicker turnover rate.
And with that specific idea, it looks like Square Enix is going to cast their eye onto crowdsourcing initiatives, such as Kickstarter. “We’re no longer in an age where customers are left in the dark until a product is completed,” Matsuda said.
We need to shift to a business model where we frequently interact with our customers for our products that are in development and/or prior to being sold, have our customers understand games under development, and finally make sure we develop games that meet their expectations.
I think it is necessary to review the definition of ‘AAA Title,’ and we need to pursue a new type of blockbuster title, in addition to the conventional-type of blockbuster
Square Enix is busy restructuring themselves pretty heavily following that financial loss. And while I like the idea of them starting to revaluate what a “Triple A” game is (Hint: It’s a lie of an idea used to gouge consumers of extra cash), I really hope that this forces them to also consider going back to basics. After all, you don’t need to throw millions of dollars at a game for it to be “Triple A” quality. And that’s an idea that the industry needs to get rid of.
While I detest the idea of a rushed game that is patched later on its life, giving developers all the time in the world to sit on their asses and figure out what kind of dungeon fun they’d like to have in their game isn’t good for business either.
They owe it to the fans to keep things on track.
Last Updated: May 28, 2013