Square Enix: "You have to take risks"

Final Fantasy boss Phil Rogers says, "What we won't do is stand still."

As part of Square Enix's latest financial report this week, the company said "large-scale online titles" would be a focus for the coming fiscal year. Such games require significant investment and might be deemed high-risk, but for Square Enix Western executive Phil Rogers, risk is the name of the business.

"You have to take risks to innovate and create great new gaming experiences. What we won't do is stand still," Rogers told GameIndustry International. "Online games are a way to facilitate that ongoing relationship with the player within our game worlds, where we can provide regular content updates, engaging gameplay mechanics, and a deep sense of community."

Rogers singled out Square Enix's upcoming PC multiplayer game Nosgoth, currently in closed beta, as an example of an online-focused game that has "great potential."

"It's early days, but we have a dedicated Live team every day reviewing the data and looking at how they can refine and improve that gameplay experience before it goes wider," he said.

Another large-scale online-focused game Square Enix has in development is Deus Ex Universe, which was announced in October for "next-gen" consoles, presumably the Xbox One and PlayStation 4. This game promises to offer an ongoing, expanding, and connected game world with a "persistent experience," but not like an MMO, Rogers says.

"It's an exciting project, potentially the most ambitious game we're working on across the western studios and we're looking forward to sharing more information about it later this year," Rogers said.

For the fiscal year ended March 31, Square Enix posted a profit of $65 million, thanks in part to games like Thief, Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition, and Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn.

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @EddieMakuch
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Eddie Makuch

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.
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97 comments
Dragon_Nexus
Dragon_Nexus

Ha, time to take risks. Really? that's why you canned the single player LoK game which was meant to continue on from the cliffhanger in exchange for what you probably percieved as a "safe" little money earner after hearing how much money there was in the F2P MOBA market, and so made Nosgoth, the game with little to no story set in a dead period of the LoK history whilst also making a mockery of the game's lore.


Yeah, pretty damn daring I suppose, pissing off fans like that. No wonder you disabled comments and feedback on the Youtube announcement video after mere days.

Crush_Project
Crush_Project

"What we won't do is stand still."

well looking at the travesty that the ff series and hitman have become, this sounds like a justification for taking the company backwards. 

If it says Square Enix on the side its an automatic skip with a dose of laughter for us ole skool kids.

chunkbasker
chunkbasker

Lets see

Final fantasy 14


Cut and paste quest systems  (literally, the only difference in each quest is the icon of the item/monster is, they even do this at level 50)

Cut and paste scenery

Average gameplay/below average gameplay

Boring Materia systems  ( look at final fantasy 7's materia and the plain stat materia in 14)

Stealing ideas from other games (Rift/Fate)

ZZZ monster loot in open world  (1-4 gil per kill, crafting items only)

The game is almost gray in everything besides some dungeon content.



Yep, Square Enix really is stepping outside the box and taking risk.

Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

Oh?  Then why haven't you localized Type 0 yet?  Keep it up with the empty words.

finalkain
finalkain

I swear, 90% of the people that post in Square articles are Jaded as F@#$

atomicjuicer
atomicjuicer

Just finish XV then make VII but don't release any footage until launch.

I'm sick of pre launch spoilers.

See Watchdogs for what happens when you show too much for too long before the game is even halfway done.

ringringabel
ringringabel

well i know they're the western studio...but they should just devote all their time and energy into helping FF15 and Kingdom Hearts 3. An MMO Legacy of Kain game is a stupid idea, they should've just done a single-player...oh how I miss the ps1 & 2 era -_-

cboye18
cboye18

Well there's a couple of reason why I believe most of these modern games are so uninspiring and lacks innovation:

- As SE said. lack of risks taken by developer, sometimes due to restraints given by publishers.

- Lack of originality and creativity among developers. I can see the same trend in modern media, just look/listen to movies and music nowadays.


I really miss how older video games were made; it was mostly about passion and fun and gaining money in the process was second priority. 

glacius_x
glacius_x

Okay Sqeenix, take a risk and make a new bust a groove. Take a risk and make a FF game what is was, fantasy, not futuristic.

ECH71
ECH71

Got pulled into that "Rampage" article because I thought I saw a character from DXHR.


Now pulled into this one because I saw the DX Universe concept drawing.

byzantine_chant
byzantine_chant

Let's hope they have Final Fantasy XV up and running for E3. I'd like to see a nice real-time demo on the combat mechanics and other features.


I liked XIII (as well as I could), but XIII-2, XIII-3 and XIV were garbage. You've got a big product void to fill, Square Enix.

blackothh
blackothh

so big risks involve final fantasy 37-part8 remastered?

an_advert
an_advert

Something like 2 weeks ago Square Enix said it learnt its lesson with Bravely Default that constantly trying to appeal to the mass market isn't a good idea. Now, when Nosgoth bombs, hopefully they'll learn that many, many gamers don't want to play online.

Mando44646
Mando44646

does 'taking risks' = releasing crappy phone games in Square's world...?

jafiggy
jafiggy

The idea behind the Kinect is pretty cool. I sure wish industry giants like Square Enix had "taken risks" with it ... .

Csdabest89
Csdabest89

Correction. What You wont do is when fan reception is at an all time low is not give the fans what they want. Give us Remakes of Final Fantasy VII or 8. Or Go overboard and give us a Game with both universes meshed together

KamuiFei
KamuiFei

I feel like one of the few people that doesn't want a FFVII HD remake. I'd rather see 6, 8 or 9 remade. 


Would also like to see a proper Deus Ex sequel and Legacy of Kain/Soul Reaver (not that online junk)

Zombunny
Zombunny

Well you had your fun, you took a risk and made square enix it didnt workout..., now is the time to start again as squaresoft

Redblaze27
Redblaze27

You have to take risks within reason. Your product shouldn't have to sacrifice its identity & its entire fanbase in a risk.


Example: Lightning Returns vs Bravely Default.

lostn
lostn

"You have to take risks to innovate and create great new gaming experiences. What we won't do is stand still," 

Well that's rich coming from a company that made three FFXIII games, all of them godawful. You'd think they would have gotten the hint the first time. FF is up to 15 plus spin offs and sequels. If you want to take risks, give this franchise a break. XIII especially should be dead and buried.

bahamutdragons
bahamutdragons

I'm fine with taking risks, sometimes they pay off big time and provide amazing experiences. But don't whine when they don't, don't whine when you don't spend the time to ensure that the "risk" is properly developer and people criticize it. Taking risks isn't enough, you have to be smart about, commit to it and especially, listen to feedback about how people experiencing the risk feel.

PatrickLevy
PatrickLevy

I actually think that taking risks is the only way of achieving something great.
The problem is that most gamers are too judgmental, if it's too repetitive they rage on it, if it's to different they rage on it. Making games that satisfy the majority is pretty hard... :/

domisbatman
domisbatman

Just don't drop the ball on FFXV , please

Dcyple3000
Dcyple3000

New Legend Of Dragoon or don't ever speak to me ever again. just until Kingdom Hearts 3 is out. i think early Dec 2014

berserker66666
berserker66666

Enough talk. We want another Deux Ex game. (Not another shitty IOS game which was ported to PC)

Xirtahm
Xirtahm

How about a little less focus on the whole "online experience" thing for starters?  There's already a gross oversaturation of MMOs and multiplayer co-op adventures on the market, and most are mediocre at best.  How about you guys go back to doing what you USED  to do years ago?

You know... back when you knew how to draw us away from reality and bury us in these vast, imaginative worlds, filled with memorable characters and unforgettable journeys?

Zloth2
Zloth2

@cboye18 I'm thinking you need to look a bit deeper into what's out there for movies, music, and games.  There's plenty of really original stuff out there but to find it you'll have to wade through a lot of things you don't end up liking.

thermalmotion
thermalmotion

@jafiggy  Kinect already killed Rare, one of the greatest game developers in the world, what exactly are you hoping for?

Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

@Csdabest89 Why are you people obsessed with FF7 remakes?  IT WOULD BE WORSE THAN THE FF7 THAT ALREADY EXISTS.


Why do you want that?  Why do you want to pay money for that!?  What is wrong with you people!?

Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

@KamuiFei How about leaving those games alone?  Any remake of them would be inferior.  Why do you want that?

byzantine_chant
byzantine_chant

@KamuiFei  Soul Reaver? OH YES. Just imagine that game on the new tech. Nice!


Definitely remake IX.

blackothh
blackothh

@KamuiFei FF6 remake is on android i believe. I have not tried it because i dont like phone games but FF6 was my favorite gaming experience to date

byzantine_chant
byzantine_chant

@Redblaze27  For sure... can we get a FF game with towns, cities and inns? Grinding on the outskirts...


I'd like for them to go backwards in time for a change. Make a FF game with horses and castles and dark forests... this futuristic stuff is getting OLD.


More fantasy, less science fiction please. 

oroelf
oroelf

@lostn  To be fair this article is about the NA studio, not the JP one.

Barighm
Barighm

@PatrickLevy Then don't try to satisfy anyone. Create a plan, stick with it, and do the best job you possibly can.

BigAl519
BigAl519

@Dcyple3000  Legend of Dragoon was a mediocre game at best. It tried to be FF but fell flat on its face. It had poor sales and poor reviews. Why would anyone want a new one? Next you will be asking for a new Superman 64.

xJackelx
xJackelx

@Dcyple3000  The Legend of Dragoon was developed and published by Sony, not Square, Enix or Square Enix. 

Barighm
Barighm

@Xirtahm On the bright side, it sounds like they ARE planning to do what they used to do all those years ago. The success of Bravely Default really messed with their heads. These new projects are things they were working on before they re-addressed their strategy, so they had to finish them, but I think the future at Square is bright.

Although the trendy thing to do these days is leave Square and start a Kickstarter.

xJackelx
xJackelx

@Xirtahm  While I long for the nostalgia of my younger days as well they have two successful online titles working for them already - and generating a profit for now. 

I think people all too often strive to recapture the memories of their youth while gaming and set the bar to a level that can't be replicated no matter how good the game might be. The debate usually steers towards a clamoring for a "proper" Mana title or Chrono game and often ending on the demands of a FFVII remake. 

If what they're doing here and now is making them money I see them continuing down that path. 

magusat999
magusat999

@BigAl519 @Dcyple3000  All untrue - evidently you were not there. It had great sales and great reception from fans. The problem is that fans didn't trust Sony to keep making them - and they were right. legend of Dragoon had innovative fighting system, plot twists and originated the overworld travel system that FF X used (no FF X was not the first). It had secrets and missables. It had memorable characters. The only thing bad about it was Sony being the developer. Otherwise it was the next best thing to FF by far as any other game outside of Xenogears.

Barighm
Barighm

@xJackelx You'd have a point if Bravely Default had not happened.

xJackelx
xJackelx

@Barighm Are you basing it off popularity or sales? I enjoyed BD as much as the next player but it moved (if numbers are right) slightly less than a million units. They'd have to have extremely low development costs to continue making money off those sales numbers if they can only put out one a year. 

I mean Tomb Raider pushed something like 6m and it was still a loss.

I'm not saying it's not possible, simply that it may not be profitable.