Square Enix "We lost our focus" | Eurogamer (plus a bonus)

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#1 Edited by whiskeystrike (12068 posts) -

A different topic with this article has been made but I felt this particular aspect was thread worthy.

Square Enix president admitted the company had "lost its focus" when trying to make its home console games for a global audience.

But the success of Bravely Default has shown that what is considered a niche, Japanese-focused game can enjoy international success, and so Square Enix is rethinking how it's making future games, such as the next Hitman title.

"If you focus too much on the global aspect, you might lose sight of who you're actually making the game for," Matsuda said.

"The development team for Hitman: Absolution really struggled in this regard," he said. "They implemented a vast amount of 'elements for the mass' instead of for the core fans, as a way to try getting as many new players possible.

"So, as for the AAA titles we're currently developing for series, we basically want to go back to their roots and focus on the core audience,

For example, in the past, when we developed console games with a worldwide premise, we lost our focus, and not only did they end up being games that weren't for the Japanese, but they ended up being incomplete titles that weren't even fit for a global audience," Matsuda admitted.

"On the other hand, there are games like the JRPG we made for the Japanese audience with the proper elements, Bravely Default, which ended up selling well all around the world."

What say you system warriors? Do you believe Square Enix's promise to change things for good? Does Square even really know who the core fanbase of each series is? Do you think such promises will reflect in their RPGs or just Hitman/Deus Ex/Tomb Raider?

Also, consider this tidbit from the full article on SiliconEra

“With that in mind, and all of the collective fans, there’s a sense of mass, which loses the image of a niche market,” continues Matsuda. “For the new games we’ll be developing from this point on, while this may sound a bit extreme, we’ve been talking about making them as heavy JRPGs. I believe that way, we can better focus on our target, which will also bring better results.”

The return of the JRPG genre... is it possible SW?

#2 Posted by Animal-Mother (26962 posts) -

Yeah no shit. Glad the to realize that they make the most ludicrous decisions out there for some developers. They have some really great developers under their belt and can become a really awesome publisher. But they need to utilize it properly.
Hoping tomb raider would well 6 million was stupid and insane.

#4 Posted by Zassimick (6771 posts) -

I hope this means they finally realized they are underutilizing Lightning of Final Fantasy XIII fame. Can't wait to see her in more games.

#5 Posted by Animal-Mother (26962 posts) -

@Zassimick said:

I hope this means they finally realized they are underutilizing Lightning of Final Fantasy XIII fame. Can't wait to see her in more games.

Dear god no.

#6 Posted by whiskeystrike (12068 posts) -
@Zassimick said:

I hope this means they finally realized they are underutilizing Lightning of Final Fantasy XIII fame. Can't wait to see her in more games.

#7 Posted by freedomfreak (41413 posts) -

It's nice to see them admit to it. At least they know. Whether this means we'll see some cool stuff in the future remains to be seen.

Hope for the best though. Don't disappoint moi, SE.

#8 Edited by Zassimick (6771 posts) -
@Animal-Mother said:

Dear god no.

@whiskeystrike said:

#9 Edited by finalfantasy94 (26670 posts) -

I think it was the high sale numbers of FF13 that made them keep going with the enjoyable but unnecessary sequels.To be honest I dont want a console BD since the 3ds one doesint look fun to begin with.

#10 Edited by Gue1 (10414 posts) -

after 10 years now is when they come to realize that they don't know what they are doing? I like his example of Bravely Default though, it seems that they get it for real this time instead of trying to put more lipstick on a pig like they tried to with the FF13 saga over and over again. Although I have never doubt that FFXV will be a great game since Nomura's the one leading the project and he always does what he wants to do no matter what (this is the very reason why FFXV's battle system is action instead of turn-based like Square initially wanted). He's not the kind to make compromises for mass appeal.

It seems this new CEO is the best thing that has happened to the company since FF7.

#11 Posted by Animal-Mother (26962 posts) -

@finalfantasy94 said:

I think it was the high sale numbers of FF13 that made them keep going with the enjoyable but unnecessary sequels.To be honest I dont want a console BD since the 3ds one doesint look fun to begin with.

Also that the Crystal tools engine also probably was a massive cost for FF13, the sequels were probably a grab to recoup a significant amount lost for the engine. Because creating sequels is substantially less than initial development.

#12 Posted by Netret0120 (2255 posts) -

At least they admitted it. Make Final fantasy a FINAL FANTASY Jrpg and if it's a good game the west will purchase it regardless.

#13 Posted by PrincessGomez92 (3651 posts) -

@Zassimick:

Yup, this. Shame System Wars hates good characters.

#14 Posted by nini200 (9936 posts) -

Yep Squaresoft and Enix were great companies seperated but when they joined, they started going downhill.

#15 Edited by ReadingRainbow4 (14685 posts) -

The sad part is that I get the feeling they've just started to realize this.

#16 Posted by finalfantasy94 (26670 posts) -

I just hope this doesint stop them from trying new things with the FF series. One of the reasons I like the series is that it felt different everytime.

#17 Posted by finalstar2007 (25334 posts) -

So they'll be making more JRPGs? thats awesome.. please bring them all to the next gen systems! no phone shit plz

#18 Posted by Shewgenja (9822 posts) -

Wow, holy fucking shit! They get it? Like, they actually understand that trying to turn every franchise into Madden just pisses people off rather than bring new gamers in? Is gaming going back to the gamers? Someone pinch me!

#19 Edited by magicalclick (23026 posts) -

I doubt they learned. It is not about target audience. It is about profit margin. The high cost of their game rely on international success instead of having it as bonus. If they can't make an enjoyable game at lower cost, they may score few expected AAA, but, lose whole lot more when they failed on few games. Losing money is easier than making more money. They should focus on losing less money.

#20 Posted by Bread_or_Decide (17920 posts) -

@Zassimick said:

I hope this means they finally realized they are underutilizing Lightning of Final Fantasy XIII fame. Can't wait to see her in more games.

lol

#21 Posted by Suppaman100 (4015 posts) -

Just like Nintendo, Square Enix don't know wtf they're doing.

#22 Posted by turtlethetaffer (16843 posts) -

They're starting to sound like Atlus.

#23 Posted by Seabas989 (10550 posts) -

TWEWY 2 please. And not on phones please.

#24 Posted by texasgoldrush (9265 posts) -

No, they got it wrong.

They have to have a global focus....the problem is that they haven't done it enough.

While FFXIII's sequels had more western elements, the problem was that the narrative and the characters played horribly in the West....it was too Japanese.

Now instead of moving forward, they decide they are going to stagnate and not experiment.

#25 Posted by Flubbbs (3312 posts) -

i gotta pick up Bravely Default.. ive heard nothing but good things about it

#26 Posted by finalfantasy94 (26670 posts) -

@texasgoldrush said:

No, they got it wrong.

They have to have a global focus....the problem is that they haven't done it enough.

While FFXIII's sequels had more western elements, the problem was that the narrative and the characters played horribly in the West....it was too Japanese.

Now instead of moving forward, they decide they are going to stagnate and not experiment.

I hope that doesint happen.

#27 Edited by PurpleMan5000 (7461 posts) -

I hope they just rip off the combat from The Last Remnant and start making more JRPGs with that system. That would be great. Much better than most of the garbage they put out on the market.

#28 Posted by Jag85 (4759 posts) -

@Animal-Mother said:

Yeah no shit. Glad the to realize that they make the most ludicrous decisions out there for some developers. They have some really great developers under their belt and can become a really awesome publisher. But they need to utilize it properly.

Hoping tomb raider would well 6 million was stupid and insane.

Actually, Tomb Raider did sell nearly 6 million, and has probably already crossed that mark by now.

#29 Posted by Ballroompirate (23279 posts) -

I'll believe it when they start make interesting games again, they did pretty well as Publishers but they are far from their glory days as Developers.

#30 Posted by juarbles (801 posts) -

@whiskeystrike said:
@Zassimick said:

I hope this means they finally realized they are underutilizing Lightning of Final Fantasy XIII fame. Can't wait to see her in more games.

Is that a scared lemming??

#31 Posted by silversix_ (14989 posts) -

@juarbles said:

@whiskeystrike said:
@Zassimick said:

I hope this means they finally realized they are underutilizing Lightning of Final Fantasy XIII fame. Can't wait to see her in more games.

Is that a scared lemming??

its RR360DD when he saw Infamous SS graphics.

#33 Edited by juarbles (801 posts) -

Hopefully Square Enix becomes more like Squaresoft which was a real gaming company.

#34 Posted by Ghost120x (3979 posts) -

Shame it took them this long to understand. Better late than never, I guess. At the rate they were going I was sure they would go under in 10 years.

#35 Edited by ChronosChris (317 posts) -

Thank god at least one developer, square-enix surprisingly has realized that trying to appeal to the masses is not always the best way to go if at all.

#36 Edited by RossRichard (2394 posts) -

You know all that will happen is they will port Bravely Default to the consoles, and then forget everything he said about appealing to the core audience when it doesn't sell 50 million copies.

#37 Edited by Lulu_Lulu (14613 posts) -

I don't know about JRPGs but Hitman never left its roots to begin with. Absolution went above and beyond all of its predecessors as a stealth game.

#38 Posted by treedoor (7648 posts) -

But what does SE plan to do about it?

Because I really doubt they're going to go off, and make a big-budget game like Bravely Default, and hope it succeeds in the West.

#39 Posted by PsychoLemons (2123 posts) -

Yeah, it took them that long to realise all this?

#40 Posted by SonicNextGen2 (3490 posts) -

I hope this means:

A. They DON'T make Bravely a yearly franchise.

B. They activate some of their dead IPs that haven't been touched since 2007.

C. No FFXV sequels.

#41 Posted by TigerSuperman (2585 posts) -

We lost our focus

Well what did you expect when Ce'ith run the company?

#42 Posted by stereointegrity (10739 posts) -

@Zassimick said:

I hope this means they finally realized they are underutilizing Lightning of Final Fantasy XIII fame. Can't wait to see her in more games.

Ur sarcasm is showing

#43 Posted by VendettaRed07 (14012 posts) -

Thank christ. Finally they are walking into the same realm of existence as the rest of us humans. Hopefully Nintendo follows soon.

#44 Edited by Shinobishyguy (22497 posts) -

@VendettaRed07: thats a horrible comparison.

Unlike Square-enix Nintendo never stopped making good games

#45 Posted by bbkkristian (14963 posts) -

Action speak louder than words. #localizefinalfantasytype0

#46 Edited by Jag85 (4759 posts) -

@Gue1 said:

after 10 years now is when they come to realize that they don't know what they are doing? I like his example of Bravely Default though, it seems that they get it for real this time instead of trying to put more lipstick on a pig like they tried to with the FF13 saga over and over again. Although I have never doubt that FFXV will be a great game since Nomura's the one leading the project and he always does what he wants to do no matter what (this is the very reason why FFXV's battle system is action instead of turn-based like Square initially wanted). He's not the kind to make compromises for mass appeal.

It seems this new CEO is the best thing that has happened to the company since FF7.

Yes, it seems the new president Yosuke Matsuda finally gets it. His predecessor Yoichi Wada became mostly out-of-touch with gamers, and Square Enix started declining over the past decade during his reign (although he did make up for it with the acquisitions of Taito and Eidos). The change in management should help out the company big time.

#47 Posted by ConanTheStoner (5966 posts) -

Holy shit... this is the smartest statement to come out of SE in a loooooong time. I just hope something good comes out of this realization (can't believe they're just now realizing this though).

Also hoping that they don't misinterpret this realization and take their games in an even worse direction.

#48 Posted by Xplode_games (527 posts) -

Quality has been bad lately because they finally were facing stiff competition from western developers. They still have the awesome music and wonderful fantasy worlds that would be great if they update the game formula to include much more exploration and discovery in a much more mature story.

Remember, FF7 was supposed to be the first mature Final Fantasy and look what happened.

#49 Posted by texasgoldrush (9265 posts) -

@Xplode_games said:

Quality has been bad lately because they finally were facing stiff competition from western developers. They still have the awesome music and wonderful fantasy worlds that would be great if they update the game formula to include much more exploration and discovery in a much more mature story.

Remember, FF7 was supposed to be the first mature Final Fantasy and look what happened.

FF6 was more mature than FF7

#50 Posted by superbuuman (2991 posts) -

Hopefully this means good stuff from SE in future. :P