Square Enix executive criticizes long game development periods

Senior executive managing director Yosuke Matsuda voices concerns about long game development periods and regional demands; praises Steam Greenlight and Early Access.

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Square Enix senior executive managing director Yosuke Matsuda has voice concerns about the company's approach to game development, specifically long development times.

Matsuda recently presented at the Square Enix financial results briefing session, which included discussion on the company's business strategy.

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Acknowledging that the financial results from the March 2013 fiscal year were "disappointing", Matsuda went on to suggest ways to reform the company's approach with new initiatives, stating that the problem was "not simply a financial issue".

"Making customers wait for years with little to no information is being dishonest to them. 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." He said.

Matsuda cited crowdfunding website Kickstarter and Valve's Steam Greenlight and Early Access as current examples where developers interact with customers during the game development process.

On the topic of worldwide sales, the Square Enix executive called for more consideration of the varied demands of each region, saying it was "difficult to move forward on the assumption that many products can cover the tastes of the entire world, and sell across the entire world."

Earlier this year, Square Enix president Yoichi Wada resigned from the company following the announcement of an expected 10 billion yen loss for the 2012-2013 financial year. Despite being well-received critically, sales for big-budget Square Enix titles Tomb Raider, Hitman: Absolution, and Sleeping Dogs failed to meet expectations in the North American market.

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