Square Enix To Increase Focus On Region Specific Games

By Ishaan . May 27, 2013 . 3:12pm

Going forward, Square Enix have three strategies that they hope will turn their weakening console games business around. We outlined two of these earlier in the week—developing console-like games for phones and a new approach to how big-budget games are developed. The third strategy is “Regionality”.


Up until now, Square Enix have been making investments in game development under the assumption that their major titles would be hits all over the world. However, says soon-to-be president Yosuke Matsuda, this is in reality extremely difficult to achieve.


“We created our budgets on the basis that our games would be sold worldwide,” Matsuda shares in a financial results briefing. “We had not given much consideration of the regionality of each market, and had focused more on how to sell the major titles globally; however, titles fitting this method are limited.”


Many of the games that were recently re-examined or cancelled at Square Enix had been based in this way of thinking, Matsuda reveals.


He continues: “As the sheer amount of and diversification of game and entertainment products is increasing, I believe it is difficult to move forward on the assumption that many products can cover the tastes of the entire world, and sell across the entire world.” While globally-appealing games will be shown at this year’s E3, Matsuda believes this approach will not work for every game.


“Going forward, 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 blockbusters,” Matsuda says. “Our customers’ tastes throughout the globe are as varied as the regions in which they live, and as we think about our product portfolio in various regions, we need to develop our games appropriately.”


Time will tell how this change will affect the release of Square Enix games worldwide.


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  • gold163

    Have the higher-ups at Square Enix been sleeping for the last seven years?

    • Pekola

      Yes, they’re all asleep in the fantasy.

      • Randgriz

        Yes theyve been playing Finiancal Fantasy.

    • Gekokujou

      If they weren’t sleeping, they were too busy playing with their manhoods.

      As everyone else has been saying, SE knows there is a problem but are completely going the wrong way with the solutions as they’ve been out of touch for far too long due to playing with their manhoods.

    • TheExile285

      Acatually, I think they have been smoking dope. That must be it

    • Spider-Man

      They’ve been asleep just as long as Noctis.

      • Elly Honda

        its a paradox!

        we need to shift into the timeline where Square releases games.

  • Andrew A

    I wonder if this means we won’t be getting Drakengard 3?

    • Rytan

      Don’t say that!

      • landlock

        It’s pretty likely SquareEnix won’t release Drakengard 3 in the US/EU you know. Afterall they never did Drakengard 2 that was one of the rare occasions there game went to another publisher UBI Soft.

        • Rytan

          I know. But I can still wish and dream.

          • landlock

            Then again they haven’t got a lot on there plate console wise maybe they’ll take a risk with it. Hope so.

    • almostautumn

      Exactly what i was thinking also— it’s a “musou” style game, and you know western critics love to slam those games. Not to mention that it has a romance aspect to it….
      Ah hell. I really hope we get it.

  • Hooray for region locking!

  • Wait what

    This couldn’t possibly be more depressing. Their problem is their budgeting and gross expectations, not “people from this country just don’t like these types of games”. Not getting Type-0 was bad enough, if this means even less localizations then Square Enix is going to be dead to their core audience very fast.

    I get that they want to become a huge publisher, and in many ways they are on the right track, but if they lose their loyal fanbase of RPG fans then it’ll be the end of them.

    • Andar

      There is a ‘good’ interpretation of this, though. Like you said, one primary issue for them is budgeting. If they were to budget their localizations better, I think they could find a happy middle ground where localizing games that were originally Japanese for Western markets is still profitable. In fact, I feel like this is what Namco is trying to approach, especially with the Tales series, and I very much like their new approach.

      What this really means for the fans is that we should be more vocal about working with publishers to get a product that is feasible for everyone, rather than using our voices to demand an amount of work that we. the consumers, could never pay for. When a series starts shipping less and less units in a region, it shouldn’t be surprising that the quality and chance of localization goes down. As published before, The Fire Emblem series almost met its end completely, even in Japan. Of course, the other end of sales is that you have to have a product people want to buy, and I’m going to say that Square Enix has been hit or miss on this. Without making any kind of personal attack on the company, I just want to say that some of their recent ‘flagship’ products have critically and commercially not been received well, and that has probably done a lot to hurt sales in every area for them.

    • ShadowDivz

      Imagine what this will lead too.

      Alright, for japan we make some cool RPGs
      And for North america, FPSes because clearly that’s what they all want. >_>

      • Emory Myers

        If this means another Front Mission SRPG… here’s hoping we get a fan translation.

        • $36598391

          As long as it’s a Vita port of Front Mission 5

      • Luis Enrique

        If their definition of a cool RPG is FFXIII, Japan can keep them.

      • Elly Honda

        thats exactly whats going to happen.

  • Laer_HeiSeiRyuu

    Uh huh.

  • Pfantzypantz

    Made me happy with the NieR thumbnail…

  • GGear0323

    so, they basically mean Japan and then everywhere else right? i mean, outside of a few cases, Japan is where certain series can become huge hits and then sell like shit everywhere else. there isn’t that level of ‘regionality’ really present anywhere else that warrants doing this for many different countries.

  • meiam

    Square, we’ll trade you FF13-3 for drakengard 3 and type-0 localization, deal?

    • Wait what

      Or we could, you know, have all of them. ;)

      • Raos

        Yep, I want em all :)

    • Herok♞

      no thanks I don’t want Type-0 after trying the demo and finding it overwhelmingly meh and I don’t know enough about Drakengard 3 to make a comment.

      • Chiupon

        Type-0 is so good. You don’t even know man.

        • Herok♞

          Like I said I tried the demo and I didn’t like it, but I am glad everyone else tried the demo or the full game and loved it because that would explain all the random dislikes.

          • Chiupon

            Yeah, it would. It’s just a really fabulous game. I don’t understand moonspeak but a lot of actions and events that were portrayed just had a lot of clear emotion and it was really easy to make out what was happening. The cast had a lot of synergy that a lot of videogame characters these days lack imo, and it made all of them enjoyable.

            [spoilers: so when that ending hit i sobbed like a bitch and reblogged like 5000 pictures of cinque crying on tumblr]

          • Herok♞

            Ok one question I have about the game is can you be screwed if you bring the wrong party members to battle, because when I tried the demo, I went into battle with the wrong characters and I could literally do nothing to the enemy.

          • Slayven19

            Its a demo bro demos aren’t the end all be all. If I judged Valkyria chronicles off of the demo for ps3 I would have disliked the games combat and never have bought it.

          • Herok♞

            I understand that demos are the end but if you are judging between different products to buy based on what you know and have played then games that have a good demo and leave a good impression should be considered more then games that don’t leave as good of an impression. I tried two demos in January to decide which game I wanted next, The demo for DmC left me interested in the game because it was fun and the demo for Ni no Kuni made me go meh I will get this if it gets cheap. so I went out and bought DmC if I
            hadn’t tried the demo I would have skipped it like I
            did with the other DMC games at first(I have played the whole series now and it was all the result of one demo.)

          • Slayven19

            This is why I don’t mess with demo’s at all. They only demo I use is renting the games and buying them if I like them.

          • Herok♞

            True rentals are a good way to find out if you like a game but that means the game would have to be out already, demos are nice because they can be released before for a game is out to get people to see if they like something, also you have to remember rentals aren’t really possible with imports.

          • Ferrick

            well it depends, because down the line, pretty much everyone have skills for any situation, but at the start, ace is pretty much your ace because of his ability to take care on melee and ranged attacks

          • Herok♞

            So in other words, I am not crazy?

          • Ferrick

            well… i wouldn’t say that you’re not crazy >=D, but yeah, that’s the demo in a nutshell, but the full game itself is easy because 99% of the missions, you can freely switch between active characters and those that are stanby (except for those in the B-team), and that you’re usually overlevelled by the time the mission arrives

          • Herok♞

            So are we really missing anything by not getting the full game in your opinion? also everyone from The OT is cray cray so really I have no room to talk about sanity.

          • Kevadu

            Of course we’re missing something. It’s a great game.

          • Herok♞

            Well one things certain its definitely, a final fantasy since everyone feels differently about it.

          • Ferrick

            in all honesty, not really, i mean at that time when the choice were either 13 or type-0, type-0 was the better one because it had the theme that ye olde FF games had, that is war of the crystals, but other than that, not really, the battle system is good unless if you’re grinding too much, and the airship system is meh, especially the requirement to get the airship, which is why i’m glad that its optional, and the theme music is good but you can pretty much hear that outside of the games

          • Kevadu

            If I recall correctly (it’s been a while…), the demo had some pretty big difficulty spikes. You kind of had to grind before the later demo missions. That’s not really true in the full game, there’s a lot more content (obviously) and the difficulty ramps up slower.

          • Herok♞

            fair enough and to be fair even though I don’t personally care for the game, I would still buy it if it got localized if only to prove there is a market for any game if it gets localized

          • Chiupon

            I won’t say anything that hasn’t been said already, but the game can be challenging if you ~aren’t~ overleveled. I played to endgame and like unless you’re absolutely focused everything can go wrong if you aren’t the right level. The tactical battle things are pretty hard too~ And I’d say the characters are pretty balanced in usefulness, it just depends on who’s playstyle you adapt to more. Ace is very easy to use and teleports around and shit, and Queen doesn’t have teleports but she’s really good in every situation. Deuce is a toughie, but my friend is able to play her really well and i just don’t understand but it can be done.

      • To balance things out I second that Type-0, the full game, is pretty meh. Yes it has great cutscenes and an interesting battle system. But the story is ridicule bad and that grinding can get annoying super fast, which it did for me.(never beat the game cause of boredom and since I already knew the ending).

        That said the best part is when people keep whining about a game for not getting localized without ever playing it, or knowing what’s going on in there(which, I’m pretty sure, is the majority here).

        • Herok♞

          Thank you, I really believe at this point people only want it to be localized because they think its a lot better then it is.

          • ShadowDivz

            I tried the demo and loved it. Different strokes for different folks.
            I hope your not saying “i found the game mediocre therefor i pray/am glad it isn’t localized!”

          • Herok♞

            No I want it localized, just so people will be happy, I am pretty much saying I don’t care either way.

          • Raos

            Great! there should be more people like you then, most are assholes who don’t want some games released or localized when they can simply skip em

        • Ferrick

          as someone who played the game twice and got all of the endings, the story isn’t really that bad, cheezy and lame in a way, but not terrible (though some of it is kinda hard to understand, because its time and gods kind of thing). The battle system is not really that bad (Ace is OP lol, so no grinding needed when i get access to a certain skill), but the one thing that made it worth it to reach to the end is the ending.

          my one gripe about this game is the scripted events… especially the final boss, nothing really special about him, just fight him 13x till a scripted event occurs and fight him yet again, and also the fact that the most bad-ass summon in game is nothing but just a scripted battle

          • Actually I stopped because of the ending, when a friend told me what happens and why, I just facepalmed and quit. xD

            I enjoyed the story at points, but it’s really not what I’d call good, and I’d also not call it better than FF13 or 13-2’s story. Also that super annoying MC..

            I liked the battle system(it sometimes derped, and I was not fond of that magic system, but otherwise it was ok). The grinding felt horrible though, for me at least since I actually went out of my way to train them all xD

          • Ferrick

            which ending did he/she show to you =P (just tell with a 1 or 2 or both, we wouldn’t want to spoil anyone now do we)

            well… i’m kinda considering the story to be better than 13’s… considering it, and ah, i know what you mean, glad that he lived a tormented life MUAHAHAHAHHAHA >D

          • 1. I would never complain about 2~ :P

          • Ferrick

            ah, he showed you both~, psst, the reason on why i played it twice is because of the secret ending after 1 XD

      • Raos

        You can skip it then, there’s no problem, you don’t have to like it or buy it as long as we (who want it) can play it it’s OK

    • TheExile285

      How about all their mobile crap instead.

    • Raos

      No thanks, better push for all 3 and buy whatever you want

  • Byas

    Get ready people, even more good games will be J-Only or “westernized” like the manly Nier.

    • mirumu

      I’d agree that would certainly be a bad thing if it happens, but it really depends on what they decide to do. It could actually mean the total opposite of what you’re suggesting.

      Taking the example of Nier that you mentioned… It’s really a good example of a product they attempted to make a worldwide hit via westernization. They failed big time, even though the game itself seemed to be quite good. It sounds a lot like the kind of thing Matsuda says is a bad idea. It could be that instead of even attempting to do this in future, they’ll just release a largely unchanged Japanese version in the west with a smaller and more realistic print run (or rely on digital downloads). As long as they do keep releasing a good variety of titles internationally I could see that being a good thing.

      On the other hand, it might just mean the west only gets Eidos titles and big Final Fantasy titles, and Japan gets all the Drakengards, Bravely Defaults, niche Final Fantasys, etc. In my view that would be the worst situation for all involved.

      I’m speculating for sure, I have no idea what they’ll do, but there’s multiple directions they could go here. I think it’s a bit soon to write off Matsuda’s ideas just yet. He certainly seems to be more on the ball than Wada was.

      • Byas

        True enough, the first thing that came to my mind was not bringing games overseas but your example could actually happen. Guess we are just gonna have to wait and see if Matsuda will do the “right thing”.

      • Elvick

        Nier isn’t even a good westernization though. It’s still very much Japanese in every other aspect other than the generic western father/daughter story and roided up dudebro character.

        Everything else remains Japanese. So why they bothered to try and make it appeal to the west is beyond me. All they did was turn off those who actually like Japanese games, by adding in western bullshit.

        • SirRichard

          Nier is as far from a “roided up dudebro” character as you can get, as anyone who played the game can attest, father/daughter stories are hardly commonplace in Western games enough for it to be “generic”, definitely less so than Japanese sibling-based stories.

          it’s fine if you didn’t like the stylistic choice, but writing it off as “Western bullshit” is just plain unfair, mate.

          • Elvick

            In design? Yes. Yes he is.

            That’s exactly what I was referring to.

            Throw a rock and you’ll hit a father/daughter story in media. TV, MOVIES (lawd, if I see one more shit commercial about some deep voiced father on a phone threatening someone over his daughter!), you name it.

            Father/daughter is a western story troupe. It’s overused and shit. I wasn’t referring to just games.

          • SirRichard

            So if the character has muscles at all and isn’t just a scrawny teenager, they’re automatically “Western bullshit”? And sibling stories are no less frequent than father/daughter stories, on both ends of the world. It’s coming across that your problem is less that it’s generic and more that it’s “Western”, especially since Nier’s story involves far more than just that.

          • Byas

            The father/daughter stuff was more of a side-effect of the “dudebro muscleman”, since it would be extremely awkward for Yonah to be the sister of an old guy. So he isn’t exactly wrong in the first part, the relationship he had with Yonah is still the same as the japanese, they just changed the worlds sister-daughter and mom-wife. I personally don’t care how they are related, even complete strangers can have a heartfelt story (Lee and Clementine from Walking Dead game for example).

    • Kevadu

      Why do people keep bringing up Nier? Somebody else made a very similar comment in another post a couple days ago…guys, Nier Gestalt *was* the original version of the game. It’s the game the creators wanted to make. It’s after the publisher looked at it and felt that it wouldn’t sell in *Japan* that they came up with Nier Replicant.

      The fact that we got the original (and frankly, better) version of the game doesn’t mean it was “westernized”.

      • Byas

        Oh, thanks for the info. I always though it was the opposed since Gestalt’s Nier is just so… I don’t know how to describe it, but just looking at him made me almost not buy the game.

        • Tanthalas

          Even if Nier Replicant had been the original game. I don’t see why people complain about Nier Gestalt’s older character.

          Yeah, I agree that different looks for the main character in Japan and the west was silly, but Nier Gestalt’s main was done properly and certainly didn’t detract from the game.

          • Byas

            It’s not about him being old (I even like his artwork), but the model is pretty damn ugly (and no, putting the Zorro’s mask didn’t help), seriously, I still don’t know how someone looked at that and said: “Looks pretty good, let’s ship it!”.

          • Pfantzypantz

            I much prefer father Nier, the fact that he was ugly was charming, he’s pretty much the only character I know of that is a main character and is not overtly pretty or handsome. Plus I much prefer the plight of father and daughter.

          • Elvick

            As do most people in the west. As Japan tends to prefer siblings. GEE, wonder why they changed the story instead of just turning the brother into a dudebro rejected from a generic shooter.

            In Replicant, you see the time passed reflected in the character’s design. He actually ages, which has impact. Buttface looks the same.

          • mirumu

            I think Nier Gestalt having an older character was a good idea, and I’ve heard quite few people say they liked the father/daughter dynamic better than the brother/sister one in Nier Replicant.

            That said, I think some just saw that the game was different to the one in Japan and dismissed it outright without looking any further. I was led to that initial conclusion myself, and it was only later when talking to friends about the game I realised Gestalt had significant merits in it’s own right.

      • brian
        • Elvick

          God thank you. *bookmarks*

          I read that ages ago, and always get into this argument with people and could never find the source. Since it seems to be a “lesser known” factoid about the game. Even though it should be obvious.

    • Ni

      What? Papa Nier is the best Nier! He turned in one of my all time favourite characters because of how awesome as a father he was

    • Raos

      It could mean no localization for western games to Japan (TR SD and Hitman) since the only “AAA big budget games” from Japan are FF DQ and KH

  • Pretty accurate inference, to be honest. As much as we’d love to assume there aren’t things like cultural barriers, the reality is that they do exist and they do affect perception/sales. Cultural awareness isn’t just presenting and buying someone’s goods from across the ocean.

    • Slayven19

      Pretty much.

    • ShadowDivz

      I think importers disagree. xD

      • Doesn’t really hinder the accuracy of what I said, but I’m sure some do.

        • Trevor Nicolaysen

          Persona 4 Golden was a hit. If any non-gust game has culture barriers its that.

          • Distinctly Japanese, yeah. There’s just a lot going on there that won’t necessarily make sense to foreign players, and while they can enjoy the game without understanding a lot of those cultural elements, it’s just speaking to the point I raised. That consuming these games doesn’t really make us, all of a sudden, cultural ambassadors.

            One element behind Teddie’s character, for instance, has to do with the fact that some Japanese towns have representative mascots. A friend of mine had to tell me this while he was in Tenri, but for the longest time, I thought Teddie was just some random walking joke.

          • Trevor Nicolaysen

            Eh, he’s still a walking joke. A pretty okay one, I’d say. XD

            Interesting to learn. Thank you.

      • M’iau M’iaut

        Yet, the part of our niche who are importers far from represent the buying habits of the rest of us ‘nerds’.

        Years and years of ‘made for Japan’ games have come over, yet the size of the audience in just numbers has stayed basically static. Any business will take note of that and future plan accordingly. The interest in western titles in Japan seems if anything an even dicier proposition.

        Just because we don’t like the reality, doesn’t make it false.

        • Indeed, I really have to wonder if anyone who likes boss/monster hunting games in the US realizes that a lot of game design in Japan caters to people who are on the go. Many Americans aren’t captive to their commute, with chunks of free time to dedicate to reading or portable games.

          Culturally, there’s a big difference to the question of “What do I want to do right now?” and when and where it is asked. I know someone in this thread was worried about Lord of Arcana’s sequel coming to America, but the reality is that, even if it did, who’s really going to buy that game? There’s so many mediums across which Japanese games are delivered that other countries lack or don’t have the setting by which those games would have value. Having a portable device in a social setting is taboo in the US, and Arcades are some kind of distant pipe dream.

          The very things we look at, given this, can lose a lot of their meaning and significance. A Japanese game gets an arcade update while we’re wondering why we only get the first iteration and nothing else, elements of a game are changed because culturally, at the very least, they won’t have meaning, let alone be understood without inciting outrage.

          There’s a lot more going on with these titles than simply wanting them to come over, that’s something larger companies have to navigate. Perhaps as things like kickstarter become more prominent, the direct interest can maybe fund these kind of things arriving more directly, but even so… this isn’t Japan. What ideas are palpable there aren’t necessarily going to make it over, let alone be understood if a game does arrive here.

          (Look at how “Western” = American for me… lol, just, yeah)

          • Albel

            Very, very accurate post. Pretty much nails the whole discussion xD

            Also, looking at it from an artist point of view you also have to consider that not everyone wants to release a piece of art with all those little things lost to linguistic and cultural barriers, not everyone cares only about the money possibly being made.

            I think this is especially true for japanese mentality.

  • Istillduno

    I would ask if SE could at least licence out distribution rights to other publishers for overseas release, but knowing that some money from abroad is better than no money from abroad, that would make to much sense for a company intent on self destruction.

  • landlock

    Man, I fear this isn’t going to end well for us or for SquareEnix.

    • Crimson_Cloud

      If they fall apart I wouldn’t shed a single tear. The way they are now they would probably just screw the remake/sequel of my favorite old game… if they wanted to make one.

      • $36598391

        Yea look at what they did to Final Fantasy V, they have a graphical setup that worked for FF1,2 and 4 for PSP and they don’t use it for V
        I’m kinda terrified about what they’d do to FF6 and hope they just leave it alone
        If they toss the enhanced gba ports of I, II, IV, V and VI on the Wii U virtual console I’d be happy

  • Herok♞

    you know the mobile games thing could be part of the region specific idea since we don’t get those anyway and I wouldn’t fear for Drakengard 3 because I believe all squares ps3 games have been localized unless I missed something somewhere

    • Solomon_Kano

      While we’ve gotten every PS3 game they’ve released (as far as I know, anyway), that doesn’t really say anything. The exact point of this article is that they’re changing their global strategy moving forward. So Drakengard may be up in the air.

      • Herok♞

        well lets just hope for the best which is all we can do.

        • Solomon_Kano


  • LynxAmali

    Shouldn’t they be learning from other companies who tried this method before?


    People enjoy your games because they are the way they are.

    Maybe lower your finical forecasts a bit when it comes to stuff like this?

    • Solomon_Kano

      The problem with that is that this goes deeper than simply lowering their financial forecasts.

      If they’re still spending the same amount, they can’t start asking for smaller return. For them to lower their financial forecasts, they first need to start lowering their development costs, or increasing ways to recoup said costs.

  • SirRichard

    It feels like he’s so close to realising the problem. He’s on the cusp of realising that there is no such thing as the one perfect game that everyone buys, but there are “perfect” games for every genre and audience out there instead, and budgeting and developing to fit that audience can bring about some success and that you should scale back budget and expectations a bit because you don’t need all the millions you can spare for every game. It seems like he’s almost there in realising that, but not quite yet.

    He may actually realise it, but only his actions will tell.

    • Elvick

      God this.

      You hear this one SE? In the words of Navi, “HEY! LISTEN!”.

  • EggmaniMN

    Would you know what the solution is, Square? It’s not garbage like this. It’s to stop focusing on making every game sell like Call of Duty. Stop. Stop chasing after the retarded EA/Activision-created bullshit called “AAA gaming.” Budget your games properly, market your games properly, forecast your games properly and stop thinking that you need 7 gajillion sales for every game because you can’t do it. It’s okay. You can still be the premiere company for RPGs. You just have to focus on actually making RPGs and not on producing “blockbusters.”

    Look. Look at the PS1. Was Xenogears an attempt at creating a “blockbuster?” No. Was Parasite Eve? No. Was Brave Fencer Musashi? No. Was Einhander? No. Was Threads of Fate? No! They were all just games that you put developmental creativity into, without trying to force them into some regional stupidity and definitions of “blockbusters.”

    I’m in the west. That doesn’t mean I only want Eidos’s games. It doesn’t mean I only want huge games on my consoles. Consoles can have smaller titles! They really can! And I’m not talking about indie games! Just proper, good, well-made games!

    Graraaaggh. It’s so frustrating seeing developers and publishers attempt to follow the west’s opulence when the west’s biggest influences (EA and Activision) are currently trying to actively destroy the whole thing.

    • brian

      But that is basically the way they operate now, and he seems like he wants to change it.
      What else could he have intended by this?
      I saw it as he wants their games to stop aiming for blockbuster status with global appeal (that is the most important part) and tailor each game to one region, without ruling out localization.

    • Do us all a favor and go write this phenomenal comment in blood on the walls of SE Headquarters. Maybe then they’ll get this goddamn message that the fans have been screaming through the internet the past few years.

    • Pfantzypantz

      Amen brother

    • Rogerrmark

      Your post make me shed manly tears,lol.
      Mainly the second/third paragraph. D:

      Agreed with everything,though.

    • Randgriz

      All the games you mentioned were never released in the EU. So i cant relate to what youre saying.

    • Ferofax

      No Vagrant Story? Shame on you.

      • EggmaniMN

        Yeah I could have spent like a full paragraph naming even more games. I think I got the point across though. And I could have continued to name stuff going into the DS era as well.

    • T-X

      Here fuqin HERE!! Companies who think like Square does, will not last very long when everything becomes boring and formulized.

  • Solomon_Kano

    Called it.


    I’ll reserve judgement until they show us exactly how far they plan to take this “regionality”.

    • revenent hell

      Oh nice im not the only one concerned……….

    • On one hand, I really don’t feel like I’m missing out on things like Browser/Mobile Games not hitting the shores here, but I think what most people are afraid is the potential reality that some big name title they look forward to and possibly act upon won’t make it to their shores.

      Case in point, I keep staring at a 3DS on my desk that’s waiting for Bravely Default, and if it weren’t for Nintendo and someone else having to act I’d still have little reason to have the thing. And, I can’t say I fault the action, there was just a time where I thought “Foregone conclusion.” Clearly not the case, and I’ve really been that way about my spending, to be honest. I bought Tomb Raider once the price dropped, and it’s like “Do I really need this? Will I really play this?” I think it’s at least helped me take more responsibility for my interest, but I feel like this move would draw the mindless consumptive pool more than a little crazy.

      • Solomon_Kano

        Yea, that’s really what it is. There was a time when it was never a question of “if” with Square Enix (and, really, all the other big Japanese publishers), but “when”. This generation has largely remained on that “when” for SE, but they’ve already begun moving into that “if” territory.

        Your BD example pretty much illustrates everyone’s worst fear. For a lot of people BD was an “if” and some people tried to paint its release as a foregone conclusion, yet when it was announced it wasn’t even Square Enix bringing it. That in itself tells us what their plans for it were and, between that scenario and the other games we’re missing that were once surefire releases, it’s hard to not look at Matsuda’s comments here in a certain light.

        Your mention of Tomb Raider brings something else to mind as well: do they even have the size to make a strategy like this viable? SEEU/Eidos’ output pales in comparison to SEJ’s — and SENA has no output. I don’t think this strategy will drive profit up, given they’ll be scaling back global releases altogether unless they’re planning on some acquisitions in the near future.

        • I mean, I have no idea what kind of profits they’ll pull, especially if certain games go to Steam as I don’t know what the takeaway is from that service to profits. They’re in the middle of a restructuring and their stockholders want to stay up to date on “What are you thinking?” Little use for me, I just know a lot of it boils down to “They gon’ take our shit”, which is kind of funny. I can only hope for the best.

          I know there are people from both sides of the ocean who enjoy playing games that aren’t from their native point of origin. The problem is if people have this discussion and we make assumptions about how profitable that is rather than achieve any sort of raw data. Of course it’d be easy to bring Call of Duty to Japan, those games, I imagine, make money hand over fist. Cost cutting measures, digital releases and limited copy runs of Japanese RPGs are more the standard, and really that’s one way Japan can make sales. Sell a product to a loyal customer base at higher prices, a select number of customers who will buy games at a higher price point, supply/demand or w/e.

          We’re quite fortunate in comparison.

          • Solomon_Kano

            True, true. I suppose we’ll just have to stand back and watch how this all pans out. Whatever “this” ends up being.

      • Laer_HeiSeiRyuu

        You really should look into the wide amount of fantastics RPGs on the 3DS. Its experiencing dungeon crawler overload at the moment

        • That’s the problem, I have. I’m not really interested in those offerings, those aren’t my kind of games. I don’t see anything wrong with them, I just feel like they probably would capture my attention more if, say, I was on a lengthy train commute as opposed to having other options available to me.

          • Laer_HeiSeiRyuu

            I feel your suspect to not giving them due process and a fair shake. Have you tried SMT or Etrian Odyssey? Or you know , Unchained Blades? They’re is also Fire Emblem and some other SRPGs. If all you like is turn based RPGs then yeah your waiting for bravely default because I cant think of another turn based on on the 3DS at the moment (There is Tales of the Abyss if you like real time battle systems) Go into the DS library too (there’s more turn based and tactical rpgs in their alone to fly you to the moon)

          • I actually had a few S Rank runs on previous Advance Wars games. Days of Ruin broke me after I played that hardcore, decided I’d had enough of the genre. The last Shin Megami Tensei game I wholly enjoyed was 3, though I had played Digital Devil Saga and pretty much every major Atlus release since then.

            The problem is that it’s portable gaming, and the one reason I was looking forward to Bravely Default is that it appeals to me directly in terms of aesthetics. I like the character artist a lot, I actually bought a Gameboy Advance solely to play Mega Man Zero 1-4.

            Again, it’s not that I am unaware that a lot of the games you mention are really good, I’m just comfortable saying they aren’t really in my field of interest.

            I’m considering the remake of Etrian Odyssey 1, since it does also have classic mode, but mostly because I haven’t really given those kind of dungeon crawlers a fairshake.

            As for Fire Emblem, it’s sitting on my 3DS digitally… but I actually ended up playing Luigi’s Mansion before touching it at all. It’s a toss up between Tactics Ogre and Fire Emblem atm.

          • Laer_HeiSeiRyuu

            Well, I’d recommend you play Heroes of Mana and Valkyrie Profile Covenant of the Plume. Were you not interested in Devil Survivor Overclocked? Not interested in SMTIV? Did you play Strange Journey? Im thoroughly enjoying EOIV atm, I can say your missing out on a really great game. Its on sale for 30$ on the E-shop

          • Hated Devil Survivor, I’ve played a lot of original DS RPGs. Infinite Space was probably the one I had the most fun with. Strange Journey I passed on, I think I was playing fighting games at the time.

          • Laer_HeiSeiRyuu

            Ah how could I forget the Level 5 titles as well. Look through the Eshop too, you can try denpa men. Ill sit here waiting for SMT IV because that game looks bloody glorious

  • gRiMmYdArK13

    It would be great if they release NieR Replicant outside of Japan in the future.

  • DesmaX

    I don’t think he’s wrong.

    I mean, didn’t the games made by Eidos pretty much failed in japan? Same with Nier in the west

    • Anime10121

      But you let them tell it, they also failed in America too, the place they got most of their sales was Europe.

      • DesmaX

        Oh, come on. Hitman Absolution (PS3) sold, 40.000 in Japan. Ridiculous.

        I understand that Eidos games are not selling as well as they want in the west (Probably because they’re asking too much), but they’re bombing right in japan. There is a problem in selling those games in there

        And, now that I think about it… We are now fearing that Square will not bring their JRPG’s to the west… But what if they don’t release their “western” games in Japan anymore? That would suck for them

  • revenent hell

    …. How come all I can think is if a good game actually does come from SE the US wont be seeing it?……..
    Focusing on good games from a story and gameplay aspect might help……. oh and realistic sales goals, please don’t forget that part.

  • CirnoLakes

    Sounds like more of me getting treated differently based upon my nationality.

    Look at my avatar, do I look like someone with Western preferences?

    This Westerner misses Secret of Mana. That’s something I’d like to see out of Square Enix, a big budget, high quality, Secret of Mana game.

    • Laer_HeiSeiRyuu

      With a sprite looking environment thats actually modeled in 3D

    • $36598391

      I miss the Mana, Saga and Front Mission series

  • Japanese companies need to stop trying to make games for Americans, period. Do you see American companies trying to appeal to Japan? No, because they don’t get it. Make games for yourselves and you’ll have worldwide hits like before.

    • Slayven19

      I think square-enix is talking about the edios branch which does make american games that have been successful. Now what I do hope is that square isn’t saying they won’t bring anymore japanese games out of japan.

  • Bloodios

    Okay, so games developed in the West are going to stay in the West because they sell horrible Japan, cool, but Square, please don’t forget that there are people like me who really look forward to see those games developed or published by your Eastern branch to make it over here, too. It would really sadden me if games like Lord of Apocalypse and Drag-on Dragoon 3 was to never make it out of Japan because of your new way of thinking, alright?

    • Kevadu

      There are people who are the reverse of you too (Japanese people who like western games). Actually, S-E publishes a lot of western stuff in Japan, like Call of Duty…

      Focusing on region-specific stuff is scary precisely because it sounds like they want to abandon those niches…

    • Solomon_Kano

      Lord of Apocalypse got passed on before they even got into this way of thinking.

  • Pedro Tavares

    Fuck this, he is basicly saying that we won’t be getting the same games as the japanese from now on, RPG will get fucked as usaul.

  • DragonSix

    This is not going to end well… tastes are not region-based, people will like every type of game everywhere.

    If you only cater to a majority that’s already being catered to, you let your long time fans in the dust and you’ll get nothing at all in the end.

  • Jirin

    This only bothers me if they develop games for region-locked systems.

    • Elvick

      They will.

  • Tanthalas

    This part of their strategy is what worries me the most. Most of SE’s fans actually want their JP titles the most and it looks like they want to just give us their western titles.

    Can’t we just have them all? I’m certain that localization costs are a low percentage of the total development costs of a game.

    • Laer_HeiSeiRyuu

      Telll that to Atlus. Why do you think Namdai has Dark Souls?

  • ShawnOtakuSomething

    Ehhh- Bad-Bad-bad

  • Guest

    Oh wow, and just when you think they couldn’t fall deeper. That’s almost EA-kind of depressing right here.

  • kroufonz

    man i can’t think any positive outcome could born from this policy (for those outside japan that like japanese games).

    even before this we already missing some game like type-0 and lord apocalypse.

    if you guys have interview with squareenix at E3 i hope you could ask more detail about this region specific thing

    • Guest

      In all honesty: I feel more concerned for Eidos instead of Square Enix. At least they delivered decent games in this current three years.

  • John Pena

    Damn, that means we wont see Dragon Quest 7 for the 3DS, in which i want for my RPG collection!!!

  • MiniTaurus

    game is a universal language imho
    (with localization of course :3)

  • Ferrick

    oh don’t mind me, i’m still waiting for this

    and if its not going to be localized, i’m going to start a riot

    as for the policy, i’m rather disappointed. Here i had hoped that the change of CEOs would change SE for the better, but then they decide to pull stunts like these that would hurt them even more…

  • Ethan_Twain

    Well, yeah. That’s not a big deal. Square-Enix is accepting that they are not Nintendo, and their IP lack the universal global appeal of Nintendo’s IP. There’s not a single other publisher in the business that is able to develop a game and just assume that it’ll be a hit all over the globe. Considering all the problems Square Enix has suffered this past decade, they are FAR from that. Their old IP have lost value, their new IP are either sub-par or don’t exist.

    This is Square Enix’s reality, just like it’s the reality for every other publisher that isn’t Nintendo. SE accepting this is good and healthy.

  • Letiumtide

    The idea of being locked into western-style only games is horribly depressing, even if that’s probably not quite what they’re getting at.

  • FFmax

    This crap just makes me want to cry, what is the game industry coming too?

    • Quinton Rivera

      “We’re trying to get CoD sales numbers on every game” is what it’s coming to. =/

  • Emory Myers

    Better keep learning Japanese.

  • brian

    I recently thought of a metaphor about games in general, especially games with very high ambitions like being a hit globally.
    They’re a lot like swords, with some of theme being huge and unwieldy, but with the right tactics and people using that sword it can be really effective based on the skill required to make it work.
    The size of the sword represents the game’s budget and development time.
    FFVs13 is probably (definitely at this point) their biggest (and double edged) sword, because they’ve spent a ton of time on polishing and brandishing that they’re likely going to miss most of their original audience and hit themselves.
    This new president seems to be pretty wise so far, or wiser than the last (current) one.

    edit: you guys seem to be possibly misinterpreting this, since he only mentioned that he wants to MAKE them for specific regions, and not release them exclusively to those individual regions.

  • Amagidyne

    I get where they’re coming from, with the fact that west and east have different tastes, but I feel like SE doesn’t quite grasp that not everybody subscribes to the tastes of their region.

    It’s got me worried we’ll see less JRPG’s and eastern styled games over here, simply because they’re not what the ‘majority’ of western gamers buy.

  • TheExile285

    Does anyone still care about SE? I’m trying but it’s getting harder and harder…

  • epy

    More games we want will stay in Japan. It’s like the 90s all over again.

    • Except since the 90’s I’ve moved on to other companies and don’t care much for SE anymore

      • Ni

        pretty much this /

  • Göran Isacson

    Okay, so it seems there are two ways most interpret this as. One is “Say goodbye to JRPG’s, Western market!” and that is terrible in every possible way. The other is that they’re going to be much more modest in their budgets unless they are absolutely SURE it’s a game that will sell to a worldwide market, which isn’t NECESSARILY a bad thing since it doesn’t really preclude “Japanese” style games from coming here- they will just do so in very small runs, and they will probably feel a bit cheaper than they usually do. I’m cool with that. I’m cool with games that don’t all have FF13’s bloated budget. But until I see which of these two options, if either of them, are true I shall try to stay positive and hope they realize that they DO have a market over here, it’s just not as large as COD’s market and hoping for that would be silly of them.

    • GGear0323

      the reason more people see it as your first example is because this isn’t about region specific tastes. it doesn’t matter what genres or mechanics are liked better in the east or the west. it is about understanding fans of a genre and, in particular, their scope. pumping money into a SRPG, for example, doesn’t increase the SRPG fanbase. you can say the same for any other genre. simply understand the appeal of certain genres, no matter where they live, budget accordingly and make the best game you can within that. add only what you feel will make the game better, not things that you think will appeal to a western fanbase or stuff like that. i don’t see anyone saying Halo would sell better in Japan if they put Cortana in a maid outfit, threw some spiky hair on a few marines and some sight gags (simplistic but you get the point).

      • Göran Isacson

        True… Square Enix HAS kind of been using the “throw money at the thing until it either bankrupt us or gets fixed” method of problemsolving, and it has NOT done them any favors so far. Hopefully they realize that the solution is not to just throw specifically earmarked money in specific directions, but actually make good games…

    • $36598391

      It’s not goodbye to JRPGs in the Western Market
      Support Aksys, Atlus USA, Xseed and Gaijinworks

  • puchinri

    It sounds reasonable, and I hope he means it in the way I understand it.
    To me, trying to appeal to everyone at times is more of a weakness than a fault (but the context certain depends). Also, when you have a very direct focus/vision, you can hone in on it and work it up better and shape it to be something that’ll have greater appeal than trying to include a lot of unnecessary elements. Of course, this works for some things and not others.

    I’m interested in how they’ll pursue these strategies of their’s~.

  • Albel

    You know, I really don’t see all the hate here… Considering that they seem to be “aware” of crowdfunding like kickstarter, for example, let them make their region specific games and after that let them crowdfund a possible translation, win win right?

    Sure, that’s a best case scenario, but in all honesty, nowadays you don’t really miss out by not playing every square-enix game ;)

    • DesmaX

      Kickstaring localization is dumb, according to Xseed


      • Albel

        uhm, have you read that article? xD

        you do get Xseed is a publisher only, so their problems with kickstarter are pretty specific, we’re talking about square-enix here who usually publish their own games and it’s not like they’d need to aquire licenses for their own games ;)


        • DesmaX

          While they being the same company certainly helps with licensing, putting them on hold is still not a good idea. And the other problems they mentioned still holds.

          And, quite honestly, I don’t think they would use Kickstarter for risque localizations (Try to kickstart Drakengard 3 to see if it reach reach the goal). And quite honestly I see Square more prone to do something like “Steam Early Acess” (Which is a pretty nice idea, maybe releasing the games is some “Episodic” style…)

          • Albel

            Yeah I get your point, but you know, there just needs to be one big, successful pilot project regarding crowdfunding translation and everybody will at least try it. After that it’s in the hands of the fans.

            But I for one know I’ll simply adapt, they won’t translate games I want to play, well one more reason to polish my japanese.

  • Nitraion

    I think diversity is needed I mean i love both side… East and west
    Each side have their special game…..
    What in the world coming to? if both side give us same type of game… O:

  • Anime10121

    No no no NO! This does not bode well for small titles like the Drakengards and the Niers! We want these games too Square, NOT JUST Final Fantasies, Kingdom Hearts, and Eidos titles.

    • brian

      It actually seems to bode better than their current strategy.
      Keep in mind that they let BD:FF go to Nintendo.

      • Anime10121

        True, but also look how long it took for us to get BD:FF, for NA it’ll almost be 2 years by the time it releases (while had Square done it the way they used to, we’d already have the game).

        • brian

          Well it released less than a year ago and even on PS1 they generally took at least a year to localize most games.
          If anything, he seems like he wants to change this in favor of people like us because we already barely got any niche games from them anyway.
          He probably wants to send a message of “expect less games trying to fly over cultural barriers like Mindjack and Gun Loco” but came off as no niche games.
          Yoichi Wada supposedly had/has the mindset most people in these comments seem to think Yosuke Matsuda has:
          I guess he (Yosuke Matsuda) probably also intended this as no subtly mixing cultural influences like in Nier and Sleeping Dogs.

          edit: just remembered that game Squeenix focus group’d a couple years ago, Nanashi no Game.
          Apparently it was too japanese and had too few guns for localization.

  • Trevor Nicolaysen

    Based on this and the recent SE USA CEO’s leaving the company it sounds like they refuse to acknowledge their own USA branch’s advice. I’ve met a rep or two (just the one) who responded to my asking about the DQMJ2 vs professional with “Thanks, we know but we need as many people to tell them as possible.” Not sure if “them” were in the US, Japan or both; regardless what they did with that was classless and just plain undignified. These video game companies desperately want to be too big for their britches so they buy new clothes and can’t even hold them up. They’ve been shameful in the past for their embarrassment, as pride makes fools of us all. But hopefully they’ll start making games they can be proud rather than airtight press conferences. I wouldn’t call them a true dissapointment yet, but they sure have the blueprints to it on the company wall.

  • Grape Monet

    Based on their current business practices, I think it’s safe to assume that no Japan-developed Square Enix title that isn’t Final Fantasy, Kingdom Hearts or a mobile game will ever see release in North America unless published by someone else. Really, as long as games like Bravely Default are brought over here no matter who’s publishing them I’d be perfectly okay with this.

    Incidentally, and there’s very little chance SE would let this happen, but Drakengard 3 would be a perfect fit for XSEED.

  • Tg

    By “regionality”, to me, I see it as “stop trying to make games appeal to the entire world” by putting in Western elements into their games. Then, expect these Western influenced games to sell a lot in the West. So, to remedy this, they will focus on separating their type of games to further accommodate the various international tastes. They will also focus back on making games with pure Japanese elements. Um… I like the part about focusing on pure JRPGs, but they better be localized. There are a lot of people, who like the niche JRPGs.

  • Oh man……

  • LastFootnote

    Just keep taking dumps in my cereal, Square Enix. You’re on a roll.

  • Jack Frazee

    Drakengard 3 is the first game announced this year that I’ve been excited about. If we don’t get it now because of this crap, I’m going to be more than a little pissed off.

  • Elvick


    We’re doomed.

  • I’m scared… Someone hold me ( ;A;)

    • Testsubject909

      Okay. *Holds you*

  • Keima88


    *hugs his old SE collection*

    • Testsubject909

      *hugs his old Squaresoft collection*

      Sorry… More fond memories of Squaresoft then I do Squeenix.

  • iamakii

    They are still not getting it! Sigh, I want my old Squaresoft back.

    • Time to move on, they aren’t coming back

  • “Our customers’ tastes throughout the globe are as varied as the regions in which they live”

    Actually, SquEnix, they’re a bit more varied than that.

  • … Well, shit.

  • LaserVision

    Has anyone actually read the pdf linked in the article? SE makes a lot of good points about the games industry right now. People here just jump in, read the headline and scream about how if SE just did everything just like the good old days, then everything’d be hunky-dory.

    It won’t. The whole industry is slumping. Sales in aggregate are down. Studios are shutting down left and right. People are getting laid off all over the place. This isn’t as easy as everyone thinks it is.

  • Tom

    Okay, put the localization cost on Kickstarter and we’ll see they were wrong! Western gamers want those games!

  • loempiavreter

    Yo square you want a new target audience? Make some bleedin’ hyperspeed action title you’ll find in any arcade. Oh yeah and retire those ridiculous moe, zazz animu character designs and go for some decent character designers from Japan like Keita Amemiya, Yasushi Nirasawa and if you hire Yoshitaka Amano again let him have some creative freedom to create, because it was painful to see him make animu-friendly character designs.

    • Warboss Aohd

      i agree solely wit riddin’ da world o’ da filthy scum dat iz Moe, dat stuff iz so diabolical an’ Evil Da Chaos Humies an’ Dark Eldar Say “Whoa, no need to go THAT far.”

  • notforsale


  • Charmchar

    You know they wouldn’t have to change anything if they just return to their roots and made interesting and fun JRPGs again.

    • Testsubject909

      But their roots moved and made Mistwalker (Edit: The company that made Lost Odyssey and The Last Story).

  • Lemon

    Considering how Nintendo probably had a huge role in finally getting Bravely Default localized (while FF:Type-0 still isn’t), I think it’s safe to say that this does not bode well for future SE titles to be localized; especially the ones that SE considers to target a ‘niche’ market in Japan. I guess there really isn’t anything much we can do about it. 仕方がないな。

  • SoundMatch

    Don’t you dare touch Drakengard. Seriously whats with Capcom and Square Enix trying to become western? People come to Square Enix to PLAY JAPANESE GAMES wtf? What Square needs to realize is that with the invention of the internet people can easily access other cultures and in effort take part in some of their activities (Games and Music etc.) So just make games available to EVERYWHERE to EVERYONE. Want to redefine an AAA Title how about: A GAME THAT MAKES PEOPLE HAPPY. Goddamit when you have to tell companies what to do so that we the consumer can have fun is one thing. Ignoring our help for the sake of your “professionalism” makes me even more infuriated. If SQ pulls any bullcrap moves I’m not supporting them any more. Tip: Matsuda-san please get your expectations realistic or get someone else to do it for you.

  • I imagine that we’re now hearing something that’s actually been planned for awhile now. Square-Enix isn’t just a bunch of JRPG developers anymore. Eidos Interactive merged with them back in 2009. We’ve seen the new Deus Ex and Tomb Raider games published under the Square Enix brand name since then.

  • Darkrise

    *SIGH* Do they even listen to the fans anymore? Are they paying ANY attention at all that they’re expectations are too high and that they’re wasting money on new IP’s that are never popular enough, when they have other existing ones that can still have sequels like Kingdom Hearts?

    • Testsubject909

      Um… Hey, let me give you these videos (well this video, it’s #1, you can see #2 and #3 yourself. #4 isn’t out yet, but it’s still a good watch and listen).

      You also get to peer at some behind the scene details if her sources are accurate.

      Such as the staff behind FFXIII not being sure what they wanted their games to look and feel like… By the time they had released a demo…


      Edit: Don’t worry. The style is very analytical.

  • michel

    Perhaps Square Enix, instead of Kickstarter, should have a look at siliconera…

    • Warboss Aohd

      not sure dat would work either, alot o’ da humiez postin’ ‘ere are ratha anti-western with little ta no middle ground.

  • anarchy_panty

    Just another company that’s willing to blame anything besides their bloated marketing budget.

  • Unlimax


    • Testsubject909

      Well played.

  • Mugen

    Where does this leave Parasite Eve? D:

    • Testsubject909

      Dead with the 3rd birthday.

  • Anon-non

    I’m concerned. Is he implying less localizations? I mean, we missed out on Type-Zero.

  • foopy

    If this means that Square will stop developing games “with a western audience in mind” and go back to just making video games that happen to sell well in the west, I am all for it.

    Personally, I feel that the quality of Square’s games started declining when they specifically attempted to pander to western tastes.

    • Testsubject909

      No… considering what they’re implying. I think what they’ll do with “Regionality” is specifically focus on “developing games with a western audience in mind”…

      Yeah. This does not excite me… Actually it kinda makes me shrug and ponder what this is going to change exactly…

  • Raos

    Maybe it means western games wont be budgeted to be brought to Japan (please T.T) I mean, from the Japanese side only Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest and Kingdom Hearts are considered big budgeted AAA games for global audience (i love all the others too but they aren’t that budgeted)

  • Warboss Aohd

    ‘eres an’ idea, ‘ow about ya budget yer titles realistically an’ target specific audiencez ratha den tryin’ ta appeal ta everyone. It works wit Demon’s Souls, it worked wit’ Dark Souls.

  • Elly Honda

    maybe if square would put out a dang game and stop trolling at conferences with trailers then we’d buy some games. we cant buy games that don’t exist.

    ive never in my life seen a game company that only releases game trailers.

    last 7 years of SE has been insanity.

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