Square Enix President: “We Must Reform With Urgency”

By Sato . October 4, 2013 . 6:12pm

squareenix

Earlier this year, Square Enix made the big announcement of former president Yoichi Wada’s decision to step down from his position. Yosuke Matsuda, who filled Wada’s shoes as the company president, talked about his plans to review the entire company. In a recent interview, Matsuda talks about the change of the company’s business model.

 

“The business model is at a turning-point,” starts Matsuda. “Up until now, the profit of home-console games have been decided by price x number [sold]. Development and and sales were divided, and the game developers only needed to concentrate on their work. That’s where the strengths of our company laid within.”

 

“At the very beginning, the game business started out with ‘how can we get people to insert coins’. Afterwards, consoles became popular, and our company grew as game design and billing [methods] were divided,” Matsuda continues. “Presently, online games are prosperous, which again, has the theme of ‘how can we charge the people,’ as developers and sales have become inseparable. And the devices they can be played on has spread vastly. It’s truly a paradigm shift.”

 

“Past gaming generation changes took roughly three to five years. Nowadays, released titles are updated every day, and it only takes about three months for a situation to completely change. In order to react with such speed, it is urgent for development and sales to be unified as one.”

 

Prior to taking over the position of company president, not much was known about the former company director Yosuke Matsuda. The man shared a little info about his career up until now.

 

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“After graduating, I joined Mitsui Life Insurance Company, where I was in charge of personnel affair duties of the business staff,” Matsuda reminisces. “Afterwards, I resigned and became a certified public accountant. After working with various auditing corporations, I joined what was formerly Squaresoft in 1998.”

 

“In the year 2000, I left the company once, but when Yoichi Wada invited me back again when he became the president, and I rejoined the company in 2001,” continued Matsuda. “At the time, it was the burst of the dot-com bubble, and there were also lots of exciting ventures. However, rather than being part of a world that made profit with a system, I wanted to challenge the world with content, so I accepted the offer.”

 

“The former core was ‘standardization’ and now it has become ‘personality’. It is similar to bringing up a fashion brand. An especially important index is ‘asset-turnover ratio’. When making something, developers want to spend more time and money. However, that can be related to lowering the asset-turnover ratio, so the key point is to find a good balance,” explained Matsuda.

 

“In fact, one of the factors of the final deficit is the delay from the development to release,” Matsuda elaborated. “Such time-lag  means a decrease of contact frequency with the players. It is necessary for us to set up a system that allows us to meet the demands of our customers in a more timely manner. We can’t just have a year of leniency. We must reform with urgency.”

 

Finally, Yosuke Matsuda shares one of his most memorable moments on the job.

 

“My number one [memory] is the merger between Enix and Square,” Matsuda shares. “Since it was a merger between two rival companies; after it was approved in the general stockholders meeting, we had to remain sharp until the very last minute of the merger date. As the CFO (chief financial officer) I had to make assumptions of various scenarios, including estimation of risks.”

 

“When I rejoined the company, I never would’ve expected to be part of a tag team with Yoichi Wada for the next ten years,” said Matsuda. “Up until now, as a CFO, I’ve supported Wada’s decisions as a president. When I look back at it now, my entire career since entering this company was like a first step. I’ve acquired the influence of Wada’s ways of drawing out his vision. However, now that I’m in the position of being the president, there are some things for which I will make different decisions. I’d like to continue taking challenges from now on.”

 

“The DNA of providing high-quality content is in us. We will continue to honor this, while changing what needs to be changed. I am convinced we can make this drastic change into a chance of opportunity,” Matsuda concluded.


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  • KuroNathan

    It sounds like he wants to take the company to more online and mobile games?

    I’m going to play devil’s advocate and say that mobile games aren’t necessarily a bad thing. If done properly.

    • Yause

      At the end of the day, it seems that Wada was the main supporter of traditional handheld and console games.

      Currently, you have the previous Squaresoft president (Hisashi Suzuki) saying that Square Enix should have abandoned HD games and looked toward progressive market approaches. Now you have the new president (Yosuke Matsuda) moving in that direction.

      • epy

        If that were true it would be like a Shyamalan twist. Wada was the hero all along.

      • alangato

        Wow Hisashi really said that they should have abandoned HD games?! Damn, can I see where he said that?

        • Guest

          I don’t think Suzuki quite said that. It seems that HD development costs have gotten expensive for Square Enix. His original message is in Japanese: https://twitter.com/Hisashi_Suzuki/status/265704663809159169

          He also called the merger between Square and Enix a “complete failure.”

          • alangato

            Yep I remember reading that a while ago… damn I want my SaGa 4 on dat PS4 or WIIU

  • epy

    He’s just another Wada. Nothing will change.

    • Magnumsally

      He is worse than wada.

      No DQ partnerships for US, Not even localizing Bravely Default.

      He did all the bravest.

      • Guest

        Sorry to rain on your parade, but Matsuda contributed nothing significant toward All the Bravest. In fact, “Tetsuya Nomura” is listed as the creator of the original concept here (though I’m not saying he also lead game play development):

        http://www.jp.square-enix.com/ff_atb/en/information.html

        • surakian

          Yes, it was mainly made by KH and TWEWY staff (probably for fun), but I doubt the decision to make it a microtransaction hell was theirs. The idea behind the game was fun and playful and for FF fans to get a laugh out of (and to admire the amazing sprite work they did), but I’d say somewhere along the way somebody higher up made an order…and we got what we got…

          • Guest

            Yes, I caution you not to interpret my comment as a jab toward Nomura. I’m all up for criticism, but not criticism directed towards the wrong people. Matsuda may indeed have played a role in implementing the “microtransaction hell,” but we really can’t know for sure. I also doubt Nomura imagined All the Bravest to give consumers a laborious and unnecessarily expensive experience.

          • surakian

            Oh, I didn’t take it like that at all! I was just providing some extra explanation to your comment. Sorry if you thought I was countering your comment.

          • Guest

            Okay, thanks for your clarification, surakian. :)

      • Landesca

        What hole are you living in? Bravely Default is being localized.

        • Guest

          By Nintendo.

          • surakian

            Which SE had to approve. So that is something.

          • Guest

            Indeed. Was it a fait accompli, though? Did SE have to approve, or did SE choose to approve?

          • surakian

            I’m sure it was Silicon Studios that probably pleaded their case, Nintendo said they were interested, then SE threw their hands up and said “Sure, why not.” lol

  • d19xx

    - Screw console/platform exclusives
    - Accept the fact that you are not Activision and your games will never sell like COD
    - Get rid of Lightning

    You’re welcome Squeenix…

    • Valtiel Ikari

      THIS!!!
      specially the getting rid of Lightning…

    • Lynx

      What does Lightning have to do with BUISNESS? Its the same thing that happened with VII those years back.

      Geez.

      • surakian

        Lightning has been their focus for about four years, and while her popularity is high in Japan, I doubt her…”brand” is bringing in the big bucks.

        Making Lightning their face of the company for four years was a business decision based on how much they believed she’d sell games and merchandise and the company’s name attached to it. The decision to move on from her has and will also be a business decision because this is how they operate.

        • Nice Boat Quatro

          But Light was the lead in only two games. FF13-2 had some unreliable promotions.

          • Guest

            Haha, unfortunately.

          • surakian

            I didn’t say she had to be the main character to be the face, lol. She was pretty much the lead in Dissidia 012, though…so that’s another game where she had a strong presence.

            Yeah, XIII-2 did have some unreliable promotion, and the interviews too. “Lightning’s happy ending” that Kitase and Toriyama mentioned in interviews early on in dev and what we actually got in the game were two completely different things…

        • d19xx

          I actually googled “is lightning popular in Japan”. Since there are divided opinions of her on most English video game related sites.

          I never got a definite answer other than “yeah her games sells there”…

      • Guest

        Not quite. As a critically acclaimed success worldwide, VII and Cloud just naturally rose in popularity. The first entry in the Compilation of VII arrived in 2004, with Before Crisis hitting the market 7 years after VII’s initial release (in 1997!).

        In Lightning and XIII’s case, the elevation seems contrived and artificial. XIII definitely polarized fans, and Square Enix revealed XIII-2 just as things had started to settle down again, and when most people, I imagine, had moved on from XIII.

        As expected of the lead from a hugely popular RPG, Cloud soared in popularity, whereas Lightning (or Square Enix, rather) has forged her popularity. That’s how I think of the comparison between these two leads.

        • Surgeon of Death

          Nice.

      • Zeonsilt

        What happened to VII?Crisis core is a masterpiece.Advent Children was an awesome movie,i remember watching it with my friends and we all gave it 1010.

        • http://twitter.com/#!/kaishou Kaishou

          I’m pretty sure I wasn’t drinking earlier……………Am I reading that right?

        • Mihel

          Advent Children was an awesome movie

          It’s so awesome it doesn’t even need to have a plot.
          You see bad guys doing bad stuff and you fight them five or six times, with Cloud angsting between each battle. Then Sephiroth happens for no reason.

          • Niko Sandwich

            That… is an accurate summary of that movie.

          • Morricane

            “Style over substance” is a valid approach too :)

      • http://twitter.com/#!/kaishou Kaishou

        they are just looking for something to blame on. Lightning in this case.

    • Guest

      I wish I could like your comment more than once, lol!

    • OathkeeperSoraXIII

      Lightning makes them a profit simple as that. Hate on Lightning, hate on XIII, but at the end of the day it’s making them a profit. Getting rid of her would’ve been a bad decision. It’s just a shame SE didn’t release the novels outside of Japan. It would’ve helped gamers in the west connect with the character and thus the series. It definitely helped me enjoy the series more, although I already enjoyed it, so that’s probably a bias statement from me. I digress though.

      Anyway they already had FFXV in the works so if they did ‘Get rid of Lightning’. It would’ve meant spending more money on something either from the ground up or something that most likely wouldn’t have got them as much profit. Outiside of FF and the mobile games in Japan. Square isn’t having much success with budgets and profit margins, Which is why they’re in this state. so I’d say something from the ground up would’ve been way too risky. Hopefully they can get back some of the money they put into FFXIV since it’s pretty damn good now, it’ll be a while though before they start seeing any profit on it.

      I agree with your other 2 points though :P

      • Tom_Phoenix

        “Hate on Lightning, hate on XIII, but at the end of the day it’s making them a profit.”

        In the long run? I’m not so sure. The damage XIII has done to the brand arguably outweighs the short-term financial gain the games had brought the company. The poor sales (by mainline FF standards) of XIII-2 already made it preety clear how cold and reserved the general audience has become towards the series.

        XV is going to face a serious uphill battle if it is to restore the faith customers had in the series.

        • OathkeeperSoraXIII

          I think you’ll find it was XIV that damaged the brand the most. XIII damaged the brand in the west due to SE not releasing any of the extra info that Japan got (such as episode 0 which was released on their website, in Japanese only) which ultimately didn’t help players relate to characters and/or the story. There was also no demo released over here where as in Japan it was bundled with the FF7:Advent Children Complete Blu-ray. A lot of people also had overwhelming expectations for XIII just because it was ‘next gen’ at the time. This is where I think SE messed up with it. They didn’t cater enough to the western audience. Which is why Japan loves Lightning and the west hate her lol. This is all my opinion though.

          FFXV was always going to face an uphill battle with the traditional fanbase for being an action-RPG. You’ve only got to go to most videos and you’ll see quite a few complaints saying ‘this isn’t FF anymore’, ‘Just remake FF7′, ‘Just go back to turn based’ or similar. I’m an open minded person and I thoroughly enjoy the KH series so I know I’ll enjoy FFXV and take it for what it is. Also, bear in mind with XIII-2 that they put Serah and Noel as main characters who were not that well established in XIII (With Noel not even being introduced there) so sales were already going to take a plummet for that fact. I’m certain with Light being the main character in LR and the switch up in gameplay it will be more successful than XIII-2. That’s just my opinion though. We’ll see when the game actually releases.

          • KHSoraKeyBlade

            The comments made towards FFXV’s gameplay from the “traditional fanbase” were a joke in my opinion.

            They complained about it not being turnbased (although they were probably also screaming for Versus XIII to be released) and yet they probably haven’t liked the combat of the series for many years. I bet if you ask any Final Fantasy fan what is their favourite aspect of the series I’m sure 99% won’t have the gameplay as their first choice.

            Still though FFXV should be an interesting experiment for the series, I personally love what we’ve seen so far because again like you mentioned, I thoroughly enjoy KH.

          • OathkeeperSoraXIII

            I agree as with you on the ‘traditional fanbase’ there’s such a divide between the fanbase.

            Someone at the bottom of the comments put it really well saying nowadays the fanbase is in groups by preference rather than actual ‘fanbase’ I’m glad SE is trying to do something fresh for the franchise until the bitter fans of the past start giving them grief and then that sets a shitty message for any newcomers to the franchise.

        • Nana

          FF13 didn’t damage the brand tho.

    • FlyingPony

      My idea –stop making the crabby mobile game, release FF15 asap, and remake FF7. That will bring them bucks.

    • http://twitter.com/#!/kaishou Kaishou

      Apparently Lightning has everything to do with Square Enix financial matters. Is this the pinnacle of you haters?

      • Guest

        The internet can distort reality quite a bit. Even if “Lightning has everything to do with Square Enix financial matters” is not the reality and is a completely egregious conclusion to draw–which I shall gladly acknowledge–sometimes I can’t help but feel that Lightning, in fact, has shown up everywhere, especially in the last 4 years.

      • Nana

        Female character, so fanboys of course have an aneurism that she exists and is promoted. They have this weird idea that only overly muscular brutes should be on covers for some reason.

  • surakian

    Adapting their model to fit in mobile titles isn’t a bad idea, but it is bad to cut back on mid-tier developments and try to concentrate on having JUST a AAA and mobile model. Many of SE’s mid-tier games released in the last seven years have been beyond fantastic and I’d love to see more of that come from SE. They are desperately trying to grab for that next big AAA title rather than just letting it happen, and that has been hurting them greatly. Fans don’t have confidence in them, and it is stuff like this that makes them even more wary…and what loses SE money.

    I believe they can deliver some great mobile games and AAA titles, but they should not forget about making smaller budget titles on consoles and handhelds. The 3DS is hot right now, and people responded very well to BDFF. Make some more new IPs for handhelds and consoles, make a TWEWY2. Revisit some old IPs (and not via social, mobile, mmo, or microtransaction-reliant type games). People will buy those as much as they probably will buy the Tomb Raider sequel in dev. Support all sides of the market rather than catering to two polar sides and leaving the whole middle hanging.

    Edit: I forgot to mention bloated budgets. That is definitely hurting them and this is why I feel an AAA + mobile model is bad. They spend a bunch in development, get a small return, then use mobile games to fund the next project. It can be a deadly cycle if they can’t keep costs low on those AAA games and sell high.

    • Guest

      Yeah, HD development costs probably dragged SE really into the red. Suzuki had already said so two years ago, so unless SE has revamped its entire development cycle, the company really can’t keep up with AAA titles with costs as high as they are.

  • GH56734

    There’s something wrong with their “paradigm shift”. That’s for sure.
    I mean, it’s no longer free-to-play, but basically pay-to-pay?

    And the “DNA of providing high-content” statement is highly amusing. Arrogant, even. The creative output of present-day SE is so far from their golden days. Admitting there is a problem is needed as the first step towards a solution. But now not only they want to continue their ways, but also compromise the creative process even further and submit it to even more executive meddling?

  • Anon-non

    So the company is run by a businessman than a gamer, which worries me a bit.

    • Guest

      It’s not every day that you find a savvy head honcho who’s also an avid gamer. Square Enix has always been a business, first and foremost, but its true colors are starting to show, and they’re not looking so pretty, if you ask me.

      • surakian

        Wada was a gamer…but he wasn’t a good president, either. He held a lot of trust in the developers, and I think that was his problem not to mention overshooting the marks.

        • Guest

          Would you say that his thinking had been a bit naïve? (I ask honestly because I don’t know what’s gone wrong for SE, except for the XIV fiasco – and All the Bravest!).

    • JustThisOne

      That’s kind of the feel that I’m getting from this article, but I want to say it’s pretty unfair to judge him through these words alone. Let’s see what he does for the games.

      Perhaps a numbers man is what SE really needs now anyway, considering their iffy management of funds and development costs.

  • EggmaniMN

    Yes, do reform. Back to just making games for consoles or portables, charging people once for buying the game, and making those games as great as possible without a care for what the West thinks or what Japan thinks or what the otakus want or anything. Just let some author write you a story and have someone work with him directly on music and the other planners and director work with them both to create a game that is whatever the creators want to make, not want they believe the public wants to see, not what they believe the trends are, not what they believe would sell to the right demographic. If you make an earnest, extremely good game with a direct and absolute direction, people will see that and they WILL notice it.

    • Warboss Aohd

      well said humie.

    • John Diamond

      I have absolutely no issues with DLC if the effort put into them are amazing, like the red dead redemption dlc

    • i2Chep

      Sounds like Project Phoenix. This is a good thing.

    • Matthew

      Great example: The Last of Us. Second best selling PS3 game of all time.

  • DesmaX

    Took them long enough to notice

  • Minos

    “Up until now, the profit of home-console games have been decided by price x number [sold]. Development and and sales were divided, and the game developers only needed to concentrate on their work. That’s where the strengths of our company laid within.”

    This is the business model that is destroying Gaming, now days companies think that sells are granted and that they can run crazy with financial scissors and that it does not matter because they will sell a lot at the end.

    The result are tons of AAA super expensive games that sell 3 millions and yet the company goes bankrupt because they didn’t sell like Wii Fit, a damn D- game that probably cost less to make than the Costarican coffee they used on the planing meeting yet it sold +40 millions with 2 games.

    FFVsXIII name change shows this “People will buy it just because” mentality hasn’t gone away from Squeenix.

    The whole industry needs to make an stop , take a break and realize that they can’t keep increasing the development cost and that spending $100 millions on a game wont make it sell 20 million units, people just want a good game.

    • Marcus J. Hopkins

      I some great reasons behind why Wii Fit sold better are that it has a gimmick and it’s fun to play.

      I’ve never been less entertained than when I’ve played…well, virtually every NEW S-E title released over the past few years (remakes/HD upgrades of games from their Golden Years, notwithstanding). Start making games that are fun to play, and not just pretty to watch, and people will buy them.

      Advertise for your freakin’ games. Communicate with your fan base. This is KEY. If we don’t know what’s coming out (or what’s not getting localized), we stop caring. Not going to localize [title]? Great! TELL people that you have no plans to localize, so that you can get some feedback from your fan base, rather than let us languish in the information vacuum.

  • LunarKnite

    Don’t care. I’ll start caring about you again if you localize a DQ game for the 3DS, but seems like you don’t care either, so why bother?

    • Kalis Konig

      Yeeeeep! I find it hilarious that companies like Capcom and Square give these interviews about what needs to be done to return them to glory, yet they continue to play deaf when it comes to the pleas of their fans.

  • Nice Boat Quatro

    They need to do something about annoucing a game and delaying it for a lot of time. The original FFX took about 2 years of development while the HD ports are taking longer.

    • Aoshi00

      yeah, w/ Drakengard 3, we heard about it not that long ago and it’s almost upon release day, while VS 13 became 15 and we still don’t know when we would see that, along w/ Kingdom Hearts 3..I don’t mind them taking their time to develop quality games, but the gap btwn initial announcement and final release is just way too long.. maybe all these portable games or iOS ports make them money, but count me out..

      • Tom

        The wiki says about Drakengard 3 that “As of March 13, 2013, the game’s development is approximately 60% complete. ” – the date when they first announced it.

    • natchu96

      Versus 13/15 is the epitome of delays.

      • Freud_Hater

        Worse than Duke Nukem Forever?

        • Guest

          Game hasn’t been released yet, so we ought to hold off judgment until then.

          • Barrylocke89

            Freud means that Duke Nukem Forever had worse delays. A game can go through delay hell and still be good, but the fact of the matter is that the longer the delays, the higher the companies development costs must be going.

            Which means that even if the game sells respectably, or even amazingly, it may not be enough to cover the expenses of the project staying alive for so long, making the overall game a loss.

            Shorter development times with more efficient creation in there means lower expense costs, so the game has more wiggle room with sales to make a profit. Which is especially important for FF games, which still have the power to sell a lot of copies on name alone.

  • Aoshi00

    w/ insurance & CPA background, sounds like a guy who’s very conservative and by the numbers.. not sure if I like more online or mobile games for quick profit if that’s what he’s talking about.. funny he mentioned the merger of rivals Square and Enix before, it seems so long ago now DQ & FF were by 2 diff companies.. like Sega mascot Sonic on Nintendo..

  • Xaltmas

    More mobile, browser and F2P games will be result. I guarantee it.

  • Guest

    Square Enix obviously can’t grant every request at the fans’ whims. However, I can’t help but feel that the Japan side is out-of-touch these days. The problem is that Square Enix is pretty much stuck in a rut – mobile games are all the riot in the Japanese market, but in the West gamers generally hold home console games in higher regard and see mobile games simply as a quick buck. Unfortunately, the mobile and F2P models seem to work all too well. We’ll see how Square Enix Japan moves forward. I’m definitely interested in the future operations of this company.

    • Xerain

      I don’t have an issue with Lightning per say, and I even light her a bit, at least more so than some other FF Leads. The issue I have is the way S-E treats the character. They have their own little lightning cult, and the have this bizarre understanding that everyone is a member.

      I think this can be related directly to what Matsuda was saying. When I game is in development that long, a character who might have been a good character fitting the energy of the times when the game was conceived… 5 years later… Mean while the Dev team has so much entry invested in the character they can’t let her go and get with the times and with what their customers actually want.

      While it’s certainly true in my case, on a global scale I really don’t think Lightning + Mi’quote = Skyrim Killer.

      Now a game with Skyrim’s depth with S-Es beautiful graphics behind it instead of a world populated by cavemen, on the other hand….

      • Guest

        What follows is my own assessment of the situation, so they’re not facts until verified!

        You hit the nail on the head. We have to remember, though, that for the last 7 years SE really hasn’t had a “strong character” pave the path for their company – Cloud has been overdone, so then the company brings in the lead from the only recent blockbuster it’s created – Lightning, from Final Fantasy XIII. At the time, neither Agito nor Versus XIII had been released, and the other AAA title, XIV, teetered into the market and flopped hard. Lightning’s hardened personality, coupled with Square Enix’s less-than-stellar predicament, made her the easy candidate as “the face of SE.”

        Of course, even as strong as she is, Lightning won’t be striking the industry any time soon. She did once, but three times — ? Unlikely.

        On a somewhat related note, I honestly don’t think Square Enix has a “grand strategy” for itself – perhaps Matsuda will remedy that. Whether or not his vision for the company’s future agrees with what fans want remains to be seen. Nevertheless, I’m sure board members and investors will be kept happy.

        • Xerain

          Just one more thing to add, it helps to consider FF13 in the context of FF12. As far as strong characters go, many argued that realistically speaking, Ashe was the main character. Everything revolved around her. So why do we play as Vaan? It’s supposed to be a rhetorical question, but there are some answers. Mainly Ashe needs to be free to make some rather stupid decisions as the plot dictates, that has anyone who has played a jRPG shaking their head.

          Anyhow, that aside the point I’m getting to is Lighting’s design reminds me quite a bit of Ashe’s design. People asked for Ashe to be the main character, and years later they got it, so everything should be great!

          13-2 has some similar qualities. They took a list of complaints about 13 and just did the opposite and threw it all in a pot without really thinking.

    • Estrius Alstar

      “The problem is that Square Enix is pretty much stuck in a rut – mobile games are all the riot in the Japanese market, but in the West gamers generally hold home console games in higher regard and see mobile games simply as a quick buck.” It’s the same in Japan you know. Casuals rules everywhere, that’s all.

  • http://twitter.com/puchixseda puchinri

    It feels hard to make heads or tails of what he said, but I hope that his enthusiasm for challenges and past experience bode well for the company and fans.

    He’s also right in that they have the DNA to offer high-quality content, but I wonder how he intends to honor that.

  • Grape Monet

    All I can say is, it will be very interesting to watch how Final Fantasy XV and Kingdom Hearts III perform, as their success, or failure, will help determine the path Square Enix will travel.

    • Nice Boat Quatro

      I also wonder whether Square will release more DLC for those two games. They noted that most fans didn’t like FF13-2′s true ending being DLC so it’s safe to say there won’t be more controversial DLC.

      • Guest

        I thought XIII-2′s true ending is found in the game and the DLC ones are merely paradoxes?

        • Nice Boat Quatro

          Light’s DLC chapter was the true ending. It happens after Serah $e!q$#!$!$!

          • Guest

            Whaaa—? This is certainly news to me.

          • surakian

            Yeah, “The Requiem of the Goddess” is the true ending of the game that leads into LRFF. If you haven’t played or watched it, definitely do so before diving into LRFF.

          • Guest

            Oh ho ho, Toriyama . . . so the “to be continued” wasn’t exactly an outright lie.

          • SCORPIONSERKEN

            “Requiem of the Goddess” was more a epilogue than a true ending, it’s just the events of the ending of XIII-2 from Lightning perspective if I recall correctly.

        • Pekola

          Requiem of the Goddess isn’t really the true ending. It’s an alternate continuation of the game’s actual ending that explains why Light is how she is once the game ends.

          So it’s….well it’s an ending, but I think XIII-2′s ending was meant to take you by surprise without explaining much until LR.

          • Guest

            Thanks for your explanation, Pekola! Whatever happened to the happy ending that Toriyama wanted to give Lightning, though?

          • Pekola

            To be honest, I have no idea. Part of me believes that Lightning Returns was being planned before development on XIII-2 happened.

            So he was effectively trolling us with XIII-2.

      • Judgephoenix

        DLC? Honestly I am not too worried about it since both games will get stretched out due to them saying that KH3 was to end the Trio but KH is not done from what they said same thing with 15 going to have sequels and what not. Its kind of bad I like my FF games to be unique with them just having one ending and no extra side games.

  • りんごタルト@エスカのアトリエ

    Whatever, Wada Jr. Give us our mobile games already.

    • FlyingPony

      I prefer console, or PC better..

      • りんごタルト@エスカのアトリエ

        Sorry, Squeenix doesn’t listen to the likes of you.

  • Martian Wong

    He used the term paradigm shift….I would like him to release FFXV as soon as possible.

    • http://twitter.com/#!/kaishou Kaishou

      Then we will get the game with more bugs and glitch than it would have had if it was released in the appropriate time.

      • Martian Wong

        Releasing the game as soon as possible doesnt mean release before the game can be tested for bugs. As soon as possible means when it is ready. If I say release it even when it is not done with the bug testing, then your argument is valid. Otherwise I dont what make you say that.

        • http://twitter.com/#!/kaishou Kaishou

          Neither do I see what make you say “releasing FFXV as soon as possible”. It will be out when they think it’s ready, in the appropriate time.

          Also I never said anything about skipping a development process. “As soon as possible” phrase mean in the least amount of time. Don’t mean to sound stupid or anything but not all of us see things the way you do.

          • Martian Wong

            I know that not all of you guys will see things the way I am. In my own interpretation, “As soon as possible” means that the game is ready then release it.

  • Rogerrmark

    My opinion,and some tips:

    -Continue making what you make better (JRPG)

    -Don’t expect absurd sells for AAA games just because they are AAA games. Tomb Raider/Hitman 3 are good,but there are better games/franchises with better profit.

    -Stop cattering so much for the public that don’t even care about your franchises.

    -Don’t change franchises main series genre, please.
    FFXV looks good and I really want to play it,plus FF always changed yes. Yet Nomura says the game catter mostly for action game players.
    And the game indeed looks like a re-skinned KH.
    Why not a spin-off then,like Versus was originally supposed to be?

    FFXIII is good,fast and its totally JRPG. And so is XIV.

    Oh well, haven’t played it yeah,so can’t criticize.I have careful expectations for it,though

    -Despite FF goodness,invest in other franchises too. HECK, why can’t we have another (decent) SaGa game?

    -Localize things,DAMN YOU

    -Don’t make people BEG for a localization (Type-0,Dragon Quest games)

    • Sydney Losstarot

      SaGa Games!!! Last Remnant 2!!! Please, Thank You!!!

    • NightzeroAX

      I would really love for SaGa Frontier 2 to be on PSN. Always wanted to play that.

  • ShawnOtakuSomething

    ………………… What gave you that idea?……..

  • SetzerGabbiani

    At his core, he’s a number cruncher, not sure how that will play out in the long term for the company. I’m not sure about this idea of merging dev and sales, I feel like it will ultimately lead to sub-par products.

    • Guest

      I would argue that the standard for a “high-quality” RPG has, on the whole, steadily declined. I wonder if companies are thinking they can cut corners while still making the bucks?

  • http://youtube.com/miyabigaming 禍津水木

    Boat has sunk, every man, woman and child grab a life raft

  • Unlimax

    So are we expecting old franchises to come back ?
    Parasite Eve , Vagrant Story

    Please bring back PE Name ~ </3

    • http://youtube.com/miyabigaming 禍津水木

      No point asking SE for anything

    • Guest

      Franchises can always be revived – if they’re deemed to be profitable. The million-dollar question is, will the new games retain the spirit of their predecessors? I haven’t played The 3rd Birthday or Parasite Eve myself, but from what I’ve heard, many people found T3B quite disappointing.

      • michel

        I’m one of those. Great graphics, but boring as hell.

        • Guest

          Great graphics don’t usually hurt a game’s presentation, but if that’s the only feature people remember about a game . . . well, that’s not saying much, is it?

    • Hound

      “The 3rd birthday” was a Parasite Eve game. It wasn’t very good.

      The original Parasite eve was done by the same great people that brought us Chrono Trigger 3 years earlier

  • Happy Gamer

    I don’t know much about running a gaming company, but form what I have seen, people who are gamers or have worked on games go on and create companies, the products have so much soul. Although not a mega blockbuster company, mistwalker feels this way to me. Platinum games for sure. I say do it with heart and people will follow. I know this sounds naive financial wise, but I am speaking purely from a perspective of gaming.

    • Pekola

      That’s the difference between doing things with profit mainly in mind or doing things for the passion of it.

      Most blockbusters tend to be safe and usually demand big returns. Smaller projects are more risky.

      What baffles me is that studios/companies like Gust, Compile Heart and Nippon Ichi release a steady stream of RPG’s and yet Square can’t devote the investment of making smaller projects unless they’re for mobiles.

  • Lord Búho

    This guy doesn’t care about videogames…

  • http://shadious.tumblr.com/ Vince

    Retain the creative freedom to the game development teams for each titles published to reach their potential. Executives can focus on things like managing financial matters, market strategizing and company evaluation. Of course, maintaining an open line with the consumers would be able to help them on producing games or products based on what the majority of consumers really want.

  • Tyler Beale

    Let me state some of the issues that need fixing, mostly regarding the mobile space:

    -Final Fantasy: All the Bravest
    -Creating two different versions of a game (and therefore, making us pay TWICE) for iPhone/iPod and iPad, respectively.
    -Drakerider for iOS got a minor update (the “Chains Transcendent” version) – THAT CHARGES FULL PRICE – that only added a sound test/customization, all 5 chapters in one app, rebalancing, and worst of all, iPhone/iPod Touch 5 support.

    Now, Drakerider isn’t a bad game – in fact, I’m playing it now, and anyone who has an iOS device and is a JRPG fan should give it a whirl as well. If you plan on picking up the full game, make sure to get the Chains Transcendent version. But making a minor update into a separate app, and charging full price for it? And not releasing the awesome soundtrack on iTunes? Really, Square Enix? Really? I think Apple should update its guidelines to keep this kind of bullshit from happening.

    Also, it ran like shit on my iPod Touch 4. After upgrading to the iPod Touch 5, it runs smooth as butter (60 FPS!!) with little to no frame drops.

    Anyways, moving on…

    -Concentrates solely on Western games and IPs, while hurting its Japanese franchises (Final Fantasy, I’m looking at you. Oh, and I love that pun for XIII that was in the article.)
    -Has ridiculously high sales expectations, like a Certain other jAPanese COMpany…
    -Continues to fuck up

  • Crevox

    A paradigm shift, you say…

    *rubs chin*

    • Pekola

      your avatar just makes it all the funnier

  • Uso Ewin

    Xenogears remake… please?

    • $36598391

      Yes Please, as long as they don’t screw it up

  • Tiredman

    Its kind of funny. His fondest memory is the merger of Square and Enix. It is my worst memory of both companies because at that point they become shells of their former selves. They have released a few good games since the merger, but their main games from when they weren’t merged have gone to hell in a handbasket when compared to their old games. They lost out to graphics and greed instead of gameplay and creativeness.

    • JustThisOne

      I don’t think “fond” is what he meant when he said “number one memory”. I think he just meant it as, “the first thing that comes to mind”.

  • Sephiroth420

    just gimmie ff15 and take my money, maybe another grandia aswell, that’d kick ass.

  • Pekola

    So basically, he wants to reign in developers so that they don’t keep mismanaging time and money. Which sounds nice on paper after many years of the Versus situation.

    It makes sense, someone has to slap the team and tell them ‘No, you can’t keep burning through our money.’

    However, with the way gaming is going, this probably means more easy return, easily pumped-out games that have strong returns with minimal development costs.

    We’ll see.

  • Magnumsally

    As far as I am concerned they reformed 5 years ago and we are seeing a shell of a company whose major talent has been leaving over the years to the point of them literally only having 1 new console game this year and 1 new portable game

    Its pretty sad

  • michel

    I think that this company has become too big, and has been in the final arc of its lifecycle since long… Assets Management and Investor Relations is all it matters, now, as shown by the Type-0 localiziation case… I think that we gamers should pay more attention to little, new and unknown software houses with passion and fresh ideas, and let giants like S-E make their mobile games and their consumer audio-visual spectacles in peace…

    • Guest

      Square Enix’s size is definitely a problem. In order to maintain a corporation that big, you really need a lot of money and resources. A large corporation is already a pretty cumbersome entity, and if mishandled, it can become a nightmare to sustain.

      On the other hand, smaller development studios are more nimble and flexible. They don’t need huge profits to survive because they operate on a scale smaller than their larger counterparts.

  • icecoffemix

    I miss the Xenogears, Threads of Fate, Chrono Cross, Radiata Stories Square(soft/enix). None of them are mega block buster but they’re among the most memorable games I’ve ever played.

    I guess the industry hasn’t been so kind with their new franchise this generation. :/

  • Valtiel Ikari

    How about uncancelling the Chrono Trigger and Chrono Cross sequel?

  • Herok♞

    Wow you guys this why we can’t have nice things you all complain about stuff, have different ideas how they can be solved and they all seem really self centered and based on your personal feelings and nothing else, Square Enix is a company and if they listened to their fans it could only end horribly since you guys have no clear focus. Lets look at the top voted comments the first one says they should

    a) stop platform and console exclusives when they do that for specific business reasons and also have certain visions in mind for a game on a console, look at virtues last reward it was released on two different handhelds and they had to make a game that would work for both when if it were made for one or the other it could have used unique features like the back touchpad or the dual screen approach for puzzles and such.

    b) Stop treating themselves like Activison and expecting Call of Duty Numbers, I really don’t think they have ever expected Call of Duty numbers or even gone after that audience for that matter, for most companies nowadays its a risk reward system they can throw lots of money at projects, and they would just like to make their money back as well as making a profit, simple as that.

    C) Getting rid of or keeping Lightning isn’t really that big of a deal in the long run and I doubt it effects business to terribly. And in the case of localizing a dragon quest for the 3DS I think that would fall to Nintendo since they helped with DQ 9 and square knows it can make its money back in Japan and they probably arent sure about other markets.

    • Shady Shariest

      Add some spaces in, would make this wall of text and good points more pleasurable to read :)

      • Herok♞

        Sure made this first thing in the morning, I can fix that issue now

        • Shady Shariest

          Thank you’s :3 (A lot better!)

          • Herok♞

            your welcome

  • Shady Shariest

    “ENIXIANS, REGROUP!”
    “Tonight we dine in customer dislike”

    Honestly, from what i read above and below, it seems that Squeenix is committed to a bright future. With bitter fans being the only thorn on their side.

  • sakusakusakura_nyo

    I wish they could unmake Final Fantasy: All the Bravest.

  • http://youtube.com/miyabigaming 禍津水木

    As a fan of the FF series I’m disappointed in SE’s approach to assisting their fanbase

    • Guest

      Truth be told, the fan base is pretty divided on what it wants. It’s not so much a base as much as it is a group of individual members and preferences.

      • Kaijumaster

        true, but I think we’re pretty united on “An FF7 remake/HD update”

        And I don’t think you’d get too much complaints about an FF III/IV style update of VI on the 3DS.

  • Monterossa

    Make games for home consoles, enough with mobile/handheld bullshits.

  • Sylveria

    Stop making garbage and the company will do better. Stop spending millions on graphics and marketing trying to convince people that Lightning is their lord and savior. Start localizing stuff that there’s demand for.

  • Robbyfishersora

    Stop with this mobile phone gaming shit it need to stop. Hurry up with KH3 and XV.

  • song

    “At the very beginning, the game business started out with ‘how can we get people to insert coins’. Afterwards, consoles became popular, and our company grew as game design and billing [methods] were divided,” Matsuda continues. “Presently, online games are prosperous, which again, has the theme of ‘how can we charge the people,’ as developers and sales have become inseparable. And the devices they can be played on has spread vastly. It’s truly a paradigm shift.”

    Guess this sort of explains why the latest Legacy Of Kain game is now online… The guys making Nosgoth said it was out of their hands to decide to work on what game it should be, so I guess I have SquareEnix to point fingers at now.

  • CirnoLakes

    Hmmmm…..

    Somehow I don’t trust him to fix Square Enix.

  • yellowmage

    “It’s truly a paradigm shift.”

    Well, just make sure to use a little Discretion, Matsuda-san. Because if you do start a Relentless Assault on our wallets, eventually you’ll be beyond Salvation.

  • wahyudil

    ” … It is necessary for us to set up a system that allows us to meet the demands of our customers in a more timely manner… ”

    then … another EA has born …

  • Virevolte

    You need to make good games. I’m sure it’s not more complicated than that.

  • Benjamin Eugene NElson

    How about not making sequels to games nobody liked in the first place?

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