Square Enix To Continue Developing AAA Titles Says CEO

By Ishaan . November 11, 2013 . 2:03pm

“Games as a service” is a concept that doesn’t resonate with gamers, Square Enix U.S. and Europe CEO Phil Rogers tells GamesIndustry.

 

“There’s lots of talk in the industry about games becoming services—to be honest, as an expression this doesn’t always resonate with people, especially gamers,” Rogers said. “For us online is a way to facilitate how we’re looking at the word service to build on a game. So we’re focusing on regular content updates, engaging gameplay mechanics, replayability and deep community.”

 

Last week, Square Enix released their latest financial results, and announced that two of their focuses going forward would be smartphone games from Japan and online games from their western studios. Rogers says that, while online Square Enix titles like Nosgoth are an important part of the company’s portfolio, he’s confident that Square Enix can also continue to develop AAA traditional titles like Tomb Raider.

 

As an example, Rogers points to Just Cause 2, released in 2010. Three years later, the game still has an active userbase of half-a-million unique players each month, he says. That said, with new Tomb Raider and Deus Ex titles in development for next-generation systems, Rogers says that development will need to be quicker than in the past. In addition to those titles, a new Sleeping Dogs game is in development, too.

 

Ultimately, however, as pointed out in Square’s financials, online and smartphone gaming will be a big part of Square Enix’s future. In fact, Rogers points to Final Fantasy XIV as an important example of Square Enix actively engaging with their userbase.

 

“The direct relationship that [producer Naoki] Yoshida and the development team have forged with the players is superb, especially through the beta programs where we really worked with the players to shape the game they wanted,” he says. “This level of interaction and support is important to us and we are welcoming new players to the community all the time.”


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  • Unlimax

    So are we Expecting an AAA Title for Parasite Eve in the near Future ⓿Д⓿

    ( Other than T3B… please )

    • Heartless ㅤ

      Yeah, SE Japan are making it. Please wait for announcements in the future.

      • http://twitter.com/AuroraXIII AuroraXIII

        I’ve heard that too. But I still find it hard to believe considering Tabata and his team have joined FFXV. They’ve even had to outsource Final Fantasy Agito due to a lack of human resources.

        Edit: I feel like I know you from somewhere. o.o

  • Xaltmas

    OH MY GOD. Can it be? Does he actually get it?

  • epy

    Meanwhile, in Square-Enix HQ…

  • urbanscholar

    I think the question at hand is what will the release schedule be like for AAA titles.

  • James

    The part at the bottom about XIV is a pile of wank. That’s coming from a current subscriber that has been there since the beginning.

  • Herok♞

    Well this is certainly good news, after all you can only get better from this point forward

  • PreyMantis

    I can see it in the future, and Lighting will be a main character.

    • Wait what

      Good.

  • Demeanor

    Good. Please try to involve the userbase on AAA titles in development as well, in order to avoid major screwups like FFXIII-1 and The 3rd birthday; they could definitely give some help in case of evident issues that would alienate all buyers. We’re behind you, SE, as long as you make wise moves and do justice to your precious IPs.

  • neo_firenze

    What a misleading first line in this post… he clearly didn’t say games as a service “doesn’t resonate with gamers”. He said it “doesn’t ALWAYS resonate with people…” That missing word makes a BIG difference.

    The implication is that they aren’t abandoning AAA “traditional” titles and they realize some people aren’t on board with Games as a Service. Doesn’t mean they aren’t still going to pursue the Games as a Service model (and maybe they’ll even increase focus on that model). Otherwise, why would he be touting the high profile positive example of FFXIV – the relaunch of which has been a pretty clear success – if he thought that model didn’t resonate with anyone?

    • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

      Games as a service “don’t always resonate with people, especially gamers.”

      The implication being that they may not always resonate with people, but more often than not, they do not resonate with the enthusiast gamer.

      I’m not certain what you’re complaining about. Did you read the entire post? The report even ends on the note that social and online are going to be a big part of Square Enix’s future.

      • neo_firenze

        I’m complaining about there being a big difference between:

        1) X doesn’t resonate with gamers. (full stop, implying that it is always the case)

        and

        2) X doesn’t ALWAYS resonate with gamers. (implying that sometimes it doesn’t, but maybe sometimes it does)

        Yes, I read the entire post, but I realize that lots of people don’t. And it’s pretty misleading to start with a sentence (which is shown on the main page before even clicking on the article) that materially misrepresents the quote. I’m sure you weren’t trying to be sneaky, but what you wrote in your opening statement simply wasn’t the same thing as the guy you quoted actually said.

  • Kumiko Akimoto

    aren’t most of what they make aaa?

    • Ethan_Twain

      No. Most of what they make is social games for mobile.

      • Kumiko Akimoto

        You mean the games you constantly watch our for are moblie?

        • Ethan_Twain

          The question was not “which Square Enix products do I constantly watch out for”. The question was “aren’t most of what they make aaa?”. The answer to that is no.

          Now if we were to consider the second question the answer would also be no, but that has nothing at all to do with the first question. Frankly, NONE of the games I keep an eye out for come from Square Enix. It’s been years since they made a product I really liked.

          • Kumiko Akimoto

            That’s all find and dandy but that doesn’t change the fact that they’ve been developing social and aaa games for years now side by side. Social games have always been apart of japan or rather moblie games have always been apart of japan

    • Tiredman

      They make social, and publish AAA. Publishing just means they are helping release another studio’s AAA games. That is why they have fallen so low, they can’t do what made them great to begin with, anymore.

      • Kumiko Akimoto

        >Publishing and social only coming out
        > has made plenty of first party games

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

    Way too much talking lately, proof is in the pudding

    • Warboss Aohd

      well said

    • Distant_arcana

      What pudding? SE hasnt given us the pudding yet.its taken 8 years.

  • Unknown

    what about the japanese AAA? all I hear about is western AAA games… need those JRPGs square

    • Morricane

      Final Fantasy XV, you know? :D

      • Unknown

        I’m talking about the forseeable future (outside of FFXV and KH3) as well as games that don’t talk 8 years to finish development

        but yes I’m very very very very excited for FFXV

        • Ethan_Twain

          I’m not certain that Square Enix Japan HAS more big nex gen console games in production beyond those two big sequels. Dragon Quest is gonna be on 3DS or Smartphones. Bravely Default is 3DS. Social games are on Vita and Smartphones. …and that’s kind of it for SE Japan’s output these days, you know? They no longer have the corporate desire or the manpower to have half a dozen JRPG projects in production simultaneously like they did during the PS2 era.

          And honestly, considering how The Last Remnant and Infinite Undiscovery turned out, are we sure that’s such a bad thing? Good JRPG houses making their own thing are still out there, but they aren’t doing it for Square Enix any more. Monolith is with Nintendo. Tri-Ace did Resonance of Fate with SEGA. Valkyria Chronicles is with SEGA. Atlus does it’s own thing in the corner. I’m not convinced Square Enix Japan can or should be doing more JRPG than the absolute minimum to maintain their brands. Not until they’re making good games again.

          • Tiredman

            I rather liked The Last Remnant. It was unique and very interesting.

            Jrpg issues have to do with a complete disconnect with what makes a good story nowadays. They assume the same stories that worked in the 90′s, a bunch of kids gallavanting around saving the world, hold up today with pretty much no change. This way of doing things could still work, except they go overboard trying to add the lessons taught in tv shows for 5 year olds, which completely ruins the story telling for normal people. Those stupid lessons ruined Wild Arms 5 for me, and the characters in Star Ocean 4, especially the annoyingly emo main character, almost completely ruined SO 4 for me. Japan has the game mechanics, they just lack the ability to tell a story.

            In the grand scheme of things, it is sad to see such a story telling giant fall so low. Japanese rpg’s used to be just plain awesome, Xenogears being one of the best, but also Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy 6 and 7, even the Lufia games, all had better stories than most of the crap released today.

        • Lucky Dan

          Drakengard 3 you forgot brah?

          • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

            As awesome as Drakengard 3 looks, I wouldn’t classify that as a “AAA” game by any stretch of the imagination. :)

  • http://www.segalization.com/ Kuronoa

    Really starting to hate the term “AAA”. Ditch the batteries and just make something fun.

    • Pockystix

      I miss B games. . . seems like most of them have been relegated to handhelds and kickstarters. We are literally paying people to make the games we want, while companies are paying millions to tell us what we want. And then they get surprised when their millions of dollars can’t meet their unreasonably high sales estimates. . .

      • Tiredman

        Agree wholeheartedly

      • Brion Valkerion

        Same, Square and Enix were kings back in the day because they had only a few “AAA” titles, and a TON of B list games that were diverse, but most of all fun and different. Wish they would wake up.

        Or make a smart phone game worth playing that isn’t some micro cash in or puzzle game.

        • equalequation

          Indeed. Preach it, bro.

      • 60hz

        amen.

    • JohnNiles

      I had a hell of a time trying to explain this term to my friend. For an intelligent guy, he sure couldn’t wrap his head around the concept of classifying games by size of development budget. -_-

    • Lucky Dan

      I think it’s due to the format both systems are in. Blu-Ray should only be reserved for movies only and they should use vita type cartridge like for games, since games at most will probably be around 64 to 128 GB which is much cheaper than putting it on blu-ray I do not see the point in having it.

      Then you might see some good low budget games since the formats of the cartridge would be 4gb,8gb,16gb,32gb,64gb and finally 128gb.

      There’s no real need to push blu-ray now since it’s won the war. Companies some how are pressured into using the entire space even though 50GB for one format is quite unnecessary and expensive as well.

      • Your Face

        What?

    • Romancer Ecclesia

      AAA used to mean fun back in the early 1990s and 2000s. I guess the value of fun has somewhat diluted with increased accessibility and variety of plat. I wonder if nostalgia is warping our preconceptions of “fun” or major companies are just getting out of touch with gamers.

    • eli-boo’s waifu

      Somebody give this man a cookie!

  • Kaetsu

    Square needs to focus all there energy in FF15. If that game sucks then Final Fantasy will probably be bad forever. In the mean time can I have Dragon Quest 10 and a new Brave Fencer Musashi?

  • SetzerGabbiani

    All I want from SquareEnix is Final Fantasy/Dragon Quest/Kingdom Hearts. I can even stomach the creation of the various phone games bearing those monikers (which I will never purchase) as long as those profits continue to fund the legacy brands and localizations on consoles/PC.

    The diversification into western studios was the worst thing for gamers who expect a certain product from Square; I still think it was a horrible branding misstep. To be clear, I know the expanded portfolio is excellent for their bottom line, but Square’s former cache has been horribly tainted in my view.

    • Tiredman

      It all went downhill when Square became Square Enix. That ruined both Square and Enix. All they think about nowadays is the most money possible at the expense of fan loyalty.

      • LightZero

        Um…the sole purpose of a business is to make money. Square and Enix cared about making money even as separate entities. Loyalty has no place in business. It’s nice to have but it’s all about maximizing profits and appeasing the shareholders.

        • Tiredman

          You aren’t really looking at it from my perspective. Enix and Square were able to get to the point they are now by catering to fans. Now that they have gotten too big for their britches they care less about fan loyalty and more about how to drag in the casual audience to get that fast injection of a lot of money. This is evident in all their modern games as they focus on flash and trying to make non gamers go “OOOOHHH” and “AAAAHHHHH” and “I must have that awesome looking game.”

          They should be focusing on keeping their fanbase, the people who would keep them comfortably in business, but they chose to go all out cash instead. That is why they are going mobile and service based, entirely to exploit the casual audience. Most of the big games released by them are made by people they either own or just publish for, and not actually Squeenix themselves.

  • sakusakusakura_nyo

    How many more years until the US gets another Dragon Quest game?

    • Tiredman

      If its like Dragon Quest 9, I hope infinity. Dragon Quest 9 had no soul in it, it felt like a zombie in dragon quest clothing. I partially blame it being on a handheld for that, and the fact that Squeenix wanted to make it that way on a handheld to milk DQ fans as the rest of the blame.

      • http://playstationallstars.wikia.com/wiki/PlayStation_All-Stars_Wiki Sackchief

        Dragon Quest IX did lack a soul, but honestly I’d take any DQ over no DQ at all.

        • eli-boo’s waifu

          Hey, DQIX is one of my favorite DS games of all time. :( I thought the grinding, class changes, and quests were hella fun. I spent 550+ hours on it as of last week. :) Then again, it’s the only DQ game I’ve ever played. That might be it?

          • http://playstationallstars.wikia.com/wiki/PlayStation_All-Stars_Wiki Sackchief

            Yes, that is it. Its an amazing game on its own, but it is widely considered a weak entry in the series. Dragon Quest V (also for DS) is much better in my opinion because it had so much soul in it. NPCs would change their dialogue based on events in the story and your companions had personalities and you could talk to them. I was amazed that they had something to say in almost any situation. There must have been thousands of lines of dialogue for the companions.

          • eli-boo’s waifu

            Thanks to your description, I actually just bought DQV off of Amazon. Thanks!

          • http://playstationallstars.wikia.com/wiki/PlayStation_All-Stars_Wiki Sackchief

            Good decision. You’re gonna love it.

          • Tiredman

            Wait and see if they release DQ 7. If they keep it similar to the ps1 version, it will be one heck of a game. The ps1 version is one of my top 10 games of all time.

      • sakusakusakura_nyo

        DQ 8 was my favorite. I want another one like that!

  • leingod

    What the hell. So they’re focusing on everything EXCEPT what made both Square and Enix big: Single player RPGs. Don’t get me wrong, both Sleeping Dogs and Tomb Raider are great games, but if they continue on this line of thought, they’ll eventually announce racing and sports games. For mobiles.

    They’ve totally lost their identity now.

    • Ethan_Twain

      Better Square Enix releases quality games in a variety of genres than continue to release sub-par games in just one genre. I mean, when was they last time they released a really great universally acclaimed JRPG? TWEWY maybe? Dragon Quest IX if you’re feeling generous?

      Frankly, at the beginning of this hardware cycle their plan WAS to just double down on their identity as a JRPG house and that plan totally blew up in their face.

      • Tiredman

        Wasn’t because they released good games that didn’t sell. They were full of themselves, and still are.

        • leingod

          Yeap. Specially that “We won’t release a FF7 remake until we make a better FF” attitude. As things are going right now, they’ll never achieve that.

      • leingod

        They just didn’t follow that plan very well, then … I mean, FF XIII, ugh. But that doesn’t mean people don’t want JRPGs, as they apparently think.

  • GODDUKEMONEXA

    LIGHTNING 4EVER: FINAL FANTASY XIII (shooter rpg like the 3rd birthday) for PS3, 360, PS4, XONE, PSVITA

  • Masa

    I miss the time when Square used to focus on just one or two games at a time, they used to care so much about the game they put out and most of them were rpgs which were awesome.

    Now they release or work on so many at a time and most of them suck.

  • Crevox

    FFXIV listened to users to an extent, but nowadays all they do is reply whether or not they already have what we want planned. Examples such as “We have this planned for 2.1 actually!” or “we don’t have plans for this.”

    They don’t really take feedback much anymore, they just say what they have planned already. IF our feedback influences them at all, those changes won’t be made for many patches.

    • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

      IF our feedback influences them at all, those changes won’t be made for many patches.

      That’s kind of unavoidable with a game the scale of FFXIV, though, isn’t it? They have a schedule to stick to, and if they strayed from that schedule every time a new request popped up, they’d never get any of their patches out on time.

      • Crevox

        I understand the whole project development cycle; they have milestones and deadlines to meet. But, often times, they have their own plans as to what they’re going to do, and won’t stray from it no matter how much the community outcry is. There’s been a large amount of feedback on certain topics from the community that people want, with almost majority in agreement, but the developer response was “sorry, we have no plans to do this” simply because it doesn’t fit in their “vision” or it would take too much work to do so.

        An example is the Summoner class. Almost the entire community agrees that it should be changed to be more like how Final Fantasy summoners used to be, at least in some capacity; the current existence of summoner in this game is a result of them wanting a specific gameplay style in the game (DoT caster) and catering to the community want for a pet class/Summoner. They tried to appeal to the community with fan service by adding Summoner while also trying to add a DoT playstyle, which resulted in a funky mix that left many summoner fans disappointed. If Square Enix had thought of the community and taken in feedback during its development, maybe it could have come out differently, but ultimately, they have no plans to change it from how it is now, due to the large amount of work it would take and their “vision” on how it should be. The gameplay style is fine, but it does not match the “Summoner” everyone was wanting and expecting, resulting in many fans being left disappointed. It’s an example of them taking ideas from other MMORPGs (it’s extremely close to standard “Warlock/DoT caster” fare) in order to improve gameplay; it’s just a problem when they hurt the Summoner image/lose the Final Fantasy feel.

        It’s just one random example. There are others, like mythology caps, how they’re doing FATEs with important bosses in the future, the progression system, etc. People want some changes to how these things work, but they already developed the systems and design around how it functions now with zero community input; and won’t change it. They “have no plans” or “it doesn’t fit with the design of the game.” Despite their original apologetic state with the game and their stated high desire to take in fan feedback, the majority of FFXIV: A Realm Reborn was built as a carbon copy from other MMOs, without taking in fan feedback or even asking for it. I’m not saying they didn’t, because there has been some changes that were made that the community asked for (though some were received with mixed reception and disappointment), but there were many changes made and things added that fans never even asked for or had given any feedback on whatsoever.

        Even now, on the forums, none of the posts we are making really matter. We do get community manager responses, but it’s really an illusion. The Japanese developers (Hiroshi Minagawa, for example) often post on the JP forums in response to player concerns at times (again, mostly stating reasoning for how they are doing things and stating that’s what they’re doing and that’s how it is) and English CMs copy/translate the post and find a “similar” thread in English to post it in. None of the responses we get are really for us or based on our feedback; it’s all based on posts that were posted to the JP community, just relayed to us in a way that makes it seem like we are being heard (because they just take the dev post and post it in a random, often old English thread that holds relevance to the same topic).

        All in all, they need to be willing to actually listen and make big changes if necessary. They are slowly forming up the old rigidity with design philosophies and decisions, being unwavering and not wanting to change from their vision. The next 3 patches (2.1, 2.2, 2.3) are already planned out for SE, and they already know exactly what they’re implementing and how (as they should). There’s still time to take in player feedback on these things and adjust accordingly to make the game better.

        • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

          I wish I could reply to this post in more detail, but unfortunately, I haven’t played Final Fantasy XIV yet myself, although I do hope to try it out when I have more time on my hands. I’ll take your word for it that a number of these issues have been left unaddressed.

          Maybe something to keep in mind is that these are the sort of requests that they simply can’t get to now, when a large number of people are focused on the 2.1 patch and the ones that will follow it. At the same time, I would imagine at least some of the things you mentioned are in consideration for future expansions, since they’re larger changes as you said, and would make significant alterations to gameplay and all of the different systems working in the background.

          Perhaps, in the case of these changes, they’re simply saying they “have no plans” at the moment because they feel they aren’t ready to commit to making these changes just yet, since the game has only been out a month or so, and they want to see how playstyles evolve before they change things up. Maybe they don’t want to pigeonhole the existing Summoner yet by telling people that they’re going to be making big changes to it at some point in the future.

          I could very well be taking the overly-optimistic viewpoint here, and I understand there’s a lot of “maybe” and “perhaps” in my reply, but I do think Yoshida has his finger on the pulse, going by a lot of the things he’s said and the way he behaves. He seems like a genuine guy, FFXIV seems to be me the most “from-the-heart” game at Square Enix right now, aside from Bravely Default. Something that is driven with the eventual goal of earning loads of money, but also something whose vision is left in the hands of its producer/director, with less corporate meddling than usual, as far as the kind of content being included is concerned. (I’m sure upper management has had their say regarding monetization methods.)

          This actually reminds of something a producer at Capcom once said. I don’t remember the exact quote word for word, but the gist was basically that the primary difference between social games and AAA games is that social games are like TV shows, whereas AAA games are like blockbuster movies. Once you’ve made a movie, it airs in theatres and you make money off ticket sales. Afterwards, you make money off DVD sales, where you might choose to include bonus content or alternate endings or improve the quality of the CG work or what-have-you.

          However, in the case of a TV show, it’s something that’s constantly evolving and viewer ratings are monitored on a daily basis, with studios constantly taking into account what people are saying about the show, and planning future seasons around these discussions. Social games are the same way, since they’re made on that lower budget and more flexible schedule.

          Something like FFXIV, I think, would ideally fall somewhere in between. It’s a big-budget AAA game that takes time to develop, but content and changes can still be rolled out in the form of patches that take less time than the development cycle for a full game. At the same time, larger changes take more time, and by virtue of being a AAA title, even games like FFXIV can’t avoid delays when it comes to responding to feedback in the case of these larger changes.

          Again, I haven’t played FFXIV, so as I said before, this is me being optimistic and trying to think of a reason that the FFXIV team is reacting the way you said they are. I doubt pride is the reason, as they’re well aware what pride did to the previous development team. I also doubt it’s entirely due to “vision,” because… well, it’s an MMO, and I think they understand that a large part of the “vision” arises out of player habits. Maybe they’re just being cautious because thus far they have very little data in that regard?

          • Crevox

            I have great faith in Yoshida. He is probably the best thing that could’ve happened to FFXIV. He’s done a lot of right things, as you can tell by the game’s success. The game is going well, it’s going good, but I’m beginning to wonder sometimes if his desire to make the game succeed makes him blind to the player feedback. A lot of the systems implemented right now are basically rehashes of existing or old MMO systems (housing is almost exactly the same as Dark Age of Camelot, the end game token system and raiding is the same as World of Warcraft, FATEs are essentially Rift/Guild Wars 2 events, etc). He basically takes these concepts and places a Final Fantasy feel on them, giving them their own feel in the world for Final Fantasy XIV. However, sometimes I do wonder if he is a bit reckless with the Final Fantasy IP, taking liberties or taking risk of harming it (I found it surprising they are adding things like a Behemoth mount). Another example is important, cool things like Odin being simple sidequests or FATEs. It’s definitely a completely different (mostly positive) direction than SE has taken recently, where SE seems afraid/unwilling to use the great Final Fantasy history and legacy they’ve built up (ignoring All the Bravest cash grab), but sometimes I feel he is a bit unwieldy with it too.

            My hope is pretty much as you say; I hope they are actually taking feedback into account, and plan to make changes down the road. I’m sure they are learning a lot by examining player playstyles, login times, what they do in game, etc as the game grows. Considering there has been no major patch yet since the game’s release, it’s hard to get a better idea of their plans. There could be a large sweep of positive changes in the upcoming patch that simply aren’t mentioned to their small scope. The game was “rushed” in the sense that it had a very small amount of development time to get released, and yet they still managed to make a great game, so maybe with some extra development time now they can polish things out.

            All in all, I hope player feedback will “show” in future patches for the game. After the community giving much feedback during version 1.0 and in beta, I honestly have to say the majority or all of the new content had nothing to do with what anyone said. Yoshida seemed to follow what he thought was best for the game and that was it; he is clearly an MMO veteran as he has said in the past, and it shows in game when the majority of the systems are taken from other MMOs. It gets disappointing when a lot of the time SE posts on the forum, it’s either to say “we have no plans to do this” or to tell us about some feature/update/bug fix for the upcoming patch(s), which aren’t the big things people are giving feedback on at the moment. I feel Yoshida’s drive in order to ensure the game was a success sometimes was a bit too strong, causing him to ignore potential positive changes that could be considered “risky”, or even just deviations from his formula.

            It’s just going to have to be a wait and see, but I feel these statements:

            “The direct relationship that [producer Naoki] Yoshida and the development team have forged with the players is superb, especially through the beta programs where we really worked with the players to shape the game they wanted,” he says. “This level of interaction and support is important to us and we are welcoming new players to the community all the time.”

            … are just kind of wrong. Yoshida has formed a great relationship with the players through the live streams/PR/posts/etc, but it wasn’t really because he made changes to the game based on player feedback. Granted, there are SOME changes that were made, but they are relatively minor and small deviations from his original plan and mindset (such as the small reduction in global cooldown). All he did was “modernize” FFXIV and fix the mess that Tanaka left behind. The game has entered a playable, fun state, and SE has gained a lot of brownie points for being so forthcoming with their decision making, development and PR, but I feel like they still have a long ways to go in terms of incorporating “player feedback” into the game.

          • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

            Sorry it’s taken me a while to reply. I sprained my foot really badly yesterday and spent most of the day tending to that, and today was just super busy. I didn’t get free until just now.

            I can see what you’re saying about FFXIV mimicking other MMOs, and that’s something I agree with. I think the reason for that is pretty simple, though—Japan isn’t particularly experienced with developing online games, and so, the only place they have where they can look to for inspiration is previously released MMOs.

            Given how much pressure was on him to make the game commercially successful , I can see why he’d want to play it safe. That said, I do think Yoshida wants to set FFXIV apart and give it a more unique identity in the long run. As you said, they’re tapping into a lot of classic Final Fantasy content to include in the game, which is probably his way of starting to set it apart from other MMOs without going too crazy. Over the course of the next few years, as he gets a feel for what works and what doesn’t, perhaps we’ll start to see them take more risks.

            Like you, I’m hoping to see them make great strides with FFXIV. I don’t normally play MMOs, but this one makes me want to play it, and they get huge points for that alone. The world looks interesting, the classes look interesting, and I do think it has immense potential. I guess the question is, how long will they able to hold out with their subscription model, given that every other publisher is going free-to-play with their MMOs. Devaluation is kind of hitting every single corner of the industry really hard right now…

  • echokanon

    “to continue developing” and “still developing” is two different thing though… sigh

  • NimbusStev

    Ya know, a big game studio abandoning its AAA products to focus on mobile and social games is really the gaming equivalent of a band ‘selling out.’ You have this perfect product, a true piece of art that resonates very well with your most dedicated fans. And instead of furthering that art-form, you instead choose to release a soulless pop album to appeal to “everyone” and bring in the cash.

    Unlike music fans however, we gamers are so in love with the past Final Fantasies that we just refuse to give up hope that it will return to form someday. They can spoonfeed us whatever corporate PR they want, but sorry guys. I don’t think the band is getting back together.

  • eli-boo’s waifu

    I actually liked the experimental gems. TWEWY is my favorite game of all time, for instance.

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