Siliconera recently caught up with Square Enix producer Shuichi Kobayashi, who talked about some of the changes the company saw in the approval process of games after Yosuke Matsuda became CEO.
Kobayashi-san, it seems like you’ve been quite passionate about bringing back forgotten Square Enix IPs. What has changed in Square Enix as a company from when Wada-san was the president to now when Matsuda-san is the president to allow you to do this?
Shuichi Kobayashi, Producer at Square Enix: When the president changed from Wada-san to Matsuda-san, the approval process for creating new projects has changed too. When Wada-san was the president, everyone in the executive committee needed to agree to start a new project. When we changed to Matsuda-san, we created the business divisions and all of the approval processes will go from division to division so it’s become a lot speedier.
The approval process you have to go through became shorter too. It’s not that everything gets approved now, but because it’s faster it shortens the time to get approval. The idea behind this kind of process is at Square Enix as a company we want to push out more titles at a faster speed. That is why it has become easier to do this.
Even with this new process it doesn’t mean everything will get approved what came with this change in the approval process is a lot of responsibility. Whether you succeed or not, you have so much more responsibility now than before. We have to create something fun and something that will sell. That’s where each producer decides if they want to create a new IP (intellectual property) or if they want to use a previous IP to create something new.
But, we all have to think about creating something fun. If we succeed with Star Ocean: Integrity & Faithlessness then I will think about what I can do with Star Ocean next, but if I fail then I might have to think about what other titles I might be able to do. Each of the producers at our company are now thinking about what is fun to play with and what would be a good seller. When I was looking at the titles I could do, Star Ocean was the one I really wanted to work on and that is why I did Star Ocean this time.
We’ll have more from our interview with Kobayashi-san and on Star Ocean: Integrity & Faithlessness soon.