Square Enix To Increase Focus On Region Specific Games


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.


Ishaan Sahdev
Ishaan specializes in game design/sales analysis. He's the former managing editor of Siliconera and wrote the book "The Legend of Zelda - A Complete Development History". He also used to moonlight as a professional manga editor. These days, his day job has nothing to do with games, but the two inform each other nonetheless.