Besides major titles like Final Fantasy XV and Kingdom Hearts III, we don’t know much about what else Square Enix has in store as far as major console games go. That said, according to company president Yosuke Matsuda, who recently spoke with Nikkei, they have quite a few surprises coming—with one being especially for JRPG fans.
Nikkei mention in the interview that it seems like this is the year that we’ll see more titles on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One from Square Enix.
“At the moment, we have major titles such as Dragon Quest Heroes and Final Fantasy Type-0 HD,” Matsuda replies. “In 2015, I believe we will offer a vast number of high-end games in both the domestic market and overseas. Now that we’ve already announced Final Fantasy XV, we will also reveal information on [another] JRPG. I believe we have a bit of a surprise in store for this year.”
The Square Enix CEO is then asked to share a little more on this so-called “surprise”.
“I can’t say much for now, but it’s a JRPG for consoles,” Matsuda tells Nikkei. “Also, our western studios have the latest Tomb Raider title with Rise of the Tomb Raider, Just Cause 3, and many other titles that I believe we can have high expectations of. For now, we’re preparing all kinds of things for E3.”
Nikkei asks if we’ll also see more in this year’s Tokyo Game Show.
“Of course, we’ll have plenty to show off at Tokyo Game Show,” he responds. “In addition, this year we’ll release titles for arcades and PC as well. We’re especially putting effort into PC online games, and we’re thinking about developments for consoles, too. In the midst of that, we’re also putting energy into games eSports-like games, smartphone games, and live-type multiplayer games.”
He continues, “When it comes to eSports, if there are the core [games] that pros get into for the prize money, then are also the more relaxed eSports out there. Our company’s European studio offers Nosgoth, which is currently managed as an open-beta, and it is highly reputed by the western players, so I believe we’d like to continue growing it into a more hardcore eSports title. Even the foreign pro teams out there have been noticing it.”
Matsuda also says that in Japan, PC will see Lord of Vermillion Arena and Gunslinger Stratos Reloaded, which originated in arcades. He hopes to see this continue and become something where spectators and players can get together and be excited over Japanese-style eSports; however, in the order to do so, he feels that they need to come up with something that matches the Japanese lifestyle to fit the Japanese players. So far, he feels that mobile devices might suit that style best.
Nikkei asks if by Japanese-style eSports Matsuda means something along the lines of the lively feeling you get from the arcade centers.
“Not only arcade games, but I do believe arcade games bring out that lively feeling as well,” says Matsuda. “However, rather than the conventional arcades, I believe that if we can dig deeper into what modern arcades are about, we can find a good affinity between that and eSports. There’s still a lot we need to do.”
Finally, Nikkei asks if he could share his ambitions for 2015.
Matsuda replies: “If I were to put it simply, it would be a ‘box of surprises’. I believe we’d like to go all out and offer as many things full of fun and surprises. And I’d like for us to maintain a development system that can continuously bring out this ‘box of surprises’. For the year 2015, as far as HD game titles go, our Japanese and western development studios will increase their lineup by a vast amount, so I’d like you all to keep an eye out for that.”