Before Dungeon Siege III got started, Square Enix purchased the rights to the series from Gas Powered Games. To get a better idea about their acquisition strategy I asked David Hoffman, Director of Business Development at Square Enix USA, why the company chose to buy Dungeon Siege.
"We wanted to take a franchise that had a rich history that wasn’t really being utilized right now and re-introduce it to the current consumers through the consoles, which Dungeon Siege hadn’t been on before so there was an untapped audience," Hoffman answered.
"And, to be perfectly frank, I looked at a bunch of genres that were on the consoles. The dungeon crawlers were like whittled down to almost nothing or not even available [on consoles]. It seemed like to me that I and ultimately Square had identified a genre and a market that like the rest of the industry just glossed over. It was a real opportunistic situation."
I think this can be summarized as Square Enix wants to acquire brands as well as companies that fill a gap in the market and their portfolio. Purchasing Taito gave the company a wealth of arcade games. Eidos added a number of Western studios and even more IPs. Dungeon Siege is Square Enix’s chance to take a stake in the Western RPG genre utilizing a series that already has an existing fan base.
Check back later this week for our interview on how East meets West inside Square Enix USA.