Square Enix wants to “shift from quantity to quality” and release more multiplatform games – WGB

By admin May15,2024

In Square Enix’s latest financial results, the company has laid out a plan to radically alter its approach to game development and publishing which may result in the end of platform exclusive games like Final Fantasy 7: Rebirth.

Named the “Square Enix Reboots and Awakens – 3-years of Foundation-Laying for Long-term Growth” the new plan intends on addressing some “major challenges” that appeared during the company’s last medium-term business plan which ended in March of this year. These challenges included “low profitability at the HD Games (HD) sub-segment” and “insufficient franchise-by-franchise portfolio management”.

Step 1 in this new plan will apparently be to “shift away from quantity to quality”. In 2021 Square Enix published a total of 11 games, and a whopping 18 games in 2022.

For what Square Enix calls “HD” titles, which is presumably how the company refers to PC and console games to differentiate them from mobile, the company plans to “aggressively pursue a multiplatform strategy that includes Nintendo platforms, PlayStation, Xbox and PCs.”

Note the mention of multiple Nintendo platforms, a direct reference to Nintendo finally discussing a Switch successor.

This new focus on multiplatform releases could spell the end of PlayStation exclusive releases, such as Final Fantasy VII Rebirth. Indeed, Square Enix’s approach to platforms tends to be a little confusing with some games launching on just or two platforms, others releasing on just one, and others still launching on everything.

Notably, Sony and Square Enix seem to have a good relationship due to many of the company’s biggest games favouring PlayStation. However, Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth is reported to underperformed, selling about half of what its predecessor did. Based on what Square Enix is saying, it seems like the end of these platform specific releases is coming soon, undoubtedly as a means to combat the 38% decline in profit from gaming noted in the financials.

Square Enix also believes its new plan will help maximise digital sales, although it isn’t clear how. It will also “pursue initiatives designed to win over PC users” due to its belief that there’s significant growth to be had on PC. You’re a bit behind the times on that one, Square.

It also seems like Square wants to jump on the cross-media bandwagon. In its report it says: “In addition, it will build an organization which makes more active use of its IP by offering it across all media formats.”

Given the massive successes of things like the Super Mario Bros. Movie and the Sonic films, I can’t help but think Square Enix want to move into movies and TV shows. The company also noted a massive rise of 51% in merchandise sales, doubtless tying in with their new focus on moving into other media formats.

Square also wants focus on developing games which deliver “‘Fun’ that only the Group can create,” which is fancy-pants talk for making good games. At least, I hope it is.

On paper then, Square’s new plan seems promising: focus on creating fewer, higher quality titles that launch on multiple platforms. As with all company’s and their PR statements though, the reality can often differ from what they say. Only time will tell if their new plan will actually come to fruition.

By admin

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