Square Enix's worldwide technology director has said that the length of the current console generation is "the biggest mistake [Sony and Microsoft] ever made".
In an interview with GamesIndustry, Julien Merceron shared his opinion that those developers who grew bored of the current generation were pushed into exploring iOS and browsers, and were now unlikely to return to hardware.
"We have Sony and Microsoft talking about this generation lasting seven, eight, nine or even 10 years and it's the biggest mistake they've ever made," he claimed.
"This generation has been way too long, and I say this because you have a lot of developers that work on a new platform, and perhaps will not succeed, so they will wait for the next generation, and will jump on that platform. You could not do that with this generation though. So these developers went elsewhere to see if the grass was greener. They found web browsers, they found iOS, they found other things and a lot of them won't come back to the hardware platforms. So you could look at it that thanks to Microsoft and Sony and the length of this generation, it helped the emergence of other platforms and helped them get strong before the next hardware comes out."
Merceron elaborated by suggesting that future generations could afford to be shorter, thanks to simpler hardware and increased online functionality.
He explained, "With a simple architecture you do give more chances to everybody, which I believe is very important based on the critical business situation we're in. Games will be more costly. If you start to make the entry bar really high, more studios will die, more publishers will die, there'll be less titles on platforms, etc. If you make it accessible, you give more chances to people, you'll have a better portfolio at launch, but now you also have a problem with your longevity.
"Now you don't need to manage longevity by complexity of programming, because your longevity is ensured by your online model. And I would suggest that maybe we don't want long generations."
The worldwide technical director concluded by discussing the company's latest tech demo, Agni's Philosophy, and asserted developers will always be plagued by the Uncanny Valley.
"As soon as we ramp up the quality on graphics, this level of quality on facial animations won't be good enough. Some games succeed to be at the limit of the Uncanny Valley, but… the problem is that as rendering quality will go up, new problems will surface. The quality of the facial and body animations and the acting won't be good enough. So that is why as you evolve, you have to upgrade your physics, rendering and animations," he stated.
"It will always be a problem. As you push something, you have to recalibrate and rebalance these out. You can't have these stunning graphics while characters are acting funny on the screen."
In this article SE's "world wide technology director" (whatever the F that means) makes so many ass backwards statements, it's unbelieveable IMO. SE is the LAST games company on earth to be saying this when they haven't even mastered how to create great games on current gen systems.
1. First off how is a long lasting generation of consoles a bad thing? Well I mean I know alot of people think it's getting stale but we have to ask ourself "do we really NEED new consoles"?
2. How is it that companies will wait for a new console because they weren't successful in the current one? How is it supposed to make their game(s) more appealing? Too much competition in a current cycle for them to compete? We've seen games break through plenty times b4 haven't we? Look at the recent Dragon's Dogma...
3. How are devs using iOS and Web Browsers to sell their games? Is he just talking about casual game devs are more traditional devs? That doesn't make sense for traditional devs...
4. He's trying to make an argument that "if the entry bar on graphics is too high then lesser devs can't compete". Well then how are EVEN NEWER consoles supposed to fix that? They by definition have a higher entry bar!!!
5. "Longevity is determined by your online model". You mean having games have a longer lifespan through DLC? Not disagreeing with em here really, I just want him to elaborate on what he meant...
6. At the end he's trying to talk about improving graphics etc. So is this what this is all about? Just graphics?
My main point is that I think SE is being hugely hypocritical here because if there just making an argument about graphics in games then what about the gameplay? We all know FFXIII failed on exploration. This is the same company who claims making towns in HD is hard, and thinking linear gameplay is ok for an RPG in this day and age. So who the HELL are they to be making a philosophical point on how console gens should be?
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Square Enix thinks current console gen has lasted too long
Last edited by Metal King Slime; 07-13-2012 at 11:09. Reason: Posting article, as requested...
To offer fresh experiences, yes new consoles are needed or a hardware independent way to increase computing resources. (IE. could gaming.)
The entry level of graphics get easier to get to with each new generation, it's simply easier to have good looking graphics and fluid gameplay if you have 10x the power.
Graphics is the easy thing to talk about and something that people can see the difference easily.
It is not feasible to talk about new methods in AI, physics, persistence of world etc. as there are very limited amount of people who would understand it.
There is a lot to explorer in game worlds, but the risk of doing something truly big and unique is huge.. we had couple of games that tried to go that way this generation, but apparently the task was too big.. (512MB of memory is huge limitation if you want to do something unique in world scale.)
I'm just going to echo what I posted in the PSU section:
I still have a couple games that I'm eager to get my hands on and play before moving onto the PlayStation 4. Grand Theft Auto V, Final Fantasy Versus XIII, The Last of Us, XCOM: Enemy Unknown, Sleeping Dogs etc.
Square Enix aren't exactly in the best position to criticize 'the big three' for a longer generation of video games though when they themselves seem lax on managing the dozen or so titles they've announced in the past 6 years. This is the same company that had the balls to tease another sequel to Final Fantasy XIII when they could be using that time and manpower to help Tetsuya Nomura and his team wrap up work on Final Fantasy Versus XIII. No sight of Kingdom Hearts III either.
They just took advantage of the whole 10-year console life-cycle from Sony and now that people are upset with the way they've handled themselves, they echo what Epic Games and Crytek have been saying, as if the arrival of the next generation will give them a clean slate.
Team Ico hasn't even released The Last Guardian. Can you imagine what it would be like for them if next-gen consoles came out tomorrow?
Yep, SE just wants to give themselves a clean slate with a new batch on consoles because they did so $#@!ty this gen. I think your dead on there! There just looking to what benefits their sorry asses! (oh and thx for posting da article for me XD)
Apparently not long enough, we're still waiting for Versus.
According to Square this gen has lasted too long, yet they have sooo little to show for it.
I'm still waiting for a captivating must have game from them, and it look like I won't get to see one this gen.Thou shall not question my lame sig
Funny, they didn't announce FFvsXIII as a PS4 title..
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I would really like to see the next generation as well. This one's getting stale...
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This whole developer bashing is ridiculous at best. People will never be happy and always criticize everyone and their mom until their ears bleed.
Seriously, people hate on EA, Activision (understandably), Capcom, Square, Ubisoft and god knows who else.
Is this really what we've become? Do you even appreciate anything out there? What all the hatred comments show is the level of hypocrisy across gamers. You keep on downplaying Square because it hasn't brought out your beloved FF VII crap remake but in the end all of you will jump on Versus XIII like nothing ever happened. Same with all the other listed companies that apparently are oh so evil. Derp.
My point is that everyone needs to take a GIANT chill pill and stop the hating because in the end it makes you look like absolutely pathetic individuals.
If Square thinks the next generation should come sooner than later, SO BE IT! To each their own, right?
Hell, people can't even distinguish between developers and publishers so who am I kidding?
Last edited by Wrath; 07-14-2012 at 02:14.
U over there talking about hatred and hypocrisy from gamers because of this? The hypocrisy is coming from SE. The VersusXIII comments where warranted because it's a great point and a great example on how SE is being hypocritical. They don't need to be complanning this gen has lasted too long when there games this gen have taken steps backwards to past gens and not being able to complete games this gen like...... VERSUSXIII!
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I can't help but feel that majority of developers were not ready for the current gen of consoles when they launched in 05/06. So, hopefully, the extra time will mean more of them will be ready this time around.
As others have suggested, SE is one of the last developers/publishers that should be complaining about the length of this generation of consoles. They have needed every bit of hit and perhaps more with no VersusXIII release in sight yet. We have a better guess on when next gen consoles are going to release than we do VersusXIII.
If they had not already announced VersusXIII I bet they would rename it to FFXIV and do the same thing they did with FFXIII (likely due to how long FXII took) and move it to next gen console(s).
Wrath, what you say makes sense, but it's not about basing companies...it's about bashing company decisions most of the time. I don't think it's hypocrisy per se; I simply think many of us just want these companies to get their act together BECAUSE we like them and their franchises. We know it's not so easy for them to do that obviously (finances, resources, time, etc.) and we certainly aren't in their business...but sometimes it's difficult to believe other measures couldn't have been taken in spite of what this gen has become for developers/publishers (and at times, there really could have been). That's why I feel most gamers "complain".
I agree that many of us should chill, though.
Last edited by Bio; 07-14-2012 at 16:13.
Originally Posted by Bio
Look at the even bigger fish out there. Microsoft and Apple by way of example can do what they want and however they want and ultimately they would ALWAYS get flagged for every decision they make. But people seem to forget that this attitude is counterproductive because at the end of the day those companies just won't care enough as you keep on buying their products anyway.
Criticize when criticism is justified, not when it's a popular thing to do. Otherwise, companies won't hear you!
And criticizing a company for voicing their opinion about the launch of the next generation? Laughable at best... Especially considering that this was said by ONE MAN within that company.
Last edited by Wrath; 07-14-2012 at 19:39.
Not to mention that you never answered my question on whether or not you even play Final Fantasy games. And even if you were right, you express it by laughing at other individuals and calling them pathetic. Where was your "maturity" when responding to Versus?
Last edited by Metal King Slime; 07-14-2012 at 20:33.
Plus, I do play FF games. Not every title but the great ones (VII, X, X-2, XII, hopefully XIV once it is sorted out and at some point Versus XIII). So I do have a fair bit of understanding. Don't tell me I have to go back to FF 1 to participate in this discussion.
Also, don't continuously bring up the example of me calling people pathetic. I intentionally didn't drop any names and left it as a general comment. My last post didn't contain any such language so it might be a better idea to move on. I apologize if people feel hurt because of what I have to say but I simply refuse to not speak my mind freely.
EDIT: Look at the guy above me, Blacksite. This is exactly what I mean. Nothing but unsubstantiated bull$#@!.
Last edited by Wrath; 07-14-2012 at 20:37.
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