Square Enix exploring ‘heavy JRPG’ niche for future titles

Square Enix president Yosuke Matsuda spoke with website Nikkkei Trendy regarding his company’s focus around game development.

Early in the interview, care of Siloconera, Matsuda admits to the difficulty of creating games intended for the different global market styles, specifically when creating games with one culture in mind and then trying to localize it to another:

"However, regardless of whether [our games] are for smartphone or console, there’s a difficult element to developing global titles, so we’ll be making them without focusing too much on the ‘global’ aspect. "When we developed console games with a worldwide premise, we lost our focus, and not only did they end up being games that weren’t for the Japanese, but they ended up being incomplete titles that weren’t even fit for a global audience."

Matsuda goes further to mention one title specifically: Bravely Default, which is found on the Nintendo 3DS, which Matsuda declared "ended up selling well all around the world." The impact of such an epiphany is that the RPG concepts of old are still highly sought by consumers around the world, even including the localized markets.

Ultimately, the polarized opinions of Square Enix games like Hitman: Absolution and the Final Fantasy XIII trilogy are all but validated as Square Enix intends to shift its mentality towards creating complete games rather than appeasing entire markets. Matsuda mentions the mistakes made with Hitman: Absolution and how it was received:

"[The development team] implemented a vast amount of ‘elements for the mass’ instead of for the core fans, as a way to try getting as many new players possible. It was a strategy to gain mass appeal. However, what makes the Hitman series good is its appeal to core gamers, and many fans felt the lack of focus in that regard, which ended up making it struggle in sales."

He closes the interview by reiterating his and the company’s intentions to "focus on the core audience." With massive titles such as Kingdom Hearts 3 and Final Fantasy XV still in development, the possiblities of these two titles grasping a more traditional scope makes the future of the Square Enix company look bright indeed.

In what way has Square Enix changed for the worse or better, and how does this change in perspective affect that?