Square Enix Mulls Major Development Model Revamp, Focus May Shift To Region Specific Games
It's no secret that Square Enix has not been doing well lately and now, its soon-to-be president Yosuke Matsuda is looking to overhaul its HD game business. The company is apparently reconsidering its long-term, large-scale development and Matsuda feels the future lies in developing region-specific games.
According to the documents from Square Enix's 2013 fiscal year financial briefing, the company is planning to overhaul its business model for triple-A development. Matsuda apparently wants a method where consumers are more involved in the development process and looks to Kickstarter and Steam Greenlight as examples of such an interactive strategy.
"There is a crowdfunding website called Kickstarter," Matsuda says (via Polygon), "which does not only serve as a method of financing for developers, but I believe should also be seen as a way to unite marketing and development together by allowing us to interact with customers while a game is in development. Valve's Steam Greenlight and Early Access, are also very interesting, in that they raise the frequency by which we interact with customers, increasing their engagement and reflecting customer needs," he adds.
The publisher has always been releasing games with a global target and now it feels the need for regional specific games. "We created our budgets on the basis that our games would be sold worldwide," Matsuda said. "We had not given much consideration of the regionality of each market, and had focused more on how to sell the major titles globally; however, titles fitting this method are limited."
Acknowledging many of its issues, Matsuda said game development was taking an increasingly longer time to complete, which has remarkably brought down the number of game releases and has massively increased of the period between investment and sales. The company is looking to frame new strategies for better asset turnover and a new way to present a product to customers during this development period.
"There is a huge difference from the perspective of business risk between a model where no revenue opportunities take place for several years until the product is completed (upon which investments are recovered at one time), and a model where revenue opportunities exist in some form prior to product completion, even if the amount of money invested is the same. I believe this is a crucial point," he was quoted as saying in Develop.