Square Enix To Focus Less on the 'Global Aspect' Following Bravely Default Success in the West
Posted by Thomas Whitehead
"There’s a sense of mass, which loses the image of a niche market"
Square Enix, a company with significant heritage both pre- and post-merger, has been working in recent times to try and broaden its appeal and sales worldwide. It's not been smooth sailing, however, as financial challenges have been a consistent feature in recent years as the company strives for success on established platforms as well as the rapidly expanding smart device market.
Some of its properties have also struggled to maintain the success of bygone eras, and this is naturally an area that Square Enix president Yosuke Matsuda has considered in detail. Based on recent comments to Nikkei Trendy (translated by Siliconera) Matsuda-san seems to be plotting a change in course; in highlighting that efforts to 'globalise' brands have not always met success, it's emphasized that a game targeted to the Japanese market — Bravely Default on 3DS — has achieved impressive results around the world, perhaps breaking down ideas of what genres and styles work in different regions.
Not just limited to games for smartphone or console, but we do have some global titles lined up. However, regardless of whether they’re 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.
For example, in the past, 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.
On the other hand, there are games like the JRPG we made for the Japanese audience with the proper elements, Bravely Default, which ended up selling well all around the world.
Due to having split [the development mindset] according to regions around the world, we weren’t able to see this clearly up until now, but fans of JRPGs are really spread around the world. Through the means of various networks, the latest information that is announced in Japan is instantaneously being spread across fans throughout the world. Whether it’s North America, Europe, or South America. There really isn’t much of a gap [in the relay of information].
With that in mind, and all of the collective fans, there’s a sense of mass, which loses the image of a niche market. For the new games we’ll be developing from this point on, while this may sound a bit extreme, we’ve been talking about making them as heavy JRPGs. I believe that way, we can better focus on our target, which will also bring better results.
Are you keen to see Square Enix direct its attention to project more suited to its instincts?