Older gamers may remember that before the merger, both Squaresoft and Enix were known for one thing: producing some amazing JRPGs.
Post merger, Square Enix focused less on your typical JRPG and focused more on action-oriented projects like Kingdom Hearts, experimentation with the genre like with Final Fantasy XIII, and aiming their products at a more "global" audience.
As any gamer or analyst will tell you, Square Enix has been on a downward slide for years because of this.
"[I]n 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."
Matsuda continues with a specific example, that of Hitman Absolution:
"The development team for Hitman: Absolution really struggled in this regard. They 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."
What caused this sudden surge back to their roots? Nintendo 3DS title Bravely Default. This title is as JRPG as they come and not only sold great in Japan but it also did amazing in the United States. It caused Matsuda to rethink the approach of the entire company.
"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."
Could see the PlayStation 4 continue the proud legacy of the PlayStation 1 and 2 and be the new home for some amazing Square Enix JRPGs? Could we see Square Enix revive franchises such as Tactics Ogre, Vagrant Story and the Mana series? Let us know on Facebook and in the comments below!
Article by - Joshua Phillips
Insert Date: 4/19/2014