Square Enix CEO Yosuke Matsuda weighs in on simultaneous worldwide releases, new games, and ports for Nintendo Switch, and more
In a recent interview with Nikkei magazine, Square Enix CEO Yosuke Matsuda commented on the company's future sales strategies, including the intention to focus on simultaneous worldwide releases and the Nintendo Switch.
Simultaneous worldwide releases
Matsuda is of the opinion that Final Fantasy XV sold 6 million total physical and virtual copies worldwide (as of January 10, 2017) in a relatively short period compared to previous Final Fantasy games due to its simultaneous worldwide launch. He commented that as the European and US markets tend to continue their sales long term, Square Enix is planning to maximize the life time values of their games through updates and DLCs.
Matsuda observed that simultaneous worldwide releases are an important aspect of marketing, as gamers will want to play a new game as soon as possible and may even lose interest if the game's international release is delayed. He said that it is therefore important for the company to decrease those delays, especially for RPGs and the action/adventure genre, as, due to their emphasis on narratives, they are difficult to sell abroad unless released simultaneously.
Matsuda is also showing interest in gamers sharing gaming experiences over social media such as YouTube. This has become more relevant to Square Enix's sales strategy as they expect their consumers to share gameplay videos and create a "buzz" to lead game titles to become more noticeable.
When asked about the necessity of cultural changes in games, Matsuda replied that Square Enix games are appreciated for retaining their own cultural originality.
Lastly, Matsuda reflected on taking advantage of the emerging market in countries such as Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Mexico, and especially India, where the once negative perspective on video games has been changing steadily.
The Nintendo Switch and other platforms
Following up on new platforms such as the Nintendo Switch and Microsoft's Project Scorpio this year, Matsuda believes that having more platforms is good for content creators. Square Enix is in fact increasing its interest in the Nintendo Switch in particular. The company has already released a few titles on the console and announced more future releases. Matsuda remarked that in addition to developing new titles for the Switch, the company would also like to port existing games to the console. He mentioned that while Nintendo may propose amazing ways to "switch" certain game characteristics, Square Enix aims to make games that will leverage the functions of the Switch following their own creative paths.
Matsuda also commented on the smartphone game business, mentioning that Square Enix's smartphone titles released in the beginning of 2016 struggled in general due to the market having matured beyond the existing templates used to create those games. He also listed other issues such as limited storage capacity. He stressed that the company will need to research its competitors and figure out how to make their games different and engaging.
Lastly, regarding Virtual Reality, Matsuda thinks that the focus is not to make a game specially for VR, but rather to use VR as a factor to make games interesting.
What do you think of this rundown of Square Enix's future strategies, and how do you think it will affect future Kingdom Hearts titles? Would you like to see a worldwide simultaneous release of Kingdom Hearts III, or Kingdom Hearts games ported to the Switch? Let us know below!
- Apr 12 2017 12:00 AM
- by Aquaberry
Square Enix has recently updated their website’s job openings page. The positions that have been added include work with both the Tokyo and Osaka development teams. The Osaka team is notably the team that is currently developing Kingdom Hearts III. Two postings have been added for both the Tokyo and Osaka teams. The following positions have been translated by Goldpanner:
1) Lighting Artist: Lighting and general post-production Work on Kingdom Hearts III.
- Both real-time and cut scene lighting
- Creating depth of field, vignette, color gradation etc. post production
Aims and interesting points of this job:
Lighting is a very important job that determines the final quality of a game's graphics.
Lighting artists shoulder the task of making sure the assets created by each section come together properly on a single screen--in other words, they hold the fate of the assets in their hands. It's a position with heavy responsibility, but that also makes it a very worthwhile job.
Thanks to recent developments in hardware, it is now possible to edit highly detailed lighting that stands up to high-end CG while seeing the effect in real-time inside the game engine. This means it's possible for lighting artists to work in an appealing environment free of waiting for rendering.
Let's work together to bring the lighting of the CG of the many Disney works in Kingdom Hearts to life inside the game.
2) Direction Planner: Adding direction to the camera during explanations of the player's techniques and the layout of the map, missions, and the start middle and end of battles using Using Unreal Engine 4. You will consult with each section, working on the whole project from storyboarding to ordering materials to implementation.
3) Network Programmer: Development of an under-development Network Multiplayer Game using UnrealEngine4.
- constructing gameplay that anticipates the next 10 years
- investigating relevant traffic and adjusting so that gameplay is not harmed
- constructing a matching server
4) Producer's Assistant: Private secretary of staff and producers.
- Managing the schedule and tasks of appointed staff, general private secretary work
- Assistance with international business
- Accompanying on domestic and international business trips (once or twice a month), making arrangements there (making appointments on their behalf etc.)
- Attending negotiations and functions with customers (about three or four times a week, internationally and domestically)
While none of these positions seem to point to any crucial post-production work, the Lighting Artist job is particularly interesting due to the amount of focus given to the position's description and significance. Special thanks to KH13 Social Media Team Member Barry Bacon Allen for the tip!
Do you think any of the positions listed above speak to Kingdom Hearts III’s development status? Let us know in the comments below!
- Dec 20 2016 10:01 PM
- by InnerLight13
[UPDATED] Nintendo Switch revealed: Square Enix present on list of third-party partners, Unreal Engine 4 support confirmed
Nintendo recently released a teaser for their new console, the Switch. While there was no footage of Kingdom Hearts III or Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue within the teaser, Nintendo has released a graphic showcasing many of the console's third-party partners, where Square Enix can be seen. Additionally, as shown in the teaser, Bethesda's The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim was showcased extensively, so Nintendo seems to be embracing third-party developers much more than in previous console generations.
Update: Epic Games, one of the partners for the Switch, has confirmed that Nintendo's newest console will have Unreal Engine 4 support. This is the same engine used for Kingdom Hearts χ Back Cover and Kingdom Hearts 0.2 Birth by Sleep -A Fragmentary Passage-, and the engine that Kingdom Hearts III is being developed with.
Are you excited for the release of the Nintendo Switch? What do you think of the possibility of a future Kingdom Hearts game on the Switch? Let us know in the comments!
- Oct 21 2016 10:46 PM
- by Raxaimus
Square Enix's E3 2015 coverage detailed: Twitch streaming schedule, main conference will be 1 hour, & SE Presents teases titles
The official Twitch channel on Twitch has listed the official streaming schedule for E3 2015. With the schedule shown on the channel, it shows that the Square Enix E3 Conference will last for an hour, and that various others sessions of Square Enix content will be livestreamed later on. Also, it's been confirmed that Square Enix's conference will feature Japanese games. Square Enix content will appear on twitch.tv/Twitch at the following times (all listed in USA PDT):
DAY 1 - TUESDAY
10:00am - 11:00am: Square Enix Conference
3:00pm - 3:30pm: Square Enix
DAY 2 (WEDNESDAY)
11:00am - 11:15am: Square Enix
2:00pm - 2:15pm: Square Enix
DAY 3 - THURSDAY
2:00pm - 2:30pm: Square Enix
Update: Square Enix have uploaded an "E3 2015 Hype Video" to their Square Enix Presents YouTube channel, teasing the content of their main conference and for the rest of E3. Many titles already confirmed to appear are listed, and the video teases that many more titles will be kept a secret until their conference. It is unclear if each "censored" title corresponds to an actual game, or if it's done for the purposes of a joke, but you can watch the video below and decide for yourself.
Square Enix have also announced that the full E3 2015 streaming schedule on Square Enix Presents will be revealed at 11:30am (USA PDT) on the first day of E3, Tuesday June 16 – 30 minutes after their conference has ended. The SE Presents stream will begin at 12:00pm (USA PDT), and continue throughout E3. With Twitch and SE Presents together, there's sure to be lots of Square Enix content for us to stream to you, so stay tuned for all of the news!
- Jun 13 2015 07:23 AM
- by Jake
Every year, the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) occurs in Los Angeles, California in North America, and this year's event, E3 2015 is drawing near! Square Enix will be holding their own conference this year, along with the usual array of other major game publishers and the major console-makers (Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo). KH13 will be at E3 again, with Churro [@churroz] attending on behalf of us, and we have plenty of events planned for those of you watching from home!
First, here's all of the E3 2015 conference times for each major timezone, thanks to @Cheesemeister3k:
Where you can watch the conferences
For the first time ever, KH13 will be livestreaming each major E3 conference! We're teaming up with Uniphication to livestream the Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo and Square Enix conferences live on our new Twitch channel, twitch.tv/KH13com. Here, you'll be able to watch all of the conferences live and participate in the live discussion in our Twitch chatroom.
It's sure to be a blast discussing all of the announcements together with other Kingdom Hearts fans, so make sure you come to KH13 when the conferences start in your timezone, and we'll have the stream and chat embedded on our homepage. We're also going to be hosting short pre-shows for the conferences, live discussions during, and competitions for each conference – a E3 bingo game! Make sure you check out the rules here.
We hope you're looking forward to it as much as we are!
- Jun 04 2015 08:31 AM
- by DChiuch
On Saturday, May 30 2015, the floor plan for E3 2015 was released. The floor plan details where each company will have booths set up for those attending the conference in person. Thanks to a member of the NeoGAF forums, the layout can be seen here:
I'm gonna call these floor plans preliminary. The floor plans can be viewed in full here (note, site can be slow): http://www.mapyoursh....alt_entry=true
Below are the floor plans of South Hall and West Hall (PMRs and Concourse aren't too interesting, part from Nintendo booking the theatre as always). I have marked where the more interesting exhibitors are:
Notice anything interesting? It seems as though Square Enix and Disney have booths right next to each other at this year's conference! It may not seem like much, but it could be great for speculation. What do you think? Is there significance to the Disney and Square Enix booths being next to each other? Let us know what you think in the comments.
- Jun 02 2015 12:24 AM
- by Toominator
We're getting a clearer image of Square Enix's plans for E3 as the calendar moves closer to June 16, where Square Enix will be holding their E3 2015 press conference. Thanks to NeoGAF user Nirolak, we've learned that Square Enix will be announcing several new games during their E3 press conference. According to a Square Enix corporate website, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided (which was announced in April 2015) and "several other additional titles" will be "announced" during the conference. It is possible that the several other titles are simply referring to the other websites on the results briefing slides, but we also have to consider the possibility of any surprise announcements.
This is “DEUS EX,” launched this April. In our private conference at the next E3, we are planning to announce several titles in addition to this one.
We plan to make use of our IP in multifaceted approach, in “DRAGON QUEST HEROESⅡ,” and “STAR OCEAN 5,”, as part of the efforts to strengthen and reboot our existing IPs, as I mentioned earlier.
What titles are you hoping our friends at Square Enix will announce at the coming E3 event? Could they be referring to the official overseas announcement for Kingdom Hearts Unchained χ, or perhaps something else? Let us know what you think in the comments below.
- May 28 2015 04:52 PM
- by Justin James
Square Enix recruiting Technical Artists for Kingdom Hearts III and a Network Game Programmer for Osaka Team
Yesterday, we reported that Square Enix is recruiting a UI Designer for Osaka Team's Kingdom Hearts III. Today, Square Enix Japan has posted job advertisements on their career website for Technical Artists for Osaka Team's Kingdom Hearts III and another advertisement for a Network Game Programmer for a "online multiplayer game". Osaka Team's only announced title still in development is Kingdom Hearts III which is most likely a single-player game. Could this be related to the Kingdom Hearts series? Or is it more likely related to the Final Fantasy series? There's plenty of speculation that could occur here, but we'll leave that up to you guys. What do you think it could be?
Thanks to our translator SkyKeybladeHero, you can read the job advertisement summaries below.
You will be assigned as a General Supporter (construction of Workflow, Middleware Selection, etc.), helping us achieve a high-quality Graphic representation for KHIII.
Your job includes creating Shaders for natural representations (water/rain/snow, etc.) and special effects such as Magic, using the Game Engine.
※ Location will be Osaka
You will be responsible for planning and implementing the Communication System for Online Multiplayer Game (C/S method).
※ Location will be Osaka
- Sep 12 2014 07:55 AM
- by Sora96
Square Enix Japan has posted a job opening on their career website. The job is UI Designer for Osaka Team's current project, Kingdom Hearts III. Thanks to our translator SkyKeybladeHero, you can read a translation of the job advertisement summary below.
Design and Data Creation regarding KHIII's UI.
While communicating with the Planners and Producers, aim at creating a user-friendly UI which is easy to understand, taking into account the appearance of the worlds and the uniqueness of the Kingdom Hearts Series.
Objectives - This Job's Fun factor
Seeing the reaction of the millions of passionate fans worldwide who are obsessed with an exciting game experience is this job's fun factor.
※ Location will be Osaka
- Sep 11 2014 07:50 PM
- by Sora96