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  1. Square Enix preparing "sharp," "powerful," and "well made" titles for showcase at E3 2018; will not rule out any IPs for the Nintendo Switch

    During their quarterly briefing on November 8, 2017, Square Enix revealed some interesting information regarding games releasing the next fiscal year* and those being planned for the Nintendo Switch.

    Square Enix stated that they have kept their fiscal year forecast unchanged as there are "no big games planned" for release between now and March 2017.

    The global titles Square Enix plan to release next fiscal year are being prepared to showcase at E3 2018, and have been described as "sharp," "powerful," and "well made."

    On the Nintendo Switch, Square Enix commented that its core architecture is similar to that of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One; therefore, while some adjustments would be necessary, there is definitely a possibility of developing games for all three platforms. Square Enix also stated that the Switch's momentum is very strong, and unique compared to the positions of PS4 and Xbox One, and that Nintento have done well for the company. They asserted that they are good at making middle-ranged games, and that the Switch is an ideal platform for such games.

    Lastly, Square Enix will not rule out any IPs when "agressively" making games for the Switch; this means the Switch could see not only new Square Enix games, but also currently active and non-active ones. These games may possibly be made multi-platform.

    *This refers to April 1, 2018 to March 31, 2019.

    Kingdom Hearts III is one of Square Enix's international titles releasing next year on the PS4 and Xbox One. Are you expecting to see more of the game at E3 2018, and if so, what kind of showcase and announcements are you looking forward to? Let us know in the comments below!

    UPDATE [Nov 20, 2017]: Square Enix has released the outline from the recent FY2018 Q2 Results Briefing Session back on November 8th. The outline details the presentation giving at the press session from Square Enix President Yosuke Matsuda and Chief Financial Officer Kazuharu Watanabe. Their presentation gave more detail into the income from the previous quarter and an update on Digital Entertainment [games, manga, etc.] and predictions for Quarter 3 and beyond.

    After the main presentation, several questions were asked about how profit from digital sales could improve game development, the possibility of bring titles to the Nintendo Switch, and new ideas for AI. You can read an excerpt below.

    - Why is the balance of your content production account larger now than it was at the end of FY2017/3 even though “DRAGON QUEST XI” has already been released?

    Development efforts for major titles are underway at both our overseas and domestic studios. We will be making announcements about the release dates of those titles between the end of FY2018/3 and E3.

    - Have your efforts to increase digital sales resulted in any changes to your approach to game development?

    Now when we are developing the main titles, we in parallel also plan and develop things like post-launch updates and add-on services.

    - Where do you intend to prioritize allocation of your development resources going forward?

    We base our development resource allocations on the unique attributes of each platform. In particular, Nintendo Switch makes it easier for us to leverage our back catalog of assets and expertise, so we want to be proactive in creating new IP and rebooting past titles for that platform.

    - What do you think about the current state of your smart device game business and where it is headed?

    We now have an organization in place that should prevent us from repeating the same mistakes. Once you’ve improved upon quality issues, it all comes down to how fun the contents you produce are, so our next challenge will be to increase the success rate of our titles.

    - What do you think of Nintendo Switch, and how are you approaching development efforts for it?

    Nintendo Switch is seeing rapid uptake, and we welcome the arrival of such a platform. We intend to be proactive in our development efforts given that it’s a platform that is well suited to the mid-sized titles at which we excel.

    - What is your policy on technological initiatives for AI?

    We have used AI in some of our games up until now, but we are now researching a variety of potential applications including applying AI or automation to our development processes.