Mark this day on your calendar, JRPG aficionados. At long last, Square Enix is starting to make sense again.
After the great success of the acclaimed Bravely Default in Western territories, Square Enix is reconsidering its approach to creating mainstream games.
Company president Yosuke Matsuda, speaking in a recent interview with Nikkei Trendy (as translated by Siliconera ), said Square Enix "lost its focus" when they attempted to produce games for a global audience:
"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."
Then came the quote some people – specifically, Final Fantasy fans – have been waiting for. It's a statement any logical person would've made a dozen times over in the past six or seven years. It's so painfully obvious that in some ways, it's just sad that it took Square Enix this long to discover it. But at least they've said it:
"If you focus too much on the global aspect, you might lose sight of who you’re actually making the game for. For example, if you look back at 2013, we’ve had some home console games made for a global audience that struggled."
Matsuda mentioned Hitman: Absolution as an example of a game that featured "elements for the masses" as opposed to the core fans. This strategy to obtain mass appeal hasn't been working as well as they had hoped, so now they're rethinking things. Now, Matsuda is saying they want to maybe return to their roots:
"So, as for the AAA titles we’re currently developing for series, we basically want to go back to their roots and focus on the core audience, while working hard on content that can have fans say things like ‘this is the Hitman we know’. I believe that is the best way for our development studios to display their strengths."
Wow. Maybe I'll actually buy Final Fantasy XV now.