For the duration of this generation, it has been clear to most everyone that Square-Enix's focus is to appeal to a wider worldwide audience. Specifically, they wish to cater more to the Western gamers simply because they already have the Japanese crowd in their back pocket.

Therefore, it makes perfect sense to have a studio right here in the United States. Square-Enix's new development studio has officially opened its doors in Los Angeles, and ArsTechnica recently spoke with Game Development Manager Fumi Shiraishi to learn more about the studio's goals and expectations. The first thing Shiraishi did is to clear up the idea that Square-Enix is "shifting" its focus; he says it's more accurate to call it a "growth:"

"Square Enix isn't necessarily shifting, it's more of a growth. The stuff [games created by Square Enix in Japan] does what it is supposed to do…but the Japanese market isn't growing. It's a different approach entirely. We're not deliberately focusing on the North American audience. We're just trying to make a good game."

Some of you may be saying, "well, yeah, but what difference does it make if they have a Japanese team in LA? …they're still Japanese." Well, not so fast. The studio is mostly comprised of experienced Western developers and as Shiraishi said, "it's not a good idea to make a game for people you don't understand." And although he can't tell us what the game is, he did say they're not "trying to make a game with a Western looking main character and with blood and gore;" they're merely trying to create an entirely new experience. As for the intended platform(s)…well, he admits it's a big decision and he added: "Square Enix as a whole fell behind in multi-platform development."

We're not exactly sure what that means, but it'll certainly be interesting to see what this new LA-based studio comes up with. Stay tuned.

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Qubex
Qubex
11 years ago

The thing is what makes a "good game"… is it the technical superlatives, story, characters, environments, game mechanics and game play… whatever audience you develop for the game/product quality still needs to be there… and that is no mean feat… For example, Killzone 2 just keeps on growing and growing on me… it is like a fine wine… the more I play it, the more fine detail I notice… it is just a phenomenal product all around… it oozes quality…

Knowing what Square Enix can do, surely they can do the same for whatever "western" experience they want to create… who knows, we'll just have to wait and see…

Q!

"i am home"


Last edited by Qubex on 3/20/2009 11:16:20 AM

JofaMang
JofaMang
11 years ago

"Square Enix as a whole fell behind in multi-platform development."

A Squeenix Exec admitting fault? The cries of (rightfully) impatient FF fans everywhere are not falling on deaf ears. It might be only a small one, and far short of an apology or compensation, but I think they are definitely throwing us a frickin bone here.

Considering the topic of the interview (launch of western studio) and the fanbase most effected by these delays, this would be the right place to start making amends.

Its entirely possible that I am optimisticly grasping at straws, that my beloved FF franchise doesn't have to be made by a cold psychopathic corporate machine.


Last edited by JofaMang on 3/20/2009 11:28:16 AM

illegalprelude
illegalprelude
11 years ago

I dont think Square-Enix gets it…I mean jesus, their games did BIG business before and they were made in Japan and didnt have Blood and Gore. I really feel, once Enix came on board, Square started to spiral down. Let me guess, were gonna get another dumb iPhone game with a Final Fantasy name on it. Or better yet, their gonna give us some crap ass FPS.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
11 years ago

I'll hang myself before I buy a SE FPS

NightHawk17
NightHawk17
11 years ago

They seriously need to stop with this dumbass idea that westernization will increase their profit i mean has it done so yet after releasing countless jrpg's on a western console?

Hexen
Hexen
11 years ago

they could [email protected]#% themselves for all I care.

b3mike
b3mike
11 years ago

sideways at that

Scarecrow
Scarecrow
11 years ago

Squeeeeenix is like Britney Spears

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
11 years ago

sloppy and self serving?

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
11 years ago

Uh oh Crow, we got us an SE lover giving thumbs down.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
11 years ago

They better worry about that building being destroyed by crazed PS3 fans wearing Helghast masks.

Seriously though, I'm in the US but "Western expansion" means including the UK as well, and PS3 is king there, even if the dummies here haven't gotten a clue yet. It's nice of this guy to admit SE effed up, but he dodged the question. He knows where their games are headed. Whatever SE says is true, is actually the opposite of what is really going on.

ps92117
ps92117
11 years ago

The expirience of loosing marke shares, fans and rank of games.

coverton341
coverton341
11 years ago

"Square Enix as a whole fell behind in multi-platform development."
(read "We realize now that we screwed up by leaving FFvXIII as a PS3 exclusive instead of migrating it over to the 360 so at GDC we are announcing that it is now multiplatform. That's right it will be on the 360 and the PC. Oh and FFXIII will no longer be on the PS3 outside of Japan it will be on the 360 and PC worldwide.")

Mystearica
Mystearica
11 years ago

I DON'T like the sound of this at all! Honestly – they have made great games in the past and I loved many of their games even though it was supposed to be not "western"…. that is unless they plan on steering away from RPGs and go towards more shooter-based games… dunno

jdt1981
jdt1981
11 years ago

Their first westernized game will be a GTA knockoff called Grand Theft Chocobo. Seriously though I wish SE and all Japanese game companies would stop with the westernization BS…. Just stick to what you do best which is make the best JRPGs in the industry. If SE focused more on the main FF franchise and less on FF spin-offs and westernization maybe we would be enjoying FFXIII by now…

King James
King James
11 years ago

Ben, you're not sure what it means? I know what it means…REPOST!

<Square-Enix America Staff Meeting>
Director: Thank you all for joining SE-A. We have a lot of work to do.
Game Designer 1: What games are we planning to make?
Director: Square-Enix wants to appeal to that American Market. That's where we come in. We are going to make three XBox360 titles…
Lead QA Tester: (interrupting)Are we going to make any PS3 or Wii titles?
Director: You're fired. I said the American market which means, we are making XBox360 games. Three of them. I want to make an action/adventure, and 2 shooters.
*Game Designer 2 raises hand slowly*
Director: *Points at Game Designer 2* Yes?
Game Designer 2: Wouldn't be more lucrative to make multi-platform next-gen games?
Director: *sighs* You know what? You're fired too! We are making XBOX360 games. If anybody has a problem with that, feel free to ask me about. I will be more than happy to explain to you our simple Square-Enix mission statement. It's three equations:
1) American Market = Money
2) XBox360 = American Market
Therefore, the third equation is simple folks…
3) XBox360 = Money

Any questions? *looks around room*
(Room is silent)
Director: Good, meeting's adjourned. Go make those games.


Last edited by King James on 3/20/2009 5:44:28 PM

robinhood2010
robinhood2010
11 years ago

It is a sad day when this transpires.

Im sure you have said this before…

NightHawk17
NightHawk17
11 years ago

LOL, didn't you post this before, or maybe it was someone else but every time i read it it's funny..cause it's true:(

Karosso
Karosso
11 years ago

@ King James…
Sad thing is, all you just wrote makes a lot of sense ūüôĀ

PANICinc
PANICinc
11 years ago

What's wrong with SE? Have they fallen into the same tightwad hole Valve is stuck in? They better not have! The PS3 is where the money is! The 360 has so many CRAP games, that another title from them that is not FF isn't going to make them the money they think it will! It'll get lost in the junk! Make games for both next-gen systems! One bluray disc, 4 dvd's, and something completely different for the PSP! There's your business plan for succe$$!

Snaaaake
Snaaaake
11 years ago

Some post here actually gave me the scare saying FFXIII won't be release for the PS3 outside of Japan and SE will make games EXCLUSIVE for the 360.
Though I was only scared for 2 seconds though XD.