Square Enix President Talks About Bravely Default’s Success and How It Affects Future Game Development

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The president of Square Enix, Yosuke Matsuda recently talked to Nikkei Trendy about shifting the company’s focus back to heavy JRPGs and their core audiences. This is because the company was surprised by the success of Bravely Default in West because it mainly developed for Japanese audience. In the other hand, Hitman: Absolution, which was meant to appeal for wide global audience, struggled in sales.

More interesting the situation makes the fact Bravely Default was published and released by Nintendo in West. Without them it would have been very unlikely to see Square Enix releasing the game here. But times are changing which makes us wonder: Is Square Enix willing to publish Bravely Second by themselves after seeing the success of the first installment? Will this also encourage them bringing more Japanese audience focused titles in Europe and North America? If we are listening to the president, it sure seems like that!

During the interview, Nikkei asked if Square Enix have any global titles for smartphones in the mix of all their upcoming new games.

“Not just limited to games for smartphone or console, but we do have some global titles lined up,” Matsuda replied. “However, regardless of whether they’re for smartphone or console, there’s a difficult element to developing global titles, so we’ll be making them without focusing too much on the ‘global’ aspect.”

“For example, in 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, “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.” (Over 200 000 copies in North America alone in its first three weeks)

Yosuke Matsuda was also surprised by the fact JRPG fans can be found all over the world and how quickly fansites (That’s us!) report about Japanese announcements. He stated that they have decided to focus more on “heavy JRPGs” in the future.

“Due to having split [the development mindset] according to regions around the world, we weren’t able to see this clearly up until now, but fans of JRPGs are really spread around the world,” emphasizes Matsuda. “Through the means of various networks, the latest information that is announced in Japan is instantaneously being spread across fans throughout the world. Whether it’s North America, Europe, or South America. There really isn’t much of a gap [in the relay of information].”

“With that in mind, and all of the collective fans, there’s a sense of mass, which loses the image of a niche market,” continues Matsuda. “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.”

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After that, Matsuda talked about global aspects and how they may cause negative results if developers focus too much on reaching a wide global audience. That may lead to mistakes such as ignoring the core audience who they are making the game at the first place. For example, he believes they changed Hitman: Absolution too much in order to make it appeal for many people, and they didn’t pay enough attention to the core of the game, which pleased the fans. This ended up leading struggling sales. Thus Matsuda thinks it would be clever to take games back to their roots and focus on the core audience, the fans.

“If you focus too much on the global aspect, you might lose sight of who you’re actually making the game for,” explains Matsuda. “For example, if you look back at 2013, we’ve had some home console games made for a global audience that struggled.”

“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.”

“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.”

 Thanks to Siliconera for making the original translation.

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Final Fantasy Agito Featured on Famitsu This Week with New Details and Artwork

(A bigger version coming soon)

(A bigger version coming soon)

Famitsu has revealed on their website that Final Fantasy Agito will be featured on their latest issue this week with new details and artwork. There will be four pages introducing characters and gameplay. In addition, there will be a personal comment from the producer, Hajime Tabata.

Final Fantasy Agito is an upcoming free-to-play video game for Android and iOS platforms. The game is based in the same world as Final Fantasy Type-0 but isn’t really a sequel or prequel. The developers have stated that it’s more like a “reimagination” with the same world and characters.

The game allows players to create their own unique characters by choosing a hairstyle, weapon and voice acting, for example. The game has solo mission and multiplayer mode which in you can take down big bosses with your friends.

Square Enix Merchandise Is Now Shipping Around Europe!

Now it’s possible to buy once exclusive Square Enix merchandise products, and get them shipped to your homeland!

Recently, all in silent, Square Enix Europe store has extended the amount of countries they are shipping products. Always desired that designer jewelry or plushie? No problems! Now it’s possible to order Final Fantasy, Tomb Raider, Thief etc. goodies to nearly every European country!

Visit the site here!

ALL EUROPEAN COUNTRIES THEY ARE SHIPPING NOW:

  • United Kingdom 
  • Germany
  • Austria
  • Italy
  • Portugal
  • Spain
  • Belgium
  • Ireland
  • Luxembourg
  • Netherlands
  • Denmark
  • Finland
  • Sweden
  • Croatia
  • Andorra
  • Bulgaria
  • Czech
  • Estonia
  • Gibraltar
  • Hungary
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Romania
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Switzerland
  • Australia
  • New Zealand

A Brand New SaGa Game in the Works

Akitoshi Kawazu has been teasing a new announcement for a while…
and today the secret was revealed!

According to people who attended One Night Re:Birth Again concert, Akitoshi Kawazu  (the producer of SaGa series) announced that they’re working on a brand new entry! They didn’t reveal any specific information on the game or its release platforms but we’ll be hearing more later this year.
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The new game is part of the celebration for the 25th anniversary of the SaGa series. Alongside the new game, there will be a new remixes album, Re:Birth II -Sen-, released soon. The new album was premiered at the concert and it contains remixed music from the older entries of the series.

A picture of Akitoshi Kawazu on stage with Kenji Ito

A picture of Akitoshi Kawazu on stage with Kenji Ito [Main composer]

 Akitoshi Kawazu also stated that the celebration will be continuing in 2015 as well!

SQUARE ENIX MOBILE HOLIDAY SALE

Sales on iOS and Android games, including FINAL FANTASY I-V, CHAOS RINGS, Deus Ex: The Fall and Lara Croft and The Guardian of Light. 

Today we’re excited to announce our holiday sale for Square Enix mobile games. Available on Android and iOS devices until January 6, 2014, a wide variety of mobile games will go on sale today, including: FINAL FANTASY I-V, CHAOS RINGS, Deus Ex: The Fall and Lara Croft and The Guardian of Light, and more – a full list of the discounted titles can be found below.

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Android Games

FINAL FANTASY

Was £6.99/€7.99, now £2.49/€3.59

FINAL FANTASY II

Was £6.99/€7.99, now £2.49/€3.59

FINAL FANTASY III

Was £10.99/€14.49, now £5.49/€6.99

FINAL FANTASY IV

Was £10.99/€14.49, now £5.49/€6.99

FINAL FANTASY V

Was £10.99/€14.49, now £5.49/€6.99

FINAL FANTASY DIMENSIONS

Was £13.99/€17.99, now £5.49/€6.99

CHAOS RINGS

Was £5.49/€6.99, now £1.99/€2.69

CHAOS RINGS II

Was £10.99/€14.49, now £2.49/€3.59

CHAOS RINGS Ω

Was £5.99/€7.99, now £1.99/€2.69screen568x568-2iOS Games

Tomb Raider The Original

Out now for £0.69/€0.89 

Deus Ex The Fall

From £4.99 to £0.99/€0.99 – 80% off.

(Sale ends January 2, 2014).

Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light

From £1.99 to £0.69/€0.89

(Sale ends January 2, 2014).

Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light HD

From £3.99 to £0.69/€0.89

(Sale ends January 2, 2014).

Fortune Street Smart

Free to download

individual add-on packs are now £0.69/€0.89 each

Full Add-on Pack is now £1.99/€2.69

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CHAOS RINGS

Was £5.49/€6.99, now £1.99/€2.69

CHAOS RINGS for iPad

Was £6.99/€8.99, now £1.99/€2.69

CHAOS RINGS II

Was £10.99/€14.49, now £2.49/€3.59

CHAOS RINGS II for iPad

Was £11.99/€14.99, now £2.49/€3.59

CHAOS RINGS Ω

Was £5.99/€7.99, now £1.99/€2.69

CHAOS RINGS Ω for iPad

Was £7.99/€10.99, now £1.99/€2.69

Chocobo Panic

Was £2.49/€3.59, now £1.49/€1.79

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Crystal Defenders

Was £5.49/€6.99, now £2.49/€3.59

Crystal Defenders for iPad

Was £5.49/£6.99, now £2.49/€3.59

Crystal Defenders Plus

Free to download

Full Add-on pack was £5.49/€6.99, now £2.49/€3.59.

Individual add-ons are now £1.49/€1.79 each

Demons’ Score

Was £2.99/€4.49, now £1.99/€2.69

Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy AR

Was £2.99/€4.49, now £1.49/€1.79

Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy Larger-than-Life Gallery

Was £3.99/€5.49, now £1.99/€2.69

Drakerider and Drakerider for iPad

Chapter 1 is free to download.

Chapters 2-5 were £4.99/€5.99 each, now £2.49/€3.59

Get all chapters for £5.49/€6.99

Drakerider Chains Transcendent and Drakerider Chains Transcendent for iPad

Was £10.99/€14.49, now £5.49/€6.99

FINAL FANTASY DIMENSIONS

Free to download

Tiptune BGM: Was £3.99/€5.49, now £1.99/€2.69

Chapter 1: Was £1.49/€1.79, now £0.69/€0.89

Chapter 2: Was £3.99/€5.49, now £1.99/€2.69

Chapter 3: Was £3.99/€5.49, now £1.99/€2.69

Chapter 4: Was £3.99/€5.49, now £1.99/€2.69

All Chapters: Was £11.99/€14.99, now £5.49/€6.99

FINAL FANTASY

Was £6.99/€7.99, now £2.49/€3.59

FINAL FANTASY II

Was £6.99/7.99, now £2.49/€3.59

FINAL FANTASY III

Was £10.99/€14.49, now £5.49/€6.99

FINAL FANTASY III for iPad

Was £11.99/€14.99, now £6.99/€7.99

FINAL FANTASY IV

Was £10.99/€14.49, now £5.49/€6.99

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FINAL FANTASY V

Was £10.99/€14.49, now £5.49/€6.99

FINAL FANTASY TACTICS: THE WAR OF THE LIONS

Was £10.99/€14.49, now £5.49/€6.99

FINAL FANTASY TACTICS: THE WAR OF THE LIONS for iPad

Was £12.99/€15.99, now £6.99/€7.99

FINAL FANTASY VII ADVENT CHILDREN- Complete Larger-than-Life Gallery

Was £3.99/€5.49, now £1.99/€2.69

FINAL FANTASY VII Compilation Wallpaper

Was £2.49/€3.59, now £1.49/€1.79

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FINAL FANTASY XIII Larger-than-Life Gallery

Was £3.99/€5.49, now £1.99/€2.69

Fullmetal Alchemist Gallery

Was £1.49/€1.79, now £0.69/€0.89

Hills and Rivers Remain

Was £2.99/€4.49, now £1.49/€1.79

Full Additional Scenario Pack: Was £2.99/€4.49, now £1.99/€2.69

Secret of Mana

Was £5.99/€7.99, now £2.49/€3.59

SLIDING HEROES

Was £0.69/€0.89, now Free to download

Song Summoner: The Unsung Heroes – Encore

Was £6.99/8.99, now £2.99/4.49

Soul Eater Gallery

Was £1.49/€1.79, now £0.69/€0.89

Symphonica and Symphonica for iPad

Free to download.

Composition sets 1-5: £1.49/€1.79 each

Episodes 4-9: £0.69/€0.89 each

Final Episode: £0.69/€0.89

Epilogue: £0.69/€0.89

Full Episode set (12 episodes): £5.49/€6.99

Episode set (Episode 4 -7): £1.99/€2.69

Episode set (Episode 8 – Final + Epilogue): £1.99/€2.69

Special Episode Set: £1.99/€2.69

Special Episodes 1-4: £0.69/€0.89 each

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The World Ends with You: Solo Remix

Was £12.99/€15.99, now £5.99/€7.99

The World Ends with You: Solo Remix for iPad

Was £13.99/€17.99, now £6.99/€8.99

Vanguard Storm

Was £2.49/€3.59, now £1.49/€1.7

Voice Fantasy

Was £1.99/2.69, now £0.69/€0.89