PS3 News: Stop The Presses: Square Enix May Have Just Seen The Light - PS3 News

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Stop The Presses: Square Enix May Have Just Seen The Light

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.

Tags: square enix, square enix games, bravely default, gaming industry

3/31/2014 11:23:18 AM Ben Dutka

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Comments (46 posts)

Japanese_Gamer
Monday, March 31, 2014 @ 12:05:06 PM
Reply

Final Fantasy XV was pre-ordered by me even before this article came out but

Finally Media can overlook Final Fantasy XIII and get people excited for Final Fantasy XV

Last edited by Japanese_Gamer on 3/31/2014 12:07:20 PM

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Japanese_Gamer
Monday, March 31, 2014 @ 12:20:35 PM

Oh and one more thing Media, Final Fantasy Series is the RPG Genre. It is not JRPG.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Monday, March 31, 2014 @ 1:22:13 PM

Final Fantasy is the epitome of JRPG.

No idea what you're talking about.

Last edited by Ben Dutka PSXE on 3/31/2014 1:56:54 PM

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Underdog15
Monday, March 31, 2014 @ 1:43:10 PM

When someone says "jRPG", Final Fantasy is often the first thing that comes to mind.

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SaiyanSempai
Monday, March 31, 2014 @ 1:52:52 PM

Ben, I could be wrong, but he may be referring to the fact that as kids, we played and grew up on Final Fantasy (and the likes) and those were simply referred to as RPGs. As well as table-top D&D. ALL of which featured and arguable were defined by turn-based combat. That and other featured elements of those games defined "RPG" for us. Now, those seem to be called JRPG's and every bastard spawn of satan is calling themselves an RPG these days and I don't know what the F*** to think anymore.

And that's fine, although it has caused me great disappointment many a times before I caught on to what this new definition of RPG is and what I knew and loved now requires a 'J' in front of it.

Last edited by SaiyanSempai on 3/31/2014 1:53:57 PM

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Monday, March 31, 2014 @ 1:57:36 PM

I would understand that; doesn't stop the fact that by just about any definition today, Final Fantasy is of course a JRPG.

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KingRD7
Monday, March 31, 2014 @ 2:50:15 PM

Ben I have a question for you. If it were up to you and you had the choice to choose between the turn-based battle mechanic or the more action-based mechanic (first FFXIII) for a final fantasy game, which one wuld you choose? Im asking this bcuz im just curious on the whole thing. I kno u mentioned multiple times that u want the FF to go back to its roots, but by roots do u mean u want every installment to have turn-based? Or do u just want a better story? Me personally, i wasnt that big of a fan of the lighting returns battle system. But i really enjoyed FFXIII's as well as the original turn based in the older games. But in the new installments of the series, do u think they shuld stick to turn based? Or do u think they shuld stick to the more "kingdom hearts" style? Or do u even think a FF game can't even be FF game without turn-based? Also wat do u think of XV? This question can be answered by multiple users.

Last edited by KingRD7 on 3/31/2014 2:52:09 PM

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Underdog15
Monday, March 31, 2014 @ 3:08:57 PM

For me, King, I think the genre needs to build on what it does well. Final Fantasy has excelled in a turn based history. I think the way the older games often had you staring at the ATB meter as it filled up while nothing happened is a bit too far back, but that doesn't mean it's an archaic system.

I see the way the genre began to evolve with FFX-2 (I know people hate the J-pop, but the ATB system they incorporated was fast, fluid, yet didn't lack the element of turns, strategy, or the ability to control all party members) and FFXII (similar to FFXI, actually) showed another way to innovate the turn-based mechanic while allowing the player to retain control.

But then the innovation just stopped. FFXIII made it faster, but took away most of the control (among other strangely overlooked issues).

IMO, there's a place for turn based. People still want it and turn based battle systems still have moderate success. (Keep in mind, we haven't seen turn-based really in ANY AAA production, so it's difficult to for anyone to say)

They just need to take the tools that worked so well in both sales and critical acclaim and build on that. One needs not look further than what I'm sure will be a disparity between Lightning Returns sales and FFX HD remaster sales... brand new FF versus a 12 year old re-release......

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Monday, March 31, 2014 @ 3:46:49 PM

Technically, the system in FFXIII (and XIII-2) was turn-based. It just took away some of the freedom and party customization we had in recent entries, which is why many considered it to be watered down.

If the leader dies, the game is over? That's just idiotic. And the Paradigm system was interesting but it just didn't have enough "oomph," IMO.

There's a great deal more that could be done with turn-based mechanics, and I believe Final Fantasy would be the perfect franchise to explore that. I guess that's where I come out.

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trumpetmon65
Monday, March 31, 2014 @ 12:31:35 PM
Reply

Yay! Stay true to the fans and let them show people why their fans and boom,you get more fans. It worked for Dr Who.

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MrAnonymity
Monday, March 31, 2014 @ 1:13:24 PM
Reply

This is a potentially awesome development. Let's hope they stay true to those sentiments.

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Wrote
Monday, March 31, 2014 @ 1:18:42 PM
Reply

Bravely default is so amazing. Its incredibly fun and has some incredibly forward thinkog ideas for jrpgs, like being able to turn random encounters off or max it, or(omigosh) an auto battle option that not only works but kicks ass. So now we get more games like that? Awesome!

I doubt it'll effect 15 at all, but maybe we'll see more games like it besides bravelyssecond, which oddly enough SE might make bravely into an annual (in Japan) series.

Hey psxe, if u have accsess to a 3ds, play Bravely Default.

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Bonampak
Monday, March 31, 2014 @ 3:17:56 PM

The funny thing is that Bravely Default wasn't even made by Square-Enix. It was developed by an indie team called Silicon Studio.

On top of that, S-E refused to localize the game in the West. Nintendo had to step in and fund the the localization and promotion of the game in the West.

So if those external companies hadn't had faith in Bravely Default, S-E would've gone on thinking that JRPG's were dead in the West.

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kraygen
Monday, March 31, 2014 @ 1:37:08 PM
Reply

I really hope they follow through with this line of thinking. I'm hoping that's what is taking FF XV so long, hope they are returning it to it's roots.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Monday, March 31, 2014 @ 2:24:31 PM
Reply

Painfully hopeful information. I can't believe a major multinational didn't have anyone to tell them this ages ago. It's all the fans have been saying. Proof: fans are usually right over the company.

But I'm not worried about Hitman, I want this to translate to FF!

Hopefully FFXHD sales prove more.

Last edited by WorldEndsWithMe on 3/31/2014 2:24:51 PM

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Underdog15
Monday, March 31, 2014 @ 2:35:28 PM

I've been itching to see what they're like.

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Akuma07
Monday, March 31, 2014 @ 10:09:18 PM

Over 600k sold so far according to VGChartz.

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Underdog15
Tuesday, April 01, 2014 @ 9:48:44 AM

Another over 350k on Vita.

This wouldn't capture online sales, either.

In Japan, they released FFX and FFX-2 as stand alone entries each... After 2 weeks, FFX as a standalone entry had sold another 22k and FFX-2 was just 5k. No idea what they are at now.

But the 620k + 350k + 27k shows it's probably already over a million since those sales results are only as of March 22 (So not even a full week's worth of sales).

This is awesome... in less than a week in NA, FFX/X-2 has outsold Lightning Returns' 960k. It's close, but like I said... less than a week... and one game is brand-spankin' new while the other is a 12 year old relic.

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xenris
Monday, March 31, 2014 @ 3:20:30 PM
Reply

Wow, I wonder how the heck this happened. It took them this long to realize that they were running their established franchises into the ground trying to make them appeal to the masses?

Well better late than never :) I really hope they make a game like Bravely default for the home consoles. This would make me a happy camper indeed.

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Knightzane
Monday, March 31, 2014 @ 3:30:29 PM
Reply

A single tear just went down my cheek.

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kokoro
Monday, March 31, 2014 @ 6:00:19 PM

Two calmly streamed down my left...*sniffs*

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DIsmael85
Monday, March 31, 2014 @ 5:29:29 PM
Reply

I love Bravely Default, the best Final Fantasy Ever. Ok well it's not officially a final fantasy, but man oh man does it play like one. I hope Square-Enix sees the light hardcore were it burns their eyes. We need classic JRPG's. FFX was a nice turn around, so bring'em back.

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Akuma07
Monday, March 31, 2014 @ 10:09:50 PM

It looks so much like Final Fantasy 9. I really want to play it.

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kokoro
Monday, March 31, 2014 @ 5:36:17 PM
Reply

Are you guys sure that this isn't an April fools prank?

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Bonampak
Monday, March 31, 2014 @ 7:13:24 PM

The story broke in Japan before it was April 1st over there.

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Lawless SXE
Monday, March 31, 2014 @ 5:52:24 PM
Reply

It's easy to say something. Following through is another matter entirely, but this is hopeful.
I mean, it's already far too late for FFXV to be affected by this mentality shift, but future entries, and other IPs... Brilliant. Purity is good.

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kokoro
Monday, March 31, 2014 @ 5:55:49 PM

You think so? If 15 is currently watered down, I don't think that it would be too difficult to add some depth. They've delayed it for years now, so why not just delay it a bit more and give us a good game?

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Lawless SXE
Monday, March 31, 2014 @ 6:29:36 PM

Oh, FFXV is going to be plenty deep. But it's nothing like past FF entries. It is, plainly and simply, an action-RPG. To return it to the roots of FF would mean completely reworking pretty much every aspect of the gameplay. There's a gameplay vid floating around that you should hunt down if you doubt what I'm saying.

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kokoro
Monday, March 31, 2014 @ 8:00:11 PM

Is this footage from last year? Or do you refer to newer footage?

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Lawless SXE
Tuesday, April 01, 2014 @ 7:36:58 AM

Last year.

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SaiyanSempai
Monday, March 31, 2014 @ 6:06:57 PM
Reply

In other news, Square Enix realizes people want a FF7 and FF8 remake!

C'mon Square Enix, WHERE THE HELL HAVE YOU BEEN FOR THE PAST 10 YEARS?!?!

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SaiyanSempai
Monday, March 31, 2014 @ 6:21:26 PM
Reply

No, you can't just pull this stuff on me now, Square Enix! You can't just come back into my life and say you know what you did wrong and you want to bring back the good times! Ohhh no!

I mean, what do I tell Atlus? What do I tell NIS America? They were there for me when you weren't! Sure, they were ultimately a bit shallow and couldn't fulfil my needs like you once did. But you changed! I woke up one morning and realized I didn't even know who you ARE anymore!

So don't think you can just come swooping in with your talk of core and roots and think I'm going to fall for you all over again just like that! Trust takes time to rebuild, to heal. I'm willing to work on this relationship if you are, but you better be serious about it or I'm gone and I won't look back!


....unless you have some more of those HD remixes of older titles.



Last edited by SaiyanSempai on 3/31/2014 6:23:00 PM

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Banky A
Monday, March 31, 2014 @ 6:39:53 PM

Hahaha I enjoyed this. Such a good representation of real circumstances :D

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SaiyanSempai
Monday, March 31, 2014 @ 7:57:46 PM

Thanks Banky! :)

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Monday, March 31, 2014 @ 9:45:42 PM

"No, you can't just pull this stuff on me now, Square Enix! You can't just come back into my life and say you know what you did wrong and you want to bring back the good times! Ohhh no!"

I laughed aloud at that. :)

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Banky A
Monday, March 31, 2014 @ 6:40:20 PM
Reply

Ummmmm.. is this one of those April fools things?

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Bonampak
Monday, March 31, 2014 @ 7:19:01 PM

The original story came out on March 31st in Japan.

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Banky A
Monday, March 31, 2014 @ 7:48:47 PM

EXCELLENT! I'm tearing up.

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Clamedeus
Monday, March 31, 2014 @ 7:20:04 PM
Reply

SE is actually learning? What sorcery is this!? Now, let's hope the money is where their mouth is.

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kokoro
Monday, March 31, 2014 @ 8:05:28 PM
Reply

And praise be to yevon.

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Jed
Monday, March 31, 2014 @ 9:00:10 PM
Reply

Finally the light at the end of the tunnel!

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Akuma07
Monday, March 31, 2014 @ 10:15:57 PM
Reply

Does this mean that Final Fantasy XV will be delayed again so that they can change the focus of the game?????

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___________
Tuesday, April 01, 2014 @ 3:59:13 AM
Reply

forget $E, maybe this will get through the bloody thick skulls of EVERYONE!
and maybe pigs will fly to the edges of the solar system, and bring back such a amazing technology it enables them to take over the world!
maybe.

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PlatformGamerNZ
Tuesday, April 01, 2014 @ 4:38:50 AM
Reply

well isn't this a surprise maybe they won't got belly up just yet well lets see what they can do from here.

happy gaming =)

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b3mike
Wednesday, April 02, 2014 @ 1:00:09 PM

Why do you keep saying happy gaming you sound like a douche

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Lone Wanderer
Wednesday, April 02, 2014 @ 3:09:11 PM
Reply

The best news I've heard in years!!! SE has just been under a Muddle spell for the last 7yrs and only just now found and used a Remedy.

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