Square-Enix: We're "Neutral" Concerning Platform Partners
Here's the evidence: Final Fantasy XIII announced for the Xbox 360, The Last Remnant debuting first on the 360, Infinite Undiscovery and Star Ocean 4 set to be 360 exclusives, etc. Now, most will see this and say, "hey, Square-Enix is siding with Microsoft!" But the publisher claims that is very much not the case.
According to a recent GamesIndustry.biz interview with Square-Enix president Yoichi Wada, he says the company is "neutral" in regards to dealing with publishers and platform partners. But then again, they do have a new focus (Wada himself spoke about it earlier this year) that centers on westward expansion, so we're not entirely sure if "neutral" is the correct word... Nevertheless, Wada's statements are as follows:
"We always consider the territory and hardware for titles, and I just want to make sure that we're neutral about dealing with companies In Japan we know that the Xbox 360 isn't really that strong yet, but for me I feel very calm about dealing with any company, and we're not partnering exclusively with any particular company. In North America Microsoft is doing very well with its hardware, and for that reason it's a very important partner for us."
All of this makes sense, but Wada elaborated further on the current state of the multiplatform generation. We all know that exclusive third-party titles are disappearing rapidly, and rather than fight it, it seems Square-Enix is just going to accept and embrace it.
"We're now in the age of the multi-platform, but depending on age and territory, users have different tastes," continued Wada. "Therefore it's very difficult to just deal with one company or one hardware platform - in order to offer our product to the vast majority of gamers we need to deal with multiple companies and platforms."
That's certainly true, but PS3 owners are all saying the same thing: give us some love, too! Of course, we still get Final Fantasy Versus XIII as an exclusive, but if one looks at the evidence listed at the start of this article, it's hard to say Square-Enix isn't favoring Microsoft at this point in time. But hey, it's a long generation, and there's plenty of time to produce more games. Hence, we believe Wada, and we do expect to see significant S-E titles for all three major consoles over the next five years or so.
7/29/2008 Ben Dutka