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Square Enix Boss Explains His "Law Of Third Titles" Theory

You can't determine the success of a new IP until you've gone through a few installments.

Or so Square Enix president Yosuke Matsuda believes. The company revealed a sequel to the 2010 action/RPG Nier during E3 this year, which was a little surprising given the relatively modest sales and reviews.

However, Matsuda tells the Weekly Famitsu (as translated by Kotaku) that his company is purposely slow to judge the potential of a new title:

"Cultivating a new IP is very important. This is my own personal view, but I believe that it is very difficult to immediately build up a big IP. Looking retrospectively at the gaming industry, many games take off or get their big break at their third title. There are cases where the opposite is true of course. [laughs] But regardless, you need at least three games before you can tell whether an IP is going to be really successful or not.

I call this my Law of Third Titles. [laughs] That's why for the first and second games, you experiment to a degree where you can still be flexible, and if the series has grown enough to be able to expect a big hit for the third game, you expand the scale. If the third title is successful then all is well."

Perhaps that's true. Then again, if a new IP rockets into the stratosphere and essentially demands the franchise treatment (perhaps as was the case with Uncharted: Drake's Fortune), the "Law of Third Titles" might not be as relevant. But there is plenty of truth to what Matsuda says, wouldn't you agree?

Can't wait to see how PlatinumGames handles the new Nier. Just remember, guys, it's an RPG first and an action game second. A distant second.

Related Game(s): Nier

Tags: square enix, nier, nier 2, nier sequel

7/22/2015 9:29:43 PM Ben Dutka

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Legacy Comment System (4 posts)

Thursday, July 23, 2015 @ 3:35:10 PM

I don't want to agree with him because of final fantasy xiii-3, but it did get us a nier sequel, and I did like xiii-2, but xiii-3. I'm so conflicted.

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Thursday, July 23, 2015 @ 4:02:35 PM

I generally agree. Even the first Uncharted wasn't some smash success or game changer. It hit it's stride on number 2 though. Two (possibly even 3) inFamous games haven't rocked the sales world the way they should have. At number 3 Resistance just died even though it was awesome.

You can't apply it to everything, but there does seem to be a general idea that your game means crap until it has enough numbers after it. For instance there's no reason to give up on Dontnod's Remember Me. Yup, it had problems but that's where you iron them out to get the combat right etc.

Imo you just gotta keep going not give up after 1 try.

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Saturday, July 25, 2015 @ 4:37:49 AM

it is certainlly an interesting thoery and that but hes probably onto something there i think there might be some validity to it.

happy gaming

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Monday, July 27, 2015 @ 12:14:56 PM

There's so many examples of exceptions to this "rule", I call it BS.

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