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Gamasutra interview with SE's new US prezFollow

#1 Aug 02 2010 at 10:40 AM Rating: Excellent
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Nothing really focused on any games here, but thought it was interesting since it covers the start of a new direction for SE. Most notably the "evolve or die" comment.


Quote:

On July 21, Square Enix announced that its U.S. division, based in Los Angeles, would have a new president and CEO, Mike Fischer.

Fischer, who says his ambition has always been to work in games, got his start at Sega in Tokyo 20 years ago, most recently worked in London as Microsoft's consumer and online marketing officer. His extensive resume, also includes stints working on the Xbox in the U.S. and Japan, and at Namco, during that company's PlayStation 1 and 2 salad days.

Though he's still getting his bearings, having just finished out his first month and "still living out of a suitcase", Fischer is so far extremely bullish on the company compared to those at which he's worked in the past.

He describes the U.S. office's staff as "remarkable", many of whom joined the company because they were long term fans with passion for the company's games. "That's really been my first and my biggest takeaway," says Fischer. "What I've experienced here has reinforced the decision I've made about this company and this industry."

It's not just the staff in LA; he also sees a lot to like about the current setup and attitude of the global Square Enix organization, which spans development studios and publishing offices in Asia, North America, and Europe.

"What [product development at Square Enix] really is, is a roundtable discussion looking at all of our development, for all of our markets together. I've worked in the international marketplace for quite a few years and I've never seen such an open, collaborative approach as I have here," says Fischer.

He will oversee the U.S. arm of the company, as Phil Rogers, former CEO of Eidos, sits above the European division, and Yoichi Wada, the Japanese parent company's president and CEO, remains above the overall organization.

Online Ambitions for Growth

Says Fischer, "I think the real opportunity [for Square Enix] is what I've already seen from Wada-san in terms of looking to me and my counterpart in Europe, Phil Rogers, as real equal partners, and building our global strategy, and getting the most out of all sides of this business."

"In one of the first conversations I had with Wada-san after I came on board he was saying, 'Look, of course I want you to do your best to sell our products, but I need you to do so much more than that. I need you to give me your feedback on what we can do to be more successful.'"

Now that he's at Square Enix, he says, "there are short, medium, and long-term goals" for the company. While the short term includes the currently-announced product slate -- from Deus Ex 3 and Kane and Lynch 2 to Final Fantasy XIV and Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep -- "in the medium term, there's a really important charter to take advantage of my position here, and really be a connection point for a lot of the innovation that is happening in game development, particularly on the online side," explains Fischer.

Positives In The Social Space

At E3, Wada told Gamastura that social networking is an "example of a place where we might bring in fresh blood," and Fischer appears to think that this and other online markets present the most opportunity for the company.

"In the longest term, I'm part of this new global leadership team that's looking at the longer-term business decisions that we have to make in terms of platforms, audiences, genres and technologies," says Fischer. "Obviously, some of that you're very familiar with: what we've done with... Final Fantasy XI [and] XIV. And there's a lot of exploration that we're doing in terms of social media, and social games, as well as work that's already being done on the mobile side. What I'm not ready to do right now is talk about any specific, unannounced projects in progress."

While traditional media like music, movies, and TV have struggled with the online shift, says Fischer, "You talk to the video game industry, and this is all upside; you can now add DLC revenue to our retail sales, we can now bring online subscriptions into play, we can make new money from social networking. It's such a positive, optimistic view. It's in some degree because of new business models, but I think in large part it's also because there are new audiences that are coming into play."

And these audiences are already engaging with platforms like Facebook and iPhone as games platforms -- whether or not they think of themselves as gamers. "I think that's a remarkable difference between our industry and the other entertainment industries."

Unique Opportunities

Interestingly, Fischer feels that the company's strength in storytelling through the games medium could be an asset to its online and social games business -- two areas of the industry that typically resist narrative more strongly than single-player games do.

"There's a storytelling component that is continuing to become more important over time. I think that gives us a very strategic advantage," says Fischer. And noting the Final Fantasy series' strong appeal with female players, "I don't know what the secret sauce is that makes that special, but it really is a remarkable example of the opportunity that's there if you can broaden your net... if you look at the people that are playing Facebook games or iPhone games, you see more of the 50-50 gender mix. I think that speaks to the opportunity to grow our audience."

He also sees "remarkable" opportunities for product releases in China and Southeast Asian markets -- markets neither Square Enix nor Eidos could previously address. "It's really been amazing in these last few years to see these markets open up," says Fischer. Eidos has a Shanghai studio, too, which is a "fantastic development resource, as well as a great outlet for business." However, Fischer was not willing to specify any plans for marketing to the region, which Square Enix has yet to enter as publisher.

Closer to home, Fischer sees the retail model -- even with subscription fees, as in the case of Final Fantasy XIV -- as the "simplest". "What's really interesting, for example, is seeing what GameStop is experimenting with by selling digital content at retail, or using DLC as a presale premium for pre-orders. These are amazing innovations that I didn't have in mind when some of these technologies first came out, but it's really creating fantastic added value," says Fischer. "A store associate can say, 'Oh you're buying Kane & Lynch 2, did you know there will be a new level available next week? You can buy it here for 10 dollars.'"

Square Enix Studios - Going Global

Of course, one of the biggest driving forces behind the Eidos acquisition for Square Enix was increasing its foothold in Western markets -- thanks to studios like Io Interactive and IP like Kane & Lynch, and of course Tomb Raider. While the company's titles, particularly Final Fantasy, have maintained popularity with audiences outside of Japan, current generation game development budgets mean that global launches are a must.

"The scale that's required to recoup that investment is made easier when you're focusing on a global market instead of just one. There's the opportunity to take some [existing] franchises more global. I'm also more interested in the opportunity of taking some of the Eidos studio output and taking advantage of Square's position in Japan to make them more successful in Asian markets."

However, he says, "There's always going to be a place for global content and a place for local content," echoing comments made previously by Wada.

Prior to its Eidos acquisition, Square Enix had not done much development in the West. Though the company currently has Front Mission Evolved -- based on a cult IP that dates back to the 16-bit Super Nintendo -- under development with California-based Double Helix Games, that isn't the best example of global collaboration, Fischer says.

"The real opportunity that I'm seeing here... [is] a more collaborative approach to our studio management. I'm seeing more cross-pollination... What I'm seeing is a really fantastic dialogue of the leadership in the U.S., in Europe, in Japan, together.

"The discussion isn't just, 'We're making this game for the Japanese market, what's your quota in the U.S.?' What it really is, is a roundtable discussion looking at all of our development, for all of our markets together. I've worked in the international marketplace for quite a few years and I've never seen such an open, collaborative approach as I have here," says Fischer.

Since the merger, people like Square Enix's worldwide technology director Julien Merceron have been working to integrate the company fully as a development organization. "I'm learning Japanese; I've already started since November. I know that there are people in Tokyo that are starting to put more effort into English, as well. So on both sides, I see that people are really willing to make it work, and I find this extremely amazing," said Merceron earlier this year in a Gamasutra interview.

More Challenges and Opportunities

Of course, Square Enix has passionate fans, many of whom have been playing its games since the NES days. Says Fischer, "Wada-san has a dynamic vision... We're in a business where you either evolve or die. I'm really impressed with the willingness to innovate that I see here. Of course, we also have to make sure that we don't neglect our current franchises and our current audiences. We have a very loyal fan base for Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest in particular, that have expectations about what their experience is going to be."

This is something the company has struggled with recently. As Wada acknowledged in a recent Gamasutra interview, Final Fantasy XIII was a polarizing game. "I think this is a product that was able to meet the expectations for those who know Final Fantasy... Should Final Fantasy become a new type of the game or should Final Fantasy not become a new type of game? The customers have different opinions. It's very difficult to determine which way it should go."

And as Fischer points out, Square Enix is not just a games company -- it has a successful toys business (which includes figures based on non-Square Enix properties such as Metal Gear Solid, Resident Evil, and Bayonetta. It also has a successful manga division -- and the company recently announced plans to launch an online portal for its popular titles, such as Fullemtal Alchemist and Black Butler, in the U.S. and France -- which Fischer says "opens up the door to a whole new industry."
Related news:
Tactics Ogre 'Reborn' On PSP
New President For Square Enix U.S. Division
Interview: Dragon Quest Creator Horii Talks Evolving Appeal With DQIX


http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/29690/Interview_Challenges_And_Opportunities_Abound_For_New_Square_Enix_US_President.php
#2 Aug 02 2010 at 12:35 PM Rating: Good
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I just skimmed the article and a part of my older nostalgic self just wants SE to go back to being Square and just make RPGS.

But of course that is far from happening and I'm happy they are growing as much as they can.

I'm really excited to see FF games on the iPhone and can't wait for games like Secret of Mana re-released.

I just hope they allow the fans-turned-developers from my generation, to be creative and hopefully rekindle some of that nostalgia and not just try to break the bank every time.
#3 Aug 02 2010 at 1:31 PM Rating: Good
Here's to hoping SE NA will put a little more focus on marketing and customer service. Nice find Sephrick Smiley: cool
#4 Aug 02 2010 at 4:05 PM Rating: Excellent
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1,566 posts
Osarion wrote:
Here's to hoping SE NA will put a little more focus on marketing and customer service. Nice find Sephrick Smiley: cool




Thanks Smiley: grin


It seems like a rather significant interview because it's the first one where we gamers don't have to worry about something being lost in translation.

With the age of hardcore gaming coming to a close, it's interesting to get a glimpse at what we might be able to expect. Games at best these days have only hardcore elements sprinkled gingerly throughout the mass appeal focus. Games like Demon Souls will be farther and fewer between as time goes on.

The only thing that worries me at this point is the concept of DLC in the hands of SE. The add-on scenarios in XI seemed like SE was finally getting its feet wet in the concept. But for an MMO there's got to be a clear line or your DLC will flirt with being micro-transactions. Just look at the first add-on. A loose story line to justify paying when all anyone really wanted was the body piece. I doubt there's anyone who could, off the top of their heads, recap what happened. Ask someone to tell you about CoP, though, and that's engraved in their head.

But I'm in the same boat with you too, Osarion. Especially for an MMO, we need to hear from SE. Not promising content is one thing, but to remain silent is another.
#5 Aug 27 2010 at 12:42 PM Rating: Decent
Somewhat bump here...


I'm hoping that, now that SE has been getting more attention (for better or worse) people will think about writing to NA Square and appeal to the new leadership about our desire for more community interaction.

SE needs to realize that in the NA market, consistent communication with your fanbase is crucial.
#6 Aug 28 2010 at 9:30 AM Rating: Decent
Edited by bsphil
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Osarion, Goblin in Disguise wrote:
SE needs to realize that in the NA market, consistent communication with your fanbase is crucial.
Quotebump for truth.
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#7 Aug 28 2010 at 10:05 AM Rating: Excellent
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Quote:
At E3, Wada told Gamastura that social networking is an "example of a place where we might bring in fresh blood," and Fischer appears to think that this and other online markets present the most opportunity for the company.


Quote:
And these audiences are already engaging with platforms like Facebook and iPhone as games platforms -- whether or not they think of themselves as gamers. "I think that's a remarkable difference between our industry and the other entertainment industries."


Quote:
Interestingly, Fischer feels that the company's strength in storytelling through the games medium could be an asset to its online and social games business -- two areas of the industry that typically resist narrative more strongly than single-player games do


This interview confirms it, SE is gone. They're so far out of touch with reality they think they can market their creations to the computer illiterate "perform an action get a cookie" facebook "casual gamer" crowd. I'm actually insulted that they're attempting to lump us in with those. . . . people.

to quote the iPhone VS HTC evo youtube video:

"your stupidity has killed me. now my G****mn cat is f*****g homeles"
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#8 Aug 28 2010 at 12:46 PM Rating: Decent
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Quote:
This interview confirms it, SE is gone. They're so far out of touch with reality they think they can market their creations to the computer illiterate "perform an action get a cookie" facebook "casual gamer" crowd. I'm actually insulted that they're attempting to lump us in with those. . . . people.


Ok everyone can have there own view on squareenix and thats fine but i keep reading alot about what people say about Squareenix and im just a gamer but i want come to there defense , first up ok if you dont like things about them im not going force you to change your minds but just want say as a gamer over the years i think some of the people in se japanese division are some of most dedicated people in the industry and in a way people to look up to if you intrested in gaming in any level.
sure they not making games like halo or gears of war or even portal but the games they do make although not always perfect are truely amazing games , from kingdom hearts to final fantasy these are some best games out there.
i think the argument now is why are they not like halo or gears well anwser is they different.
i cant wait to get (edios) squareenix na Deus Ex: Human Revolution and if want compare any game se makes to western type games that is the game they need to show they can do that with.
Final fantasy im quiet happy to see it stay as it is and tell great epic stories , sure some battle things may change from entry to entry but its kept a certain spirit to it, even the new ones.

i think ff10 was the peak for the series , its not my fav ff in terms of gameplay but it did have that something specail about it that defined it as a truley amazing game.

and comparing it to ff7 yes its different from it.
one thing i will say if by chance any of japan ff team sees the board (unlikely) though, is come on its about time for the final fantasy ps 3 remake , make it happen if you dare and dont be afraid of what people think.
#9 Aug 28 2010 at 12:51 PM Rating: Good
maxwinterstorm wrote:
Quote:
This interview confirms it, SE is gone. They're so far out of touch with reality they think they can market their creations to the computer illiterate "perform an action get a cookie" facebook "casual gamer" crowd. I'm actually insulted that they're attempting to lump us in with those. . . . people.


Ok everyone can have there own view on squareenix and thats fine but i keep reading alot about what people say about Squareenix and im just a gamer but i want come to there defense , first up ok if you dont like things about them im not going force you to change your minds but just want say as a gamer over the years i think some of the people in se japanese division are some of most dedicated people in the industry and in a way people to look up to if you intrested in gaming in any level.
sure they not making games like halo or gears of war or even portal but the games they do make although not always perfect are truely amazing games , from kingdom hearts to final fantasy these are some best games out there.
i think the argument now is why are they not like halo or gears well anwser is they different.
i cant wait to get (edios) squareenix na Deus Ex: Human Revolution and if want compare any game se makes to western type games that is the game they need to show they can do that with.
Final fantasy im quiet happy to see it stay as it is and tell great epic stories , sure some battle things may change from entry to entry but its kept a certain spirit to it, even the new ones.

i think ff10 was the peak for the series , its not my fav ff in terms of gameplay but it did have that something specail about it that defined it as a truley amazing game.

and comparing it to ff7 yes its different from it.
one thing i will say if by chance any of japan ff team sees the board (unlikely) though, is come on its about time for the final fantasy ps 3 remake , make it happen if you dare and dont be afraid of what people think.



The problem here is that you're looking at offline titles. The games were great, and huge hits, etc etc, yes. However, games like these don't require a stream of communication between the developers and players. The game stays exactly as it is. Players do not interact with each other in the game.

Now fast forward to XI. Half a million players not only playing, but playing together. The game is an ever-evolving thing, unlike offline titles. It requires demands more customer service, support, and community interaction from SE. And let's face it. They failed in all 3 of those aspects with XI. Failed badly.
#10 Aug 28 2010 at 1:27 PM Rating: Decent
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Osarion, Goblin in Disguise wrote:
maxwinterstorm wrote:
Quote:
This interview confirms it, SE is gone. They're so far out of touch with reality they think they can market their creations to the computer illiterate "perform an action get a cookie" facebook "casual gamer" crowd. I'm actually insulted that they're attempting to lump us in with those. . . . people.


Ok everyone can have there own view on squareenix and thats fine but i keep reading alot about what people say about Squareenix and im just a gamer but i want come to there defense , first up ok if you dont like things about them im not going force you to change your minds but just want say as a gamer over the years i think some of the people in se japanese division are some of most dedicated people in the industry and in a way people to look up to if you intrested in gaming in any level.
sure they not making games like halo or gears of war or even portal but the games they do make although not always perfect are truely amazing games , from kingdom hearts to final fantasy these are some best games out there.
i think the argument now is why are they not like halo or gears well anwser is they different.
i cant wait to get (edios) squareenix na Deus Ex: Human Revolution and if want compare any game se makes to western type games that is the game they need to show they can do that with.
Final fantasy im quiet happy to see it stay as it is and tell great epic stories , sure some battle things may change from entry to entry but its kept a certain spirit to it, even the new ones.

i think ff10 was the peak for the series , its not my fav ff in terms of gameplay but it did have that something specail about it that defined it as a truley amazing game.

and comparing it to ff7 yes its different from it.
one thing i will say if by chance any of japan ff team sees the board (unlikely) though, is come on its about time for the final fantasy ps 3 remake , make it happen if you dare and dont be afraid of what people think.



The problem here is that you're looking at offline titles. The games were great, and huge hits, etc etc, yes. However, games like these don't require a stream of communication between the developers and players. The game stays exactly as it is. Players do not interact with each other in the game.

Now fast forward to XI. Half a million players not only playing, but playing together. The game is an ever-evolving thing, unlike offline titles. It requires demands more customer service, support, and community interaction from SE. And let's face it. They failed in all 3 of those aspects with XI. Failed badly.


I can't /truth this enough. On a somewhat related sidenote, I'll never understand why people don't understand the difference between development teams and publishers. Maybe it's the fault of the dev/publishers themselves, especially the jp companies, because they don't do a good enough job of differentiating themselves. Just frustrating to see all of the arguments of "XII and XIII were terrible, and this one will be terrible too because SE doesn't know what they're doing".
#11 Aug 28 2010 at 5:16 PM Rating: Excellent
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Actually I was shooting at the whole "have no idea who your demographic really is" angle. A huge part of the reason that casual gaming has exploded is that there's usually no or little up front cost, negligible hardware or storage requirements, and every action earns a cookie, as it were. They draw them in and then offer to sell virtual items for real world money in a micro-transaction model, and suddenly the faceless Farm Town Addicts have built up a billion dollar a year phenomenon.

Okay, I get how corporations want to get "their share" of this newly found money. They look at the average facebook user and DROOL over how easy it'd be to separate these salad bar I.Q. Sheeple from their money. Unfortunately, you can't apply FFXIV to these kinds of people. How many of them have no idea how a computer works, or what a "minimum requirement" is. You think they're going to spend a grand or more on a new computer to spend another $60 just for a LICENSE code authorizing them to play a game that they still have to fork over $15/month for. . without giving them a cookie every step of the way??? Maybe if they made a FFXIV facebook starter game that was free, where every time you took a step you got a point. . .Nahhhhh, I still don't see it. I realize you see all these people with money ripe for the taking, but you can't simply apply YOUR concept of a business model on /random target demographic without any real modifications and expect to make billions. They can't even get it right for their loyal customers, how are they going to try to apply this to a brand new demographic?!

Ok, I'm gonna stop now before I just start to shotgun rant all over the place.



[Note: I'm not saying everyone that uses Facebook has the I.Q. of a salad bar I was paraphrasing a corporate sales type point of view. Even if I actually FELT that way about the majority of facebook users, I wouldn't openly say anything, I'd get lynched ;)]



Edited, Aug 28th 2010 7:18pm by seneleron
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#12 Aug 28 2010 at 5:44 PM Rating: Good
seneleron wrote:
Actually I was shooting at the whole "have no idea who your demographic really is" angle. A huge part of the reason that casual gaming has exploded is that there's usually no or little up front cost, negligible hardware or storage requirements, and every action earns a cookie, as it were. They draw them in and then offer to sell virtual items for real world money in a micro-transaction model, and suddenly the faceless Farm Town Addicts have built up a billion dollar a year phenomenon.

Okay, I get how corporations want to get "their share" of this newly found money. They look at the average facebook user and DROOL over how easy it'd be to separate these salad bar I.Q. Sheeple from their money. Unfortunately, you can't apply FFXIV to these kinds of people. How many of them have no idea how a computer works, or what a "minimum requirement" is. You think they're going to spend a grand or more on a new computer to spend another $60 just for a LICENSE code authorizing them to play a game that they still have to fork over $15/month for. . without giving them a cookie every step of the way??? Maybe if they made a FFXIV facebook starter game that was free, where every time you took a step you got a point. . .Nahhhhh, I still don't see it. I realize you see all these people with money ripe for the taking, but you can't simply apply YOUR concept of a business model on /random target demographic without any real modifications and expect to make billions. They can't even get it right for their loyal customers, how are they going to try to apply this to a brand new demographic?!

Ok, I'm gonna stop now before I just start to shotgun rant all over the place.

[Note: I'm not saying everyone that uses Facebook has the I.Q. of a salad bar I was paraphrasing a corporate sales type point of view. Even if I actually FELT that way about the majority of facebook users, I wouldn't openly say anything, I'd get lynched ;)]


I don't play facebook games but I consider myself a casual gamer - as in I actually go for long stretches not playing video games, I don't routinely beat long hard games (my best games in terms of completion are portable games, GB, DS etc.) - I played FFXI off and on for probably about 2.5 years of paid game time.

Not only did I do the research to find out what I needed to run this game - with the help of people on this website I also I built myself a new rig.

When I looked up FFXIV I saw a game I was interested in trying. I enjoyed final fantasy XI because I am by nature a social person and I like achieving things with other people in a game more than single player gaming (which I find boring most of the time).

FFXI was the kind of game that was hard to play without letting it take up too much of your life. I like playing video games, and I like social videogames etc. - so just because I don't have the time to play constantly doesn't mean I'm not a GAMER of a sort. I just have different constraints. I think people here are kidding themselves if they believe that everyone who doesn't have a crap-ton of time to spend gaming isn't part of the gaming demographic.

SE is smart to court a demographic that is busy, reasonably tech saavy, but into gaming.





Edited, Aug 28th 2010 4:45pm by Olorinus

Edited, Aug 28th 2010 4:45pm by Olorinus
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#13 Aug 28 2010 at 7:32 PM Rating: Good
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DesmondTierney wrote:
I can't /truth this enough. On a somewhat related sidenote, I'll never understand why people don't understand the difference between development teams and publishers. Maybe it's the fault of the dev/publishers themselves, especially the jp companies, because they don't do a good enough job of differentiating themselves. Just frustrating to see all of the arguments of "XII and XIII were terrible, and this one will be terrible too because SE doesn't know what they're doing".


Well, until fairly recently the games industry was utterly dominated by Japan. With the notable exception of Enix, most Japanese game publishers relied heavily on internal studios (Enix on the other hand didn't even have internal studios until they bought Square) - since these internal studios are just corporate divisions, and not separate legal entities, they almost never have any separate identity outside the company. In fact, even though this is changing, most Japanese game development still takes place in internal studios.

Thus it is actually somewhat legitimate to say "XII and XIII were terrible, and this one will be terrible too because SE doesn't know what they're doing", because Square Enix is the actual legal entity responsible for developing the Final Fantasy games. (It's not entirely legitimate, because 12, 13, and 14 are all actually developed by different divisions of the company - PPD 4, PDD 1, and PDD 3, respectively.)

In America, on the other hand, internal studios are rare, even among those publishers that started as developers themselves - American publishers' first-party titles tend to be developed by subsidiaries instead (and developers that grow into publishers tend to spin their development teams off into subsidiaries), and since subsidiaries have a separate legal existence, they often maintain separate identities as well.

This difference is why, for example, Final Fantasy XIII nowhere mentions which of SE's several internal development teams made it, while Red Dead Redemption very clearly credits Rockstar San Diego as the developer separately from Rockstar Games as the publisher, and Okami credits Clover as the developer, not Capcom (despite Clover being owned by Capcom).
#14 Aug 29 2010 at 4:36 PM Rating: Decent
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BastokFL wrote:
DesmondTierney wrote:
I can't /truth this enough. On a somewhat related sidenote, I'll never understand why people don't understand the difference between development teams and publishers. Maybe it's the fault of the dev/publishers themselves, especially the jp companies, because they don't do a good enough job of differentiating themselves. Just frustrating to see all of the arguments of "XII and XIII were terrible, and this one will be terrible too because SE doesn't know what they're doing".


Well, until fairly recently the games industry was utterly dominated by Japan. With the notable exception of Enix, most Japanese game publishers relied heavily on internal studios (Enix on the other hand didn't even have internal studios until they bought Square) - since these internal studios are just corporate divisions, and not separate legal entities, they almost never have any separate identity outside the company. In fact, even though this is changing, most Japanese game development still takes place in internal studios.

Thus it is actually somewhat legitimate to say "XII and XIII were terrible, and this one will be terrible too because SE doesn't know what they're doing", because Square Enix is the actual legal entity responsible for developing the Final Fantasy games. (It's not entirely legitimate, because 12, 13, and 14 are all actually developed by different divisions of the company - PPD 4, PDD 1, and PDD 3, respectively.)

In America, on the other hand, internal studios are rare, even among those publishers that started as developers themselves - American publishers' first-party titles tend to be developed by subsidiaries instead (and developers that grow into publishers tend to spin their development teams off into subsidiaries), and since subsidiaries have a separate legal existence, they often maintain separate identities as well.

This difference is why, for example, Final Fantasy XIII nowhere mentions which of SE's several internal development teams made it, while Red Dead Redemption very clearly credits Rockstar San Diego as the developer separately from Rockstar Games as the publisher, and Okami credits Clover as the developer, not Capcom (despite Clover being owned by Capcom).


That definitely makes sense. It seems like now that they're starting to focus on the western market they're starting to differentiate their "western" titles from their traditional internal development studios as well (i.e. Eidos or IO Interactive), although that may just be because they were purchased instead of originating as internal development teams or because they're SE Europe and not Japan. I wonder if turns out to be successful for them that we'll eventually see that strategy make its way into their japanese traditional development teams as well. I think it just makes things much clearer for the consumer to see it broken down by developer instead of blanket publisher - especially in a gaming world where it's getting harder and harder to depend on such a blanket brand name.
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