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Square may have seen the Light

TG BarighmTG Barighm MemberFull Members
edited May 2014 in Square Enix
The sales of Square's niche JRPG designed to appeal to hardcore Japanese audiences is actually more successful than most of Square's recent mobile offerings, so now they're thinking it's better to return to their traditional roots. Hopefully this is not an early April Fool's joke.

Comments

  • smacdsmacd Full Members
    edited March 2014
    Actions speak louder than words. When Square Enix announces the four existing Dragon Quest 3DS games for the west, and starts making good Final Fantasy games again, I may be interested in what they have to say. Right now, its just talk. They've had nearly 20 years going down the wrong path, its going to take more than some words to convince me they've finally realized the errors of their ways.

    But that said, I hope they do turn things around. Bravely Default is a great game and I'd like to see a lot more of that from them than some of the garbage they've been shovelling for a long time now.
  • lolwhoopslolwhoops happy accident HalifaxRPGamer Staff
    edited March 2014
    Hopefully this means Bravely 2nd and Dragon Quest starts showing up more here in the west. I'm probably in the minority but I don't want to see them make FF games with this new philosophy or idea. I want to see original new IPs created. If they're smart they could get another big RPG series under their belt and have the DQ, FF, and new IP to really bring back some older fans. Hell, Bravely Default might make a good series for them too.

    I wonder if they would be interested in localizing RPGs for that crowd they realized still exists? There's quite a few RPGs that could use some time in the west and with its size Square Enix might be able to snag a good deal or two. I wonder if they're open to suggestions?
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  • TG BarighmTG Barighm Member Full Members
    edited March 2014
    Well, they did say "current AAA series", so maybe this means they will convert FF15 back into something more traditional?
    I wonder if they're open to suggestions?

    According to a certain former RPGamer admin, if you're a westerner, they're not. Granted, that was over 10 years ago.
  • DarkRPGMasterDarkRPGMaster A Witness to Destruction Moderators
    edited March 2014
    smacd wrote: »
    Actions speak louder than words. When Square Enix announces the four existing Dragon Quest 3DS games for the west, and starts making good Final Fantasy games again, I may be interested in what they have to say. Right now, its just talk. They've had nearly 20 years going down the wrong path, its going to take more than some words to convince me they've finally realized the errors of their ways.

    But that said, I hope they do turn things around. Bravely Default is a great game and I'd like to see a lot more of that from them than some of the garbage they've been shovelling for a long time now.
    If FFXIV: A Realm Reborn, and Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII are any indication, they're starting to head onto the right track again.
    "Yes, because apparently blindly jumping headfirst into a firefight without a grasp on the situation or any combat experience is a sign of genius these days."
  • smacdsmacd Full Members
    edited March 2014
    If FFXIV: A Realm Reborn, and Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII are any indication, they're starting to head onto the right track again.

    I respect that opinion, but I can't agree. I made the decision to not play MMOs after I gave up EverCrack in 2000, therefore I consider MMOs of any variety to be "wrong track" regardless of anything else. I understand the business decisions for MMOs, and that the game itself might actually be good (I don't know, I've pretty much ignored anything and everything MMOs other than knowing their names for the last 14 years). For me though, I want good, fantasy based single player experiences like they used to make in the good ol' days. I don't mind mild multiplayer elements, but not strictly online games. Honestly, if they didn't number the MMOs, my opinion of the franchise might actually be a bit higher.

    I can't comment on 13-3, as I've only played the demo so far and I didn't really care for it. I do plan to play it at some point, however my expectations are pretty much rock bottom for the game. What I can say is that the setting of the entire 13 trilogy is exemplary of the settings I really dislike in modern FF.
  • TwinBahamutTwinBahamut Staff Healer RPGamer Staff
    edited March 2014
    This is really something that makes me hopeful. I'm glad that Bravely Default's success has managed to get them to rethink their strategy a little. I hope that this gives some good games a chance to get made. If nothing else, it improves the chances for Bravely Second to get released and localized, and we might even see a Dragon Quest VII or X localization. In the long run, I really hopes this means we might get a new The World Ends With You, SaGa, or Ogre Battle game.

    I have no idea what this might mean for Final Fantasy or Eidos, but there is a good chance this will help out a lot of the other good stuff that Square Enix has let slip through the cracks for far too long.
  • JCServantJCServant Certified Polygameist RPGamer Staff
    edited March 2014
    I second that emotion, TwinBahamut!
  • ironmageironmage chaotic neutral observer SaskatoonFull Members
    edited April 2014
    Wow, this is the first positive news I've heard about S/E in a long while. Matsuda sounds like he actually gets it. It'll probably take a while for things to turn around, but at least it seems like they're headed in the right direction.

    I don't think S/E should be reworking FF15 at this late date, though. Drawing out the development even more is just going to increase costs. Even if FF15 doesn't have the form of a classic FF game, it still looks pretty good, and trying to change it significantly part way through might result in the same kind of problems we saw in FF12.

    I think they should focus on getting FF15 out the door, and then make FF16 a return to the series' roots (and maybe throw some extra development budget towards Bravely Second).
    Only the livin' have the privilege of sayin' they'll fight ta the last breath.
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  • JormungandJormungand Member Full Members
    edited April 2014
    I see what you did there with that topic title, TG. It's cruelly mischievous.

    Well, this is mostly good news. We shall see how it pans out in the years to come. All they need to do is move their senior talent back to console development, focus on what most perceive as the traditional JRPG genre, and farm out their mobile stuff to their younger, inexperienced talent and outside studios, and they'll be poised to set the stage for a second so-called "golden age".
  • TG BarighmTG Barighm Member Full Members
    edited April 2014
    Well, I was gonna entitle it "Square pulls its head out of its arse", but...
    I don't think S/E should be reworking FF15 at this late date, though

    Is it late? The way their development schedules work, I'd think they're just getting started, lol.
  • MacstormMacstorm Ysy St. Administrators
    edited April 2014
    I said this earlier on Twitter, but I'll believe it when I see it. It's one thing to have Bravely Default do well and them to want more of that money, but it's another thing to see this become a pattern for the better.
    "The universe is already mad. Anything else would be redundant."
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  • AcathalaAcathala Member Full Members
    edited April 2014
    I have to admit I've fallen a little out of love with Square, so I'll wait and see if they do actually mean it.
    Whilst I would LOVE a new Ogre game, I doubt it'll happen.
  • ShayminShaymin The Gratitude Pokemon Halifax, New SealandFull Members
    edited April 2014
    So there's only one question left to ask here: iOS or Android?

    Seriously, this is so counter to every public statement they've made since Wada was still the public face of the company that I'm going to need to see a LOT of proof on this.
    "The flowers all over its body burst into bloom if it is lovingly hugged and senses gratitude."
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  • TheAnimeManTheAnimeMan Member Full Members
    edited April 2014
    I am optimistically hopeful. Wada as we all know was WAY more about the $$, things have started to come together under Matsuda but unfortunately many of the projects were well into development when he took over and he had to see then through or further delay what $$ they could've brought in. I think BD:FF is one of the few ones that was solely under his domain from start to finish or mostly so. I also don't think it's April Fool joknig as its March 31st article and a lot of companies tend to save the jokes for April 1st so as not to further riddle fans.

    The change with FF:XIV, Comments on Lightning Returns and also BD:FF all make me hopeful. With FFXIV with its major uptake though that was started way before Matsuda took over however the response to it was great.

    As we said, and the joke blog from FFXIII creator sorted hinted at. Wada was an ***.
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  • omegabyteomegabyte He's just this guy, you know? RPGamer Staff
    edited April 2014
    New IPs would be great, but they also have a bunch of existing IPs they haven't done anything with in a long while. A new Final Fantasy Tactics or Ogre Battle would be huge, and they could finally make a sequel to The World Ends With You (seriously, this game was critically and commercially acclaimed in 2008 and they just abandoned the IP save for a friggin' iOS port). A new Chrono game is long overdue, Parasite Eve has been stagnant for over a decade, and the Mana series is about ready for a new entry that doesn't suck.

    Something other than Dragon Quest, Final Fantasy, or Kingdom Hearts would just be wonderful.
    God's Final Message to His creation, written in thirty-foot high letters of fire on the side of the Quentulus Quazgar Mountains:
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  • Rya_ReisenderRya_Reisender Solipsist Snowflake Full Members
    edited April 2014
    I often wonder why developers have such a hard time to "get it". Alone in gaming communities I find it's already quite obvious which game would be successful in the west if released there, just by going after the hype. Why do they even make such ridiculous statements like "we need to make different games for the western market" when literary every single gamer reading that is facepalming over it?

    The news, despite being positive, doesn't affect me much since I still hate handhelds and it's obvious SE wants to keep focusing on the mobile market albeit in a different way from now on.
  • TG BarighmTG Barighm Member Full Members
    edited April 2014
    Why do they even make such ridiculous statements like "we need to make different games for the western market" when literary every single gamer reading that is facepalming over it?

    Because everyone has Call of Duty/Farmville/WoW fever and they're all shooting for the moon instead of being content with having a bunch of smaller, but profitable, releases (Atlus I guess).
  • OcelotOcelot is not declawed RPGamer Staff
    edited April 2014
    There are certainly a number of typical elements in Japanese games that aren't popular in the West. The problem is that a lot of attempts by Japanese developers to "Westernize" Japanese games are done with all the craft and subtlety of Mickey Rooney's performance in Breakfast at Tiffany's. It's the same problem anywhere... either you make the kind of game you want to make and make it well, or you make a game that some executive thinks will make money according to the numbers and you end up with a turd. There are certainly such turds made strictly for the Japanese audience (see: cheesecake fanservice games with awful gameplay), this just expands the folly on a global scale.
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  • WheelsWheels RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff
    edited April 2014
    I have to ask, why did the decent sales of Bravely Default wake them up to the fact people want more RPGs from them, and not say, Lightning Returns still selling decently and finding plenty of fans despite the ****-storm that followed the FFXIII games. Not to mention, didn't many of their DS efforts do this well (at least before piracy became rampant)?

    This seems less "seeing the light" and more "hey maybe we can squeeze some more profits by doing more of this". I mean freaking Idea Factory games are able to sell in the west, so it shouldn't take yet another niche RPG doing well to show there's a market for this kind of thing. Corporate nonsense and all that. I just wish they had "come to the light" sooner so I could have had me some officially localized SaGa DS games.
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  • RewindRewind Member Full Members
    edited April 2014
    This isn't really a new development. Matsuda stated in the last annual report that the company was shifting focus from a global game design model to one focused on designing games for specific markets. In fact there was a blowup on the net akin to, "OMG, they aren't going to localize games for different markets," when the news broke last year.

    To me, this is interview is just Matsuda elaborating on the current strategy more than some sudden change in mindset caused by Bravely Default.
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  • LordKaiserLordKaiser Gaming Freedom Full Members
    edited April 2014
    If this is an April Fool then it's the most cruel of all. Also I hope Braverly Default don't become an anual title.
    Never buy a game published by D3 Publisher that is not WKCII. They cheated on their fans by releasing a game that they didn't support not even for a year and they released a rushed translation.
  • JormungandJormungand Member Full Members
    edited April 2014
    Rewind wrote: »
    This isn't really a new development. Matsuda stated in the last annual report that the company was shifting focus from a global game design model to one focused on designing games for specific markets.
    But this is the opposite of that. This interview indicates his awareness that Japanese games do not need to be changed in order to reach Western audiences. In other words there is no need to develop games specifically targeted at the west.
    LordKaiser wrote: »
    If this is an April Fool then it's the most cruel of all. Also I hope Braverly Default don't become an anual title.
    It is already their intention to do this.
  • RewindRewind Member Full Members
    edited April 2014
    He didn't say specifically to target the west. Basically, in the annual report he was stating that a Japanese "style" game should be developed for the Japanese market while a western "style" game should be developed for a western market, and so on. This is contrary to the idea of developing a game for mass appeal across markets. The interview expounded upon that idea.
    PSN: TLDragoon
  • Rya_ReisenderRya_Reisender Solipsist Snowflake Full Members
    edited April 2014
    I also see it differently. I saw the review back when Matsuda started and it was really like developing different games for different countries. And now it seems more like "Oh, Bravely Default was developed for Japan and it still sold well in the west, that's strange! Maybe I should rethink."
  • TG BarighmTG Barighm Member Full Members
    edited April 2014
    And now it seems more like "Oh, Bravely Default was developed for Japan and it still sold well in the west, that's strange! Maybe I should rethink."

    I'm hoping it's more along the lines of "Looks like we're actually pretty good at developing the kind of game that made us a household name during the 90s. Maybe we should make more of those types of games".
  • RewindRewind Member Full Members
    edited April 2014
    I don't want to keep going around in circles on this, so I'm just going to post Matsuda's comments from the annual report for reference. I still don't see anything in the interview that signifies a shift in game design any different from what was stated in the annual report.
    Marketing AAA titles on a global basis was one of our strategic initiatives. I, however, have to admit that titles appealing to a global audience are very limited, with a few exceptions. In addition, it is exceedingly difficult to achieve worldwide prominence for a new IP. Customer preferences vary from region to region, and other factors such as lifestyle, income status, and infrastructure are vastly different throughout the world. Therefore, developing a game on the assumption of world-wide distribution involves tremendous challenges. Consequently, we will prioritize a product portfolio for the future that attaches importance to consumer preferences in each region we serve. We will utilize our global network to propel our global business with a product lineup that emphasizes regional tastes. Of course, we will always pursue an opportunity to expand a hit title’s service territory beyond its original region. We, however, will start with global business development by fine-tuning each product portfolio to customers in the targeted region.
    PSN: TLDragoon
  • TG BarighmTG Barighm Member Full Members
    edited May 2014
    A very interesting, and long, article: Where Final Fantasy Went Wrong

    This is an interview with Yoshinori Kitase where the interviewer went in to talk about FF10 HD, and got a rant about the troubled development of FF13 and most newer FF games. One of the highlights include the revelation that many of FF13's systems didn't actually come together until months before the game's release, and Square's admittance they're not happy the FF series has lost a lot of face regardless of 13's financial success. I don't like how he puts most of the blame on the development process more than the actual design decisions (a game with graphics issues can still be fun if you get the fundamentals right), but he did direct some damn good RPGs, so I'm gonna trust his judgment.
  • ShinseitoriShinseitori Member Full Members
    edited May 2014
    I can't remember ever seeing them make such an open concession to serving the global market, either. Maybe they will turn a corner.

    I'd still expect mobile games well above average app price, though. ;)
    Rise!
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