Square-Enix: What is its future?
“Square-Enix and Microsoft, sitting in a tree. K.I.S.S.I.N.G!”
We all have heard it at some point, but is it actually true? I believe it is not.
Square-Enix shocked the world at last year’s E3 with the announcement of Final Fantasy XIII being developed for the 360. This joined other RPGs like Tales of Vesperia, Lost Odyssey, Infinite Undiscovery and Blue Dragon raising the question as to why they suddenly turned on Sony, who has brought them enormous profits for two generations. As we seen on N4G, there have been conclusions that Microsoft gave them money to make their titles exclusive, but I doubt this is the case.
Square-Enix said on a number of occasions that they wish to develop their games on multiple platforms, but as of yet, we have seen nothing like that. Are these lies to quell anger from the Sony camp, or is there some secret plan. S-E wants the 360 to succeed in Japan to the same extent as the Wii or the PS3, and the only way to do that is to release RPGs on the Xbox 360. S-E wants to be the EA of Japan, but the low number of 360s in Japan is a problem. We have seen a number of RPGs on the 360 from a number of noteworthy develops, such as Tri-Ace, Square-Enix themselves, and Mistwalker, which have seen an varied degrees of success.
The 360 has nearly reached the 1 million mark in Japan, and this was helped by S-E, but the problem is software. 360 software sales in Japan never stay on the top 30 charts for very long before things return to normal.
With the release of Star Ocean 4 in Japan and the U.S., it brings us to the end of the current batch of RPGs on the 360. What will happen now? Will there be more exclusive RPGs on the 360 from Square-Enix?
We will need to wait and see, but the odds are not looking up for it. Last year, Square-Enix’s profits had fallen by 63% from 2007, even after releasing two high profile games on the 360. Sales were not as high as they hoped. Yet Demon’s Soul’s ran out of stock in Japan, and White Knight Chronicles sold massively. Square-Enix will be taking note of this, do not doubt...