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Square Enix Discusses their Future and Embraces the “Games as a Service” Business Model

September 30th, 2017 by Raptorchan

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According to an article over on Gamespot, Square Enix has been closely observing the future of the gaming industry since May of 2017. They have stated that video games seem to be headed in the direction of the “games as a service” model.

Square Enix had, at the time, mentioned they would be looking into adapting to a similar business model. Now President Yousuke Matsuda has come forth and confirmed that this is a path Square Enix will be taking.

“Gone are the days in which single-player games were of primary status and multiplayer games secondary,” Matsuda said.” Lately, multiplayer games have taken the lead, and it is standard for games to be designed for long-term play.” (Source)

Generally, Games as a Service means that a game will continue to be updated fairly regularly long after it’s release, whether it be with DLC, Season Passes, Esport tournaments or general free quality updates and in-game events. This allows companies to generate recurring revenue, and keeps players interested in a game.

Square Enix has plans of designing and creating future games with this kind of service in mind. Their hope is that it will increase the lifespan of a game, rather than consumers purchasing the game, beating it and moving on.

“In so doing, we will increase customer satisfaction and enhance the lifetime value of the games themselves,” Matsuda said.

Already we’re starting to see signs of the Games as a Service model from Square Enix, with the continuous stream of updates coming in for Final Fantasy XV. They’ve released two story-driven DLCs (Episode Gladiolus and Episode Prompto) with the third story DLC, Episode Ignis, arriving in December 2017. The addition of multiplayer, and other quality and story updates, free or otherwise, will also be making their way to FFXV in the coming months and long into 2018.

While it seems like a foreboding move to some consumers, an interview with veteran Final Fantasy Producer Yoshinori Kitase revealed that maybe Games as a Service may not be all that bad. With regular updates being released for the community to play, feedback could be given, received and acted on, allowing Square Enix to produce and create better content for their consumers immediately.

However, this is also the type of system that can make anyone just a little bit greedy. We can only hope Square Enix continues to listen closely to constructive feedback for their future titles and learn from any past, and future, mistakes.

The Gamespot article goes onto mention that Matsuda spoke about the growing importance of streaming live gameplay, and that Square Enix is looking into the idea and how it could also be turned into a business capable of generating revenue.

“An increasing number of our customers around the world enjoy not only playing games themselves, but also watching other gamers play them. You do not actually need to play a game yourself to enjoy it,” Matsuda said. “Watching the advanced techniques of professional gamers and the unique broadcasts of game streamers is another way to enjoy games. Watching gaming is growing into a major form of entertainment thanks to considerable advances in the online streaming environment. It is the presence of e-sports spectators that make this meaningful.”

“Once the size of gaming spectatorship grows, gaming itself will gain value as a form of media. This conversion of gaming into a form of media is proceeding rapidly. We also have a great deal of interest in this field and intend to proactively work to turn it into an actual business.”

You can check out Matsuda’s letter to investors, in full, here.

Sources:

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  • CRIMSON-XIII

    doesnt mean they wont do single player games anymore, im okay paying 20$ for a season pass for FF games for extra story and whatnot tbh. as long as it was made after the game came out. XVs dlc is good for the price imo.