Square Enix boss wants global domination
Yoichi Wada, president and CEO of Square Enix, was speaking to VentureBeat at E3 and he told them that his company are looking to become the first publisher to succeed globally. Wada believes that the company’s multiculturalism can give them an edge over other publishers.
Wada admitted that perception of the company had been that they were a “typical Japanese” company with all its games developed in Japan with the majority of their products being RPGs. The perception was pretty accurate.
Wada believes that their line-up is looking much more varied these days:
“This year, our line-up is created by studios from around the world. They cover diverse genres and can be enjoyed by children as well as adults.”
Wada cites the acquisition of Eidos as being the main factor behind this change in approach. The merger gave Square Enix control of the Tomb Raider, Dues Ex and Kane & Lynch franchises. They are all games aimed towards adults, and they compliment the Square Enix franchises, like Final Fantasy to Kingdom of Hearts. Wada also explained how each company’s skills could be utilised with this partnership.
“As a company, we are pursuing globalization and a transformation to become network-centric. To do that, we are working on collaborative projects between Eidos and our Tokyo studio. We think this will be very interesting. The Tokyo studio created the trailer for Deux Ex: Human Revolution. Eidos is making the game in Montreal. This type of collaboration enhances a dialogue among our studios and that will lead to something new.”
When Square Enix acquired Eidos, they weren’t simply looking to take their franchises. They wanted their skills and perspective more than anything. Trusting Eidos’ western perspective and judgement is important for Square Enix in their search for global domination.
Other companies have tried and failed to become a global success but, with this partnership between Square Enix and Eidos, Wada believes they are in a better positions than the competition had been:
“That is a challenge of globalization, which is a different problem from revenue models. We have to appeal to customers with different preferences. Sega did not succeed. Konami did not succeed. Namco Bandai did not succeed. Western publishers have not succeeded in selling in Japan. Nobody has succeeded at globalization. But it hasn’t succeeded because it was always based on Japanese direction. It was Japanese people who commissioned the Western developers to make games. We acquired Eidos. By doing this, we have incorporated them in our group. They have become part of our family. It was not like we acquired slaves. In fact, the former CEO of Eidos is the European head of Square Enix. Eidos as a studio is treated as completely equal as the studio in Japan. What I wanted to do is create an environment where completely different ethnic groups can coexist in the same company. That is why we have made Eidos into a fully owned subsidiary. It is important that what’s in America should be handled by Americans. The same goes in Europe and in Japan. These people who are deeply rooted in their own cultures can engage in their own dialogues. The mistakes I have seen so far are when Japanese people try to do everything the Japanese way, using Japanese workers in different areas of the world.”
The partnership appears to be working well so far; what we saw of Dues Ex at E3 got us very excited, but can this union between east and west really make them the perfect publishing company? Let’s wait and see. One thing is for certain, Square Enix are looking much varied and interesting since the Eidos acquisition. They no longer appear to be a one trick pony, who relies on Final Fantasy sequels and spin-offs.