With longstanding RPG specialist Square Enix ever keen to expand its presence outside of its home territory (Japan) the diligent journos over at gaming Web site IGN have recently secured an extensive interview with the president of the companyâ€™s North American and European divisions in order to learn a little more of Square Enix and its continuing master plan.
Sitting down for some priceless chatter with John Yamamoto, IGN dares to ask how the stalwart Final Fantasy series â€“ now 20 years old â€“ can expand beyond the appeal of its established fan base? To which Yamamoto offers that Square Enix always strives to strike â€śa delicate balanceâ€ť with its products, attracting existing fans by remaining true to any given seriesâ€™ core appeal while also using â€śnew tools to make the games more accessible.â€ť
The Square Enix exec also states that the Western games market is now â€śmuch bigger than Japan,â€ť which is why the company wants to increase its revenue taken from the Western and PAL territories from 50 percent through to 75 percent before the turn of 2012. To do this, Yamamoto points to it being â€ścrucialâ€ť that Square Enixâ€™s new releases are spread across multiple console formats rather than being published via platform exclusivity.
To further assist in the companyâ€™s expansion drive, Yamamoto outlines that although Square Enix will continue to support the RPG as its central genre, it is also looking to work directly with a Western studio in order to â€śdevelop and release to Western usersâ€ť games outside of the RPG category, which would likely include action titles, action RPGs, casual/puzzle games, and even first-person shooters. GASP.
Other questions see Yamamoto swiftly sidestepping the opportunity to comment on Western gaming controversies including those linked with Manhunt 2 and Grand Theft Auto, but the Square Enix head honcho did choose to offer an opinion on the lack of Japanese acceptance attributed to the Xbox 360 and the future of Microsoftâ€™s console in the territory.
â€śI see the title lineup for the 360 and there are lots of FPS games. And somehow, the FPS genre has never seen much popularity amongst Japanese users,â€ť outlined Yamamoto. â€śBut with the expansion of genres that are popular in Japan, such as RPGs, the 360 looks to be on a positive path. We recently announced Infinite Undiscovery that is exclusive to the 360, and also Last Remnant for the 360 and PS3. Though these two titles are still under development, I think they will expand the popularity of the 360 in Japan.â€ť
Read the full IGN interview by clicking right HERE.