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IGN interview Square Enix’s John Yamamoto

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 company’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 – now 20 years old – can expand beyond the appeal of its established fan base? To which Yamamoto offers that Square Enix always strives to strike “a delicate balance” with its products, attracting existing fans by remaining true to any given series’ core appeal while also using “new tools to make the games more accessible.”

The Square Enix exec also states that the Western games market is now “much bigger than Japan,” 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 “crucial” that Square Enix’s new releases are spread across multiple console formats rather than being published via platform exclusivity.

To further assist in the company’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 “develop and release to Western users” 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 Microsoft’s console in the territory.

“I 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,” outlined Yamamoto. “But 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.”

Read the full IGN interview by clicking right HERE.

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6 comments on 'IGN interview Square Enix’s John Yamamoto'

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Comment by jack on 2007-10-16 12:04:23 | Reply

i think final fantasy could be amazing, but the turn-based combat makes it blow.

Comment by x El Scorpio x on 2007-10-17 14:41:48 | Reply

yeah turn-based combat doesn’t belong in games nowadays…that’s what you’d expect from a late 80’s to early 90’s game

Comment by inty2525 on 2007-10-16 18:44:51 | Reply

final fantasy for japan… unisex humans + mutants + robots living in harmony…

Comment by cue on 2007-10-17 06:00:49 | Reply

you either love it or dont. just because you dont doesnt mean your opinion is fact. if there werent people who liked it it wouldnt sell millions. let them bring all the diverse games they want to 360. just means more people on board and better games cleared for development that dont just involve a redneck tool of destruction.

Comment by The_Glovner on 2007-10-17 13:35:10 | Reply

Bringing Final Fantasy (not that I can see it happening) may be another big hurt for PS3 considering that FF has been a staple PS system seller for years.

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