The state of gaming is in a curious place. For on one hand, software and hardware sales are doing pretty good. The arrival of the Nintendo Switch (and its software titles) was a shot in the arm for the industry. However, there’s also been some stumbles in the last year that have left gamers wary. The rise of more and more microtransactions within AAA titles, certain AAA games not living up to the hype, and a seemingly growing notion that “games as a service” is the way to go has left fans worried. Especially about Square Enix.
You see, most of the companies that have said they support “games as a service” are those who focus on multiplayer titles. Square Enix isn’t like that. With the exception of titles like Final Fantasy XIV, they mainly do singleplayer games. Yet, they said they like the idea of “games as a service”. Or do they?
In a talk with Edge Magazine, CEO Yosuke Matsuda noted this on the principle of “games as a service”:
“We look at it in a much broader sense. If you look at the idea of adding things to a game after release to keep it fresh and exciting, to keep people playing over a long time, and all the different ways you can do that, it comes to express a lot more.”
He brings up an interesting point, for a game can be a service while also bring free. In fact, many video games right now deal with free updates and upgrades so that fans don’t have to worry about purchasing them.
Oh, and if you wonder why Square Enix doesn’t use the same engine for all of their games? It’s because they know that one engine won’t work for every style, and they want each game to feel unique in its own right.