A new interview suggests that Square Enix can’t make good games by simply imitating westerners, in the words of their company’s president, Yosuke Matsuda.
“Today, the gaming market has become globalized. The domestic market used to be big, but now it’s spoiled next to China and the United States,” Matsuda told Gendai Business (via Yahoo Japan). “If you’re not recognized even globally, you can’t do business.”
This is where the company boss said Square Enix can’t make good games by simply imitating Westerners, crushing aspirations for globalism and related media production.
“However, even if the Japanese imitate Western games, it’s worth noting that they won’t be able to produce good ones,” Matsuda said. “The monster designs and the visual and sound effects are all a bit Japanese. And gamers all over the world know that’s what makes Japanese games good.
This is where Matsuda suggests that catering to overseas markets won’t ultimately help them make a successful product, former Sega boss Toshihiro Nagoshi also shared.
“Foreign markets are important, but developing them is not enough,” Matsuda said.
Elsewhere in the interview, the Square Enix chairman revealed that he was a chartered accountant, working primarily in finance, before taking over from former chairman Yoichi Wada.
“If it’s software that’s needed for the job, sales can be predicted, but if a game isn’t interesting, it won’t sell. If the game is successful, that’s a big deal, but it is also a big risk,” Matsuda said.
He added, “Therefore, to mitigate risk, we need to use various investment mechanisms. For example, we are trying something similar to a film production committee system to bring investors together. In fact, new investment methods often come from entertainment companies.
Matsuda also revealed that he’s been a gamer for a while now, earning his real nickname “Uncle Headshot”, when he “shot enemy characters in the head while playing a first-person shooter”.
He also got the nickname “Handgun President” because he’s a boomer like we all will be one day, and forgot to switch weapons in-game – continuously using his handgun.
“I also have another name. When I played a recently released game at an event, I forgot to switch weapons and continued to use the handgun that was my original gear, and people thought that was my obsession, so I was also called “Handgun President”. Those two names are very disturbing, aren’t they (laughs). »
The final piece is where your newfound appreciation for Matsuda will likely fade away, as the company’s president once again talks about blockchains and NFTs.
“In the future, we would like to take on the challenge of providing” standalone game content. Until now, in most games, we delivered the content as a finished product and players played the content,” Matsuda said. “However, there are a number of gamers around the world who want to help make games more interesting, and they are creating new settings and ways to play.”
Matsuda then went a step further with some sort of mechanism for fans to contribute to development, such as through a blockchain.
“We want to create a game that will grow by harnessing the power of these people in the future. If we can also provide incentives for those who contribute to development using technologies such as blockchain, rather than relying on good intentions, it is possible that innovative and interesting content will be created from the ideas of users,” said Matsuda.
In conclusion, Matsuda said that “entertainment possibilities are expected to expand even further in the future” and that Square Enix will “continue to create works that enrich the world”.