Thinks the transparency of Kickstarter and Steam Greenlight are the way forward.
It’s become a big joke these days, about how much money Square Enix spends on developing franchises that never see the light of day. Final Fantasy Versus XIII is the one we know of, though Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD both had their fair share of delays as well. Square Enix senior executive managing director Yosuke Matsuda feels that developers should adopt a more interactive approach with customers for development, due to current practices being equivalent to shutting them out.
Speaking at a recent earnings call conference, Matsuda stated that, “There is a crowdfunding website called Kickstarter, which does not only serve as a method of financing for developers, but I believe should also be seen as a way to unite marketing and development together by allowing us to interact with customers while a game is in development.
“Valve’s Steam Greenlight and Early Access, are also very interesting, in that they raise the frequency by which we interact with customers, increasing their engagement and reflecting customer needs.
“We are also looking at what initiatives are possible from this perspective. What should we present to our customers before a game is finished, how can our customers enjoy this, and how do we connect this to profitability, is something we are thinking about implementing, and which can improve our asset turnover in the process.
“One could go as far as to say that in today’s times, making customers wait for years with little to no information is being dishonest to them. We’re no longer in an age where customers are left in the dark until a product is completed.
“We need to shift to a business model where we frequently interact with our customers for our products that are in‐development and/or prior to being sold, have our customers understand games under development, and finally make sure we develop games that meet their expectations.”
Square Enix is currently set to reveal a new Final Fantasy at this year’s E3, and some kind of tie-up with the Sony PlayStation 4 in that regard.