Thursday, April 3, 2014

SQUARE ENIX: We've hurt HITMAN while seeking mass appeal!

Square Enix president Yosuke Matsuda admitted that they have hurt their recent lineup by trying to appeal to global audience instead of focusing on core fans as they used to do.

"If you focus too much on the global aspect, you might lose sight of who you're actually making the game for," he explained.

"The development team for Hitman: Absolution really struggled in this regard," he elaborated with an example. "They implemented a vast amount of 'elements for the mass' instead of for the core fans, as a way to try getting as many new players possible. It was a strategy to gain mass appeal."

"However, what makes the Hitman series good is its appeal to core gamers, and many fans felt the lack of focus in that regard, which ended up making it struggle in sales."

While Hitman: Absolution was underselling, Square Enix's JRPG "Bravely Default" was doing much better than expected. The game was designed specifically for hardcore Japanese RPG players and it became a hit there but it also met unexpected success in the west. Earlier in March, Nintendo announced that the 3DS version of Bravely Default has sold more than 200,000 units in its first 3 weeks in North America.

For Matsuda, that was proof enough that trying to globalize their games was a mistake. "For the new games we'll be developing from this point on, while this may sound a bit extreme, we've been talking about making them as heavy JRPGs," he promised. "I believe that way, we can better focus on our target, which will also bring better results."

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