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Square Enix output strategy | Discussion thread.

What platforms do you believe Dragon Quest XII will release on?

  • Nintendo platform (Switch and/or Switch successor)

    Votes: 58 89.2%
  • PlayStation 5

    Votes: 38 58.5%
  • PlayStation 4

    Votes: 28 43.1%
  • PC

    Votes: 36 55.4%
  • Xbox (One and/or Series)

    Votes: 25 38.5%

  • Total voters
    65
  • Poll closed .
most of the larger successes for the IP were when Nintendo was involved. the most recent being DQ9. but that also had other elements to the game that played well to push the brand, namely multiplayer

I'm really looking forward to the 9 remake, whenever it happens. The DS performance and DS multiplayer and quest designs were all absolute fucking disasters, but there's a meaty adventure that will certainly be polished up in the remake.

This is the longest a Dragon Quest has gone before its first remake, as far as I can tell. ~13 years for DQ7 was the previous record holder? But that was 10 years ago already.

1 million from Dragon Quest Monsters 3


Not totally unexpected, especially after it launching so goddamn well in Japan. DQM, Star Ocean, and SaGa are all series that had previously had multiple million-selling games but were past their prime so they are hard to predict what would happen with the Fall/Winter slate of mid/low-budget releases, but I guess there's still a market for meaty Pokemon-style games.
 
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I'm still waiting for SE's FFXVI sales number. It's unusual to see them remain silent about FFXVI sales after the launch figure.
Probably hasn't reached a notable enough milestone yet. Guessing it hasn't hit 5 million yet.
 
Now that FFXVI and VIIR2 are almost out, I wonder when they will release KH4 and DQ12 that are their next mega big budget titles incoming and already announced.

Both 2025? DQ12 2025 and KH4 2026?
 
A new Investor QA with the CEO


Q: Has the way that your development function has spread to cover so many bases made controlling your development efforts more difficult?
A: It has less to do with our development function and more to do with the numerous entries in our lineup. I want to structure
our development function so that we are able to ensure higher quality from each title by slimming down our lineup.

Q: Why have you been unable to slim down your lineup until now?
A: As our customers' needs and the types of devices available have diversified, we have tried to produce hits by developing a
wide variety of titles rather than by focusing only on certain ones. I believe that this has resulted in the splintering of our
resource pool. Meanwhile, there have been clear winners and losers among the major titles released recently in the gaming
market, and it has become possible for even indies titles to make their presence felt. The market is increasingly polarized
between blockbuster and indies titles, but I feel that we have developed many titles that fell somewhere in the middle. I want
to make clearer distinctions going forward.

There is also a mention of FF16 being in line with their expectations.
 
The part about many of their titles being "in the middle" is spot on really.
Games didn't look expensive enough to appeal to the wider audience, but they weren't cheaply made enough for projects to make financial sense by relying on the loyal core audience.
 
I think there is a market for some of the type of games they were making, like harvestella and Diofield for example, but I don’t think there’s a market for 70 opencritic games.

I think they had the right idea, they just tried to make way too many games and basically none outside of the HD2D games were good enough.
 
I think SE is unable to eat losses long enough to sustain online games. FF14 benefits from being one of the two biggest PC MMOs and essentially the only biggest MMO on consoles. I do wonder why SE never bothered to produce some big gacha games. Like Genshin Impact with FF characters for example.
Honestly? I think they straight up do not have the resources to try their hand on a Genshin clone (be that manpower or tech), and it's also such a big gamble that they are too risk-averse to try building that up to begin with.
Personally I think Japan is just straight up gonna be left behind on that front and will at best arrive very late to the market. They have neither the experience nor the mindset necessary to produce those "blockbuster gachas". There is not a single japanese developer I'm aware of that has experience developing something with the production values of these modern gachas like Genshin or Star Rail across mobile, PC and console (and if you're not developing one of these with mobile in mind, you honestly don't even have to bother). I think this is partly because they have much bigger console market than China, so devs wanting to make these experiences are likely to work on those and the mobile space in Japan has a much different mindset.
You'll mostly see these games coming from China, with possibly a few from Korea here and there imo.
 
That's just old stuff being re-reported. Presentation is several months old but maybe technically a new document?

Information sounds like a retread because it is a retread, I think.
DQ3 2024
DQ12 2025
KH4 2026

I expect the to announce some kind of big, global game for this year after FF72

I'm curious what they're expecting saleswise for Mana and DQ3R. Both are probably 2M+ but that's not what they really expect out of their real flagship releases. I think you're right something is coming. FF9R or the next Nier are the biggest candidates for things unannounced but could do flagship numbers, but we have no idea on these things at all. The Switch 2 Trailer, whenever it may be, is a likely spot to make a big announcement. I have no idea how far in advance the deals are made for those Directs, though. Based on Asano's comments in Famitsu it sounds like there's going to be a 2nd or even a 3rd Team Asano game due in the Fiscal Year but I don't think the expectation is for those to hit 3M+ in its launch year like we always see in their tentpoles.


KH4 actually had (bullshot) footage when it was revealed, but sounds like it was internally delayed due to adding Marvel / other Disney-owned IPs to it.
 
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A new Investor QA with the CEO






There is also a mention of FF16 being in line with their expectations.

Probably for the good. This is era of blockbusters and indies. The ones in middle are basically considered more like indies but cost much more to develop and don't sell much.

Main entries of DQ, FF and KH take way to many years between them to release.

FF15>16 8 years
KH2>KH3 14 years
 
Probably for the good. This is era of blockbusters and indies. The ones in middle are basically considered more like indies but cost much more to develop and don't sell much.
I disagree. Look at some of their games like octopath or Triangle Strategy. 1 million plus sellers in the middle tier. Vs something like forespoken which is a big new AAA game for the high end console that flopped.

How do you recover from a flop?
 
Probably for the good. This is era of blockbusters and indies. The ones in middle are basically considered more like indies but cost much more to develop and don't sell much.

Main entries of DQ, FF and KH take way to many years between them to release.

FF15>16 8 years
KH2>KH3 14 years
I think that's a bit of an erroneous reading on the market. If we scale them appropriately, A and AA games are profitable relative to their budgets as AAA. Possibly moreso. Like the Remnants, Triangle Strategy and Fire Emblems of the world do fine. The thing that's important is appropriate spacing for releases. Fall 2022 was absolutely too much even when considering most of those were delayed by the pandemic. The more evenly spread out schedule last year worked significantly better (ignoring bad games like Forspoken and Dragon Quest Dai)

You are missing FF7 Remake (and the FFXIV expansions) and Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days, Birth by Sleep and Dream Drop Distance. Kingdom Hearts also has the Disney issue which is probably making it hard to do those smaller scale entries.
 
Visions of Mana is a Summer 2024 title.


there you go the "It's not announced for Switch because it will be late and so will land on the REDACTED" lol
 
there you go the "It's not announced for Switch because it will be late and so will land on the REDACTED" lol
summer lasts until the end of September, so there's still hope!

That's just old stuff being re-reported. Presentation is several months old but maybe technically a new document?

Information sounds like a retread because it is a retread, I think.


I'm curious what they're expecting saleswise for Mana and DQ3R. Both are probably 2M+ but that's not what they really expect out of their real flagship releases. I think you're right something is coming. FF9R or the next Nier are the biggest candidates for things unannounced but could do flagship numbers, but we have no idea on these things at all. The Switch 2 Trailer, whenever it may be, is a likely spot to make a big announcement. I have no idea how far in advance the deals are made for those Directs, though. Based on Asano's comments in Famitsu it sounds like there's going to be a 2nd or even a 3rd Team Asano game due in the Fiscal Year but I don't think the expectation is for those to hit 3M+ in its launch year like we always see in their tentpoles.


KH4 actually had (bullshot) footage when it was revealed, but sounds like it was internally delayed due to adding Marvel / other Disney-owned IPs to it.
KH4 wasn't even bullshot footage, it was footage on an old engine, as they're moving their work to UE5. if anything, I expect it to look better

as for DQ3, 2M is about what I'd expect. it's still a remake and not gonna do gangbusters in the west. Mana will probably aim for some step above Trials of Mana, though this will depend on hitting a Nintendo system. for a big game, maybe it's an all new, non-numbered Final Fantasy
 
I disagree. Look at some of their games like octopath or Triangle Strategy. 1 million plus sellers in the middle tier. Vs something like forespoken which is a big new AAA game for the high end console that flopped.

How do you recover from a flop?

Agreed. I said this elsewhere and I'll repeat it here:

This is quite literally everything I do not want from Square Enix, and more important to your point, this honestly feels like SE are scapegoating almost everything but their "AAA" software for their poor decision making, lack of focus/ profit/ market share/ stock price and mismanagement (which is the big one here, including how they managed DQ11, an utterly insane crowded 2022 release schedule, subpar-marketing and lack of software stock for certain games on certain systems).

Their priorities are misplaced imo.
 
Damn that sucks so bad, I really enjoyed some of the AA stuff they put out. Too bad the market didn't respond.

Consolidation sucks.
because SE fucked badly. they bunched a lot of games of very broad quality range together in a small space. SE shot themselves in the foot. what they're saying here is really the solution, because a lot of those middling games didn't need to exist. some of those games budgets could have gone towards better supporting the more successful ones, like better marketing
 
because SE fucked badly. they bunched a lot of games of very broad quality range together in a small space. SE shot themselves in the foot. what they're saying here is really the solution, because a lot of those middling games didn't need to exist. some of those games budgets could have gone towards better supporting the more successful ones, like better marketing
I didn't think they were talking about any AAA games.
 
there you go the "It's not announced for Switch because it will be late and so will land on the REDACTED" lol
Tbh I'm still not ruling out a late port to Switch 2 cause I still think it's arriving there, but then again... if Microsoft's getting the marketing rights to the game then I dunno what the fuck Square's thinking.

Like I get that Microsoft wants to build a JRPG audience on their platform because nobody really goes to Xbox to play them and they wanna change that, but... I dunno, man.
 
If the Switch 2 wasn't a serious consideration for Vision of Mana's development, then that means SE found the risk of abandoning an existing established userbase on a significantly prominent platform acceptable for the benefit of focusing development on other platforms whose primary appeal is high production values.

That's definitely a choice to make for a relatively small and low-cost franchise, but SE's management has made riskier bets before. Their continued support for crypto/Web3 initiatives in 2024 signifies that management decisions aren't necessarily tethered to reality.
 
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I didn't think they were talking about any AAA games.
I'm not either

If the Switch 2 wasn't a serious consideration for Vision of Mana's development, then that means SE found the risk of abandoning an existing established userbase on a significantly prominent platform acceptable for the benefit of focusing development on other platforms whose primary appeal is high production values.

That's definitely a choice to make for a relatively small and low-cost franchise, but SE's management has made riskier bets before. Their continued support for crypto/Web3 initiatives in 2024 signifies that management decisions aren't necessarily tethered to reality.
I honestly find it hard to believe that a Mana game would be greenlit without a nintendo system in mind. I never did think that "withhold announcement for direct" was a worthwhile practice and it only happened with Atlus. so I don't think there's a Switch 1 version out there. SE is usually one of the first on Drake, so I'll still expect it for launch for the time being.

but it's Nintendo SE....
 
I'm not either
From my memory it was the higher budget games that were the problem for SE in 2022, obviously they don't feel this way otherwise they wouldn't be talking about getting rid of the lower budget games, put personally I'd rather they spilt up a bigger project and make 3-4 smaller ones, than get rid of smaller ones and dump more resources into a bigger project likely to fail.
 
If the Switch 2 wasn't a serious consideration for Vision of Mana's development, then that means SE found the risk of abandoning an existing established userbase on a significantly prominent platform acceptable for the benefit of focusing development on other platforms whose primary appeal is high production values.

That's definitely a choice to make for a relatively small and low-cost franchise, but SE's management has made riskier bets before. Their continued support for crypto/Web3 initiatives in 2024 signifies that management decisions aren't necessarily tethered to reality.
If Visions of Mana releases on Xbox and not on Switch 2 it would mean that SE sees Xbox as more important than Switch 2 for them, which seems like a wild priority, it would also scale down any expectation of SE output on Switch 2, because if they are not even releasing all their AA games on Switch 2 there is no chance to see AAA games on Switch 2. It means that Switch 2 will basically get team Asano games mostly.
 
If Visions of Mana releases on Xbox and not on Switch 2 it would mean that SE sees Xbox as more important than Switch 2 for them, which seems like a wild priority, it would also scale down any expectation of SE output on Switch 2, because if they are not even releasing all their AA games on Switch 2 there is no chance to see AAA games on Switch 2. It means that Switch 2 will basically get team Asano games mostly.
The game will release on Switch 2 eventually, I think we can all agree on that. The more interesting conversation is about priority: the game seems to have been in development for years outside of any Nintendo console consideration and their marketing is perfectly fine rolling without them. For a franchise so closely associated with Nintendo it is a notable choice but it wouldn't be the first time this happened. Sometimes it can simply be explained by producers wanting to push the franchise forward and having no Nintendo consoles at the time of that decision being a fit for that ambition. I would bet that's what happened there. Whether they should have even started scoping a Mana game without Nintendo in mind is a question worth asking but the choice has been made.

Still I don't see the Xbox audience being particularly receptive here. But in the absence of Nintendo, they're probably the only console owners willing to give them the red carpet for marketing. It's still good exposure despite the audience mismatch.
 
From my memory it was the higher budget games that were the problem for SE in 2022, obviously they don't feel this way otherwise they wouldn't be talking about getting rid of the lower budget games, put personally I'd rather they spilt up a bigger project and make 3-4 smaller ones, than get rid of smaller ones and dump more resources into a bigger project likely to fail.
I think it was said they're not completely cutting lower tier games but putting more out fewer games with improved quality. Some of these AA games budgets could have been gone to strengthen other AA games, particularly with their marketing, which was a point that SE mentioned
 
This discourse around Visions of Mana gives me flashback of Disgaea 5 Complete being the test for 3rd parties back in 2017.

It's a bit early for this I'd say, we are discussing potential support for a console that officially doesn't exist and cannot be mentioned by developers.
 
The game will release on Switch 2 eventually, I think we can all agree on that. The more interesting conversation is about priority: the game seems to have been in development for years outside of any Nintendo console consideration and their marketing is perfectly fine rolling without them. For a franchise so closely associated with Nintendo it is a notable choice but it wouldn't be the first time this happened. Sometimes it can simply be explained by producers wanting to push the franchise forward and having no Nintendo consoles at the time of that decision being a fit for that ambition. I would bet that's what happened there. Whether they should have even started scoping a Mana game without Nintendo in mind is a question worth asking but the choice has been made.

Still I don't see the Xbox audience being particularly receptive here. But in the absence of Nintendo, they're probably the only console owners willing to give them the red carpet for marketing. It's still good exposure despite the audience mismatch.
You're likely right about the bolded part. Both sentences. The original trilogy released on Nintendo platforms, but the series also had games on Playstation consoles as well. When Squire decided to bring the series back, they released the Final Fantasy Adventures and Secret of Mana remakes to Playstation consoles (the FFA remake to mobile and the SoM remake to PC), made the Collection of Mana compilation a Switch exclusive, revealed the Trials of Mana remake in a Nintendo Direct and released the game to all platforms bar the Xbox. Square Enix cultivated an audience for the series on Nintendo and Sony platforms (maybe PC as well, from what people have been saying), yet when the series gets it's first brand new mainline game in years, Microsoft gets marketing rights.

They must've gotten a fat bag for them to do this cause otherwise it doesn't make much sense. Good on Microsoft for trying their hardest to cultivate a Japanese gaming audience on their platform
 
You're likely right about the bolded part. Both sentences. The original trilogy released on Nintendo platforms, but the series also had games on Playstation consoles as well. When Squire decided to bring the series back, they released the Final Fantasy Adventures and Secret of Mana remakes to Playstation consoles (the FFA remake to mobile and the SoM remake to PC), made the Collection of Mana compilation a Switch exclusive, revealed the Trials of Mana remake in a Nintendo Direct and released the game to all platforms bar the Xbox. Square Enix cultivated an audience for the series on Nintendo and Sony platforms (maybe PC as well, from what people have been saying), yet when the series gets it's first brand new mainline game in years, Microsoft gets marketing rights.

They must've gotten a fat bag for them to do this cause otherwise it doesn't make much sense. Good on Microsoft for trying their hardest to cultivate a Japanese gaming audience on their platform
Marketing rights does not prevent the game from releasing on other platforms that are more viable, nor does it prevent the company from informing consumers of such releases. It's a low risk exchange on SE's part that I don't expect to materially affect Vision of Mana's sales performance.
 
Visions of Mana looks quite good, I think this game will do well. It's not directly related because development started much earlier, but I hope their new strategy of focusing on fewer titles of higher quality results in games that look like this. Hopefully they deliver.

Edit: Separately from that, I read the QA and was surprised that there was a comment there about what I've always perceived as SE's greatest weakness: marketing.

The second point where I see us lacking is in our marketing. Not only is content increasingly being sold digitally, but the range of devices capable of delivering content is also diversifying. I want us to establish stronger capabilities that enable us to market efficiently in that environment. Because our portfolio has included strong IPs like the Dragon Quest and FINAL FANTASY franchises, we have tended to focus our resource allocation on content development. Going forward, however, we need to strengthen our publishing function, which manages our marketing. I want to focus on putting the right capabilities in place in that domain, which will also involve some hiring. I plan to go into specifics on these two points in our forthcoming mediumterm business plan.
Great sign that this is a priority for the new CEO. Marketing is a vital function of any successful publisher, and SE has desperately needed to take ownership of that. Not that it can't have co-marketing deals going forward, but it shouldn't have a woeful and inadequate ability to market its own titles outside of what others do.

They might have just hired the right person for the CEO job. Hopefully they'll also do the same for the marketing hiring they plan to do.
 
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Visions of Mana looks quite good, I think this game will do well. It's not directly related because development started much earlier, but I hope their new strategy of focusing on fewer titles of higher quality results in games that look like this. Hopefully they deliver.

Edit: Separately from that, I read the QA and was surprised that there was a comment there about what I've always perceived as SE's greatest weakness: marketing.


Great sign that this is a priority for the new CEO. Marketing is a vital function of any successful publisher, and SE has desperately needed to take ownership of that. Not that it can't have co-marketing deals going forward, but it shouldn't have a woeful and inadequate ability to market its own titles outside of what others do.

They might have just hired the right person for the CEO job. Hopefully they'll also do the same for the marketing hiring they plan to do.
The part he leaves out is that this marketing solution will likely also involve re-assignment, demotion or firing, because theit current strat likely came down from the current marketing manager.
 
Was the Mana game anticipated as an Xbox game by a specific insider?
The only thing that comes to mind regarding Xbox and an insider for this game is that Nick from Xboxera was told like a few hours before the Direct that Visions of Mana would be there. (Apparently the same source told him FF16 will come to Xbox.)
 
The only thing that comes to mind regarding Xbox and an insider for this game is that Nick from Xboxera was told like a few hours before the Direct that Visions of Mana would be there. (Apparently the same source told him FF16 will come to Xbox.)
Well FFXVI has an exclusivity deal of 2 years iirc so it isn’t strange it comes to XB systems by 2nd half of 2025
 
Wasn’t that window (same for FFVIIR2) just for PC ports? Anyway, I still believe in 2025 more or less for a FFXVI XB Series (and very big maybe Switch 2) ports
it's never been specified. the tagline just says not available in other formats until the listed date. if there's console exclusivity or not hasn't been stated
 
It is also possible that Square Enix realized that their PS exclusive is a road to nowhere at this point.

I find it more fascinating that FF7R P2 is only 3 month exclusivity. Even less than FF16.
I'm hoping to see Xbox versions this year of both games. I thought we'd have seen an xbox version of FF7R1 but was surprised to have not

launch game for Drake? 👀
 
They will receive a big cheque from MS either Gamepass money or just for the port.

It was SE strategy all along, getting help from Sony (financial and technical) alongside MS money.

Hell, even Epic would go forward and throw another one for their Store exclusivity.
 
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