Square Enix is moving forward by placing the future of its business in the hands of premium mobile games, reveals the company’s annual report to investors.
The news is hardly surprising seeing how the publisher has been active in the past years by providing quality original games on the mobile platform. Most recently, it released Mobius Final Fantasy, Lara Croft Go, and Deus Ex Go, all of which received a positive response from the user-base.
In addition to that, Square Enix has also kept itself busy by porting existing games like Adventures of Mana, Final Fantasy IX, and Final Fantasy XIII. They may not seem like much but when combined with original releases, have contributed towards significant profits for the company.
“The smartphone-native generation already sees smart devices as all-in-one game consoles,” reads the 2016 investors report. In contrast to the public’s opinion that the company had merely been investing in the mobile games market for a temporary boost, Square Enix believes that there’s even more to achieve from the portable market.
The report continues to mention that the global market for smart device games is currently dominated by free-to-play games. It’s rare to see premium games wearing the crown in charts. It’s an untapped market that Square Enix is confident can get a fair share of.
President Yosuke Matsuda told investors that the initial investment required for both free-to-play and premium games is pretty much the same. Hence, it cannot be said that venturing into premium comes with high-risk. In fact, investment in free-to-play games carries more risk as the studio is forced to continue spending to keep the game up-to-date.
That being said, even premium games require an upkeep. Despite this, Matsuda said that “smart devices still provide a better platform for playing greatly loved games for many years than dedicated game consoles do because of the latter’s issues with backward compatibility.”
Square Enix is especially interested in releasing simulation-based RPGs on smart devices, as well as focus on virtual reality/augmented reality for emerging markets like China, Middle East, and Latin America.