Naoki Yoshida interview

Square Enix’s latest pearls of gaming wisdom to be cast before gaming swine are the pronouncements that there is “no business merit in developing HD games for Japan” and that it will in any case take a long time for an unenticing console like the PS4 to become “widely accepted.”

In comments which of course have nothing to do with Square Enix having staked its future on social games, FF14 producer and director Naoki Yoshida praised the PS4′s hardware but was sceptical of the need to actually develop any games for it – or for that matter the PS3:

Sales on the current HD game consoles aren’t even that good. Especially looking at the Japanese market, honestly there is no business merit to making HD games now.

Even considering E3, with current games looking as good as they do now to the average person, I think it will take some time for the change to the new hardware and for it to be widely accepted.

Square Enix’s legion of detractors were quick to leap on these comments:

“Because HD is now the baseline.”

“They do know this… don’t they?”

“In all the time they’ve not been making any proper new games they’ve been completely left behind, so no wonder.”

“They can’t even make social games properly now…”

“Square Enix throws money into empty games with beautiful graphics, they don’t sell, so it invests even more into better graphics, they still don’t sell: ‘there’s no point in making HD games!’”

“The west has been earnestly pursuing ever more realistic graphics for the past 30 years, but Japan never bothered with this so the graphics and business never really tie together.”

“They might just try getting rid of the Nomura stuff for once, nobody is that keen on him.”

“He’s not far wrong, there has not been any dramatic technological change in the last decade. If the PS4 has seriously realistic graphics I’ll buy it though.”

“There is no way they can match big overseas games with only a few hundred thousand copies sold in Japan.”

“Kojima is not having trouble making amazing games with great graphics. I think Square Enix just wants to make profitable social games though.”

“You can make money ripping off idiots with social games but it leads nowhere.”

“It’s not like Square Enix’s games are selling like hotcakes overseas either though.”

“The difference in development scale between Japanese and overseas games is sort of like the difference between the Manhattan Project and those weather balloon bombs we sent over…”

“What Square Enix really means is that they no longer have the technical ability to make HD games…”


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    Avatar of Fresh Start!
    Comment by Fresh Start!
    13:57 20/06/2013 # ! Quality (+0.9)

    "There's no point in wasting so much of our budget and effort when our company gets closer to going under each day."

    Is this what you wanted to say, Mr. Enix?

    Avatar of カンチ
    Comment by カンチ
    15:52 20/06/2013 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    They need to realize that they are never going to make CoD figures on every title and just make due with they can get.

    Avatar of Lost
    Comment by Lost
    20:38 20/06/2013 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    the only game that will make CoD figures is CoD..and game companies shot stop trying to do that and actualy try make games rather than generic shit pumping out to try and tack on to the CoD market that is now so full of shit its sad. the end result is they alredy have CoD why would they want to play a shity knock off of CoD?

    i wish development teams would just stop trying to copy sucsess of other games and carbon copy it in the hopes lightning will strike again

    Avatar of ChaosConsuming
    Comment by ChaosConsuming
    13:10 22/06/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    Have you played Terraria recently?

    Actually have you been looking at the Indie gaming scene in general?

    If not, you should, you will find loads of highly original games that are tons of fun to play.

    This is assuming you play most of your games on the PC that is.

    ....

    Fuck it, I'll say it...

    PC MASTER RACE FOREVER!!!

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:59 20/06/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    Oh I think they know that, given how the Japanese console market is shrinking, with each successive generation.

    In Japan the NDS sold more units than all three consoles combined. And Wii sales only counted for a tenth of all Wiis sold. That should tell you right there, the Japanese console market is dead.

    The only way a title will generate those kinds of sales figures, over there, is to start developing exclusively for 3DS/Vita/Mobile.

    Which sadly, for the hardcore crowd, is exactly what they're doing.

    As for why Japan's console market is dying, that is likely be an aftereffect of Japan's birth rate decline. Salarymen stuck on trains, inside capsule hotels, under their desks, at manga cafes, etc don't need consoles.

    In fact I would bet money on the two being related. Not that Japan would ever admit this.

    -

    Avatar of ChaosConsuming
    Comment by ChaosConsuming
    04:25 23/06/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    The way I figure it the largest problem the huge companies are having is that they are getting too big. The production costs for developing a game and the huge amount of spending they have to do on overhead for each project they work on is so ridiculously large that they stand to make a loss regardless of sales.

    When a company gets to this point they pretty much have to play it safe with every design choice, meaning anything added to the game that may make even a few people not buy the game will not added to the game.

    This of course results in an overall decline in the quality of the title as people begin to grow unsatisfied by the lack of new features and content.

    And even worse the company will begin removing parts of the game that were standard in the previous iteration of the game just so they can save money on production costs(AKA Final Fantasy 13).

    The only real solution to this issue is downsizing the company, which means firing employees and scrapping some of their Dev teams. However huge companies like Square Enix suffer from something that will not likely end up getting canned, A large board of directors all benefiting from MASSIVE salaries and lots of shareholders that expect to get payed for any kind of game sales.

    These issues could probably be solved just by firing some of the fat cats and making some smart business choices but I fear the Japanese companies largest issue (even larger then everything mentioned above) is that they are so prideful that they simply cannot believe that they are even capable of making any bad decisions regardless of what information is put in front of them.

    for a good example of this go look up the guy responsible for waging the pacific war against America in WW2 (I don't intent to offend anyone with this so I'm sorry about that ahead of time if I do)

    Sorry for the rant, I just had to make my point clear.

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:43 22/06/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    Oh I think they know that, given how the Japanese console market is shrinking, with each successive generation.

    In Japan the Dual Screen sold more units than all three consoles combined. And Wii sales only counted for a tenth of all Wii sold. That should tell you right there, the Japanese console market is dead.

    The only way a title will generate those kinds of sales figures, over there, is to start developing exclusively for 3DS Vita Mobile.

    Which sadly, for the hardcore crowd, is exactly what they're doing.

    As for why Japan's console market is dying, that is likely be an aftereffect of Japan's declining birth rate. Businessmen stuck on trains, inside capsule hotels, under their desks, at manga cafes, etc don't need consoles.

    In fact I would bet money on the two being related. Not that Japan would ever admit this.

    Comment by Anonymous
    20:51 20/06/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    Oh I think they know that, given how the Japanese console market is shrinking, with each successive generation.

    In Japan the NDS sold more units than all three consoles combined. And Wii sales only counted for a tenth of all Wiis sold. That should tell you right there, the Japanese console market is dead.

    The only way a title will generate those kinds of sales figures, over there, is to start developing exclusively for 3DS/Vita/Mobile.

    Which sadly, for the hardcore crowd, is exactly what they're doing.

    As for why Japan's console market is dying, that is likely be an aftereffect of Japan's birth rate decline. Salarymen stuck on trains, inside capsule hotels, under their desks, at manga cafes, etc don't need consoles.

    In fact I would bet money on the two being related. Not that Japan would ever admit this.

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:45 25/06/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    But the problem is that future handhelds WILL have HD graphics and they WILL have to make HD games.

    So, why not make an HD game that can be released without decreasing graphical candy for ALL consoles and handhelds?

    Seriously, I am playing Kingdom Hearts BBS at 1080p+ on my computer right now via PPSSPP.

    It works VERY well.

    Comment by Anonymous
    14:14 20/06/2013 # ! Good (+0.9)

    Or they could just learn the same lesson many AAA developers need to learn. You don't need a bloated 500 person development team or $100 million budget to make an incredible looking, great playing game.

    And maybe if you put your fucking heart into the project instead of going down a checklist of what should be in such-and-such title, you might get better reception.

    Comment by Anonymous
    20:19 20/06/2013 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    This man speaks something so blatantly true, it hurts to know that many big publishers are too stupid to realize.

    RE6, despite being below average POS, sold 5m and Capcom thought of it as failure. Tomb Raider sold 3m, and SE thought it failed too.

    Meanwhile Metro Last Light, Dark Souls and The Witcher 2 all sold sub 2m, and the guys funding these games are more than happy. What the fuck went wrong with the suits?

    Maybe some of them suits wasted money on 'meetings' at 6 star hotels, bought equipment for their company several times more than market price and had vendors split the share with them, or spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on marketing where it doesn't matter? God knows, but shipping 5m of a shitty game and still failing stinks of bad management and corruption.

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:31 21/06/2013 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    I'd be happy with another BOF, suikoden, grandia but these publishers are sitting on these tpg gold mines and trying to out do each other for the shortest most linear FPS.

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:57 21/06/2013 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Yeah, I'd be happy with another Suikoden, or even anything similar in concept.

    In short, a game with actual story and the potential for doing things not related to the main story which still make sense instead of just being random; with a combat system which might not be the best but is usable and comfortable enough; with graphics which don't hurt the eye and aesthetics, regardless of what the resolution actually is.

    SE appears to have forwent the "story" part and the "comfort of playing" part. Which is why no matter what they do on the "graphics" part, it won't work as well as they hope[d] it would.

    No, scratch what I wrote on the beginning. I would be happy (and am when such things are released) with a game that has a good enough story with comfortable enough game-play and visuals which aren't the worst thing ever (so pretty much any game that goes the "function over form" direction and still doesn't look hideous). But another Suikoden game would be appreciated too.

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:24 21/06/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    Yeah, they should fire all their employees and get chinese gold farmers instead....

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:42 21/06/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    You know that would actually mean that they make money at this point....

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:32 20/06/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    "Hundreds of thousands"? Typically an AAA game's marketing costs as much as the development, itself; tens of millions of dollars.

    Ofcourse seeing that Dark Souls and many of its ilk managed to sell millions of copies with a fraction of the marketing costs, it should be pretty clear that the marketing departments of major gaming companies simply don't know what they're doing, any more. TV spots, for example; how many gamers watch old school TV broadcasts, any more?

    Comment by Anonymous
    13:54 22/06/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    what is a TV Broadcast? Is that a youtube channel?

    Comment by Anonymous
    20:31 20/06/2013 # ! Good (+0.8)

    And maybe if they stopped wasting 1-2 years developing their own engines, when there are plenty of engines to license, they wouldn't need to sink 5 years into developing another FF title.

    Avatar of Tere
    Comment by Tere
    01:29 21/06/2013 # ! Good (+0.6)

    And if they absolutely must have an in-house engine, keep freaking using it for as many games as you can tweak it for.

    Oh, and offer licenses for the engine to other developers. Even if those games then compete against your own, you still make a little bit more than you normally would from that license.

    It's this continued short-sighted and ego-centric approach to games that will kill Square-Enix as anything except a social gaming company.

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:41 22/06/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    I'm against developing their own engine because the time to develop would greatly eat into the life cycle of that generation's consoles. Remember, we only got 7-8 years this time because the world's economy was in the crapper. Otherwise it would have lasted 5-6 years, which would have greatly shortened the market value of designing & licensing their own engine to other developers. This is why most engines are designed around PC and adapted to console, not the other way around.

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:43 21/06/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    SE long lost sight of whats important, gaming wise and business wise.

    Comment by Purple Mage
    01:01 21/06/2013 # ! Good (+0.4)

    Yah some of the better games out there are from small publishers.

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:14 22/06/2013 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    All they have to do is a FF7 HD remake and they'd make millions easily but they too dumb to realise it.

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:25 22/06/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    FF7 just needs its overhyped ass to die.

    Comment by Anonymous
    13:55 22/06/2013 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    but still it's better than all the post FF-X crap they made. So at least it could save them from bankruptcy

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:55 25/06/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    Wrong, Anonymous 2:21. The HD artwork is already out there, private people have made HD artwork for FF7 that people have already appropriated for making HD version of FF7 'grey area' legally.

    So, them whining about that HD remakes 'wouldn't save them' misses that the problem is NOT the games, it's the GAME DESIGN that people are getting tired of.

    Too linear = not worth buying if it is portrayed as an RPG. At best a game that is linear could be called an adventure RPG, not a real JRPG.

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:21 24/06/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    Save them it would, but for how long...? They made a, HD remake for X which, believe it or not, was for popular petition. Did it save them from their economical situation...? So, do you think it would be such a BIG difference with VII...?

    Like the first anon said, FF7 HD remake has more hype than actual potential.

    Comment by Anonymous
    15:54 21/06/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    what do square made games gain form hd, besides looking pretty?

    think of it, mechanically, FF sense 7 didn't need to be 3d, and i would argue with 7 that would have been better 2d, could have used higher res pixel art and made the graphics timeless.

    a FPS an adventure game, those benefit mechanically from being 3d, most of what square makes doesn't.

    hell i would say there is room for a 2d mmo.

    Comment by Anonymous
    17:53 22/06/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    Actually, I think being 3D was a big part of what made Final Fantasy 7 a success. At the time it came out, 3D console games were still relatively new, and 3D graphics and gameplay were the main selling points of the Playstation and N64. Being one of the best-looking 3D console games at the time brought in a lot of new players who would have never tried the game otherwise.

    If FF7 used only 2D-rendered graphics, it's unlikely it would have ever sold much outside the series existing fanbase. 3D graphics are what got the game a lot more attention than prior installments, and are arguably what brought the Final Fantasy Series to the status of being a major system-seller. The game may have been very good with a 2D engine, but without the cutting edge graphics to bring in those not already familiar with the genre, it wouldn't have done much to expand the series player-base.

    Avatar of Indra EMC
    Comment by Indra EMC
    14:57 20/06/2013 # ! Good (+0.7)

    well, there is no point to play games made by Square - Enix, since the last "GOOD GAMES" are made by "Squaresoft" (before they merge with enix and made a bad games)

    Comment by Anonymous
    17:37 20/06/2013 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    "the last "GOOD GAMES" are made by Squaresoft"
    The Enix side was doing just fine, mind you. It was the shitty Square side that killed itself with the movie that needed to be rescued.

    Dragon Quest alone was all Enix needed.

    Avatar of Indra EMC
    Comment by Indra EMC
    17:59 20/06/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    Like squaresoft, Enix alone also produce many good games, (Not only dragon quest, one of the best game from Enix that i ever play was ARC RAISER on SNES)

    But, since those "joint together" they made a many bad games include some of the worst final fantasy games ever made like "Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles" and "Final Fantasy XIV Online" (before "Realm Reborn" edition)

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:55 20/06/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    lol asspained nintenfag doesn't like that it tell the truth, which is that FFCC is pure shit.

    Avatar of Chen-04
    Comment by Chen-04
    18:38 20/06/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    FF:CC was a fun game, though. You only needed 3-4 players and each of them needed to own a GBA and you needed the cables to links those GBAs to the NGC.

    ...THEN it was somewhat fun.

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:25 20/06/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    Did you mean Act Raiser?

    Avatar of Indra EMC
    Comment by Indra EMC
    19:16 20/06/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    well i played by myself and it's boring, i will try multilayer someday.

    Comment by Anonymous

    FFCC was pure shit and a slap in the face of everyone who bought it.

    Comment by Anonymous

    As the producer of FF14 HE has no business making games!

    Comment by Anonymous
    18:32 20/06/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    Deus EX HR was good

    Avatar of WEL
    Comment by WEL
    18:50 20/06/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    because they bought Eidos.

    Comment by Anonymous
    20:27 20/06/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    TOP LEL

    That's like saying Tomb Raider was good and giving SquareEnix the credit.

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:41 20/06/2013 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    "It is still made by SquareEnix."

    TOP LEL

    This kid doesn't know the difference between a developer and a publisher.

    Comment by Anonymous
    20:51 20/06/2013 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Developer:Crystal Dynamics

    Publisher:Square Enix, Inc

    There is a difference. You can't say it's "made" by SquareEnix. It's made by Crystal Dynamics.

    Comment by Anonymous

    It is still made by SquareEnix. Can't deny the fact that it is still made from there.

    Comment by Anonymous
    18:45 20/06/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    Why quality rooftop is still +1 here, we need moar !

    Comment by Anonymous
    19:00 20/06/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    I want to agree, but god damn The World Ends With You was so good.

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:42 20/06/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    square enix had a few good hand held games but all console games we're absolute shit, except for Kingdom Hearts sorta... only shitty thing about kh is that it only took like 10 years or so for kh3 to come out, completely skiped over a whole console genertion (PS3)"Kingdom Hearts 3" will be released on ps4

    Avatar of WEL
    Comment by WEL
    14:26 20/06/2013 # ! Good (+0.7)

    it's sad to see the company I worshiped so much all through the 90's and early 2000's in this state. These guys from Square... I don't even know what to say... Who are they?

    At least we still have Kojima, Platinum Games and I hope Itagaki makes a comeback because I loved his games. Dead or Alive and Ninja Gaiden were an amazing franchise and reboot. For a long time Ninja Gaiden was unanimously considered the best hack & slash ever created.

    Comment by Anonymous
    15:55 20/06/2013 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    Said it before and I'll say it again. Squaresoft died the day it became Square-Enix.

    Comment by Anonymous
    16:15 20/06/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    I could not agree more

    Comment by Anonymous
    16:11 20/06/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    Didnt they die when they made that aweful movie? Then got all emo about it cause they realized that they werent the best CG people out there anymore

    Comment by Purple Mage
    01:03 21/06/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    That movie got them poisoned with the Hollywood mindset which is just wasteful.

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:53 21/06/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    00:25
    They went bankrupt at least TWICE since FF1. It didn't help. First when Spirits Within flopped, killing Square's Hawaii location and requiring Sony to bail them out. Then a couple years later, when they still failed to turn around the company. At which point they merged with rival Enix.

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:25 21/06/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    Actually they almost went bankrupt when the made the Final Fantasy. Some say that was the reason behind that name.

    So may be they need to go bankruptcy and arise from the ashes again.

    Comment by Tenno Seremel
    00:31 21/06/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    >>00:25
    >So may be they need to go bankruptcy and arise from the ashes again.

    Well, they seem eager to do at least part 1 :}

    Comment by Anonymous
    20:24 20/06/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    This, Spirits Within drove the company into debt and it's never been the same since.

    Comment by Anonymous
    16:09 20/06/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    Finally they know what they are lacking.
    But it's a little late, isn't it?

    Comment by Anonymous
    16:30 20/06/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    It is late, but it will take a super talented group of people to revive them.

    Comment by Anonymous
    20:08 20/06/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    Really? Enix seemed pretty good in the day. I'd say it is the morons in charge. As usual, the suits have no clue what they're doing.

    Comment by Anonymous
    19:04 20/06/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    When I was a child my older brother bought FF7, our first RPG and we loved it! We also anticipated FF8 together... starting with FF9 I continued playing the games, whereas my brother had lost all interest.

    I greatly enjoyed FF9, FF10 looked amazing when I fist saw it on the birthday party of a friend (the first time I saw a PS2 game!). I immediately wanted a PS2+FF10 for my upcoming birthday^^
    Then I also played FF1-6, some of the best titles!
    I skipped FF11 because I had no internet until 2006 lol and as I don't like online gaming...
    FF12 didn't really interest me much, though I bought it... I already didn't like it much after the first cutscene... and after playing for 1-2 weeks I had lost all interest (the first time with a FF game). Years later I restarted and somewhat enjoyed it...
    I had never heard of FF13 until the release in the West drew close. Of course I immediately preordered, knowing it had to be a great game (it's FF ffs)... and I got disappointed.
    All of the spinoffs, sequels and even FF14 and FF15... I don't even blink when they get announced, whereas I grinned like a madmen at new games.
    I don't believe it has to do with me growing up or developing other interests... I still love JRPGs, the "oldies" and even some newer JRPGs... but Square-Enix RPGs haven't been great from the start....

    Avatar of cuppatea@yahoo.co.jp
    19:24 20/06/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    It's not the same group. The old hands are gone and replaced by bean-counter accountants. The accountants know how to handle money but don't know what makes a good game and don't want to spend money making a good game - hence the focus on 'social' games, because they are cheap to make and are supposedly profitable.

    Comment by Anonymous
    20:26 20/06/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    That's what tends to happen to every company that goes into debt at one point in time. They never really do recover, cause the people hired to 'fix' them only care about dollar signs.

    Comment by Anonymous

    Platinum are terrible developers and their games are shit. Don't ever lump Kojima in the same category with them again.

    Comment by Anonymous
    19:55 20/06/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    And yet lots of people consider their games fun...

    Comment by Anonymous
    13:28 02/07/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    I can see that

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:57 21/06/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    Lots of people are stupid and have bad taste...

    Comment by Anonymous
    14:35 21/06/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    Well, there is not enough stupid people to keep the company running as we can see...






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