Acknowledging the disappointing results from their fiscal year-end results ending Mar. 31 2013, Square Enix announced today future plans that would help them return to profit.
Senior executive managing director Yosuke Matsuda concluded in a financial results briefing titles such as Tomb Raider, Sleeping Dogs and Hitman: Absolution failed to meet sales targets, resulting in a “disappointing outcome”. Attributing these losses to a number of factors, Matsuda hopes to improve the state of Square Enix’s game sales by reworking their business models and exploring new, profitable opportunities.
“It is important how to change business models in light of rigidity from the perspective of pricing, and I believe the transformation to online titles and the diversification of profit opportunities is the key,” Matsuda says.
Matsuda then went on to pinpoint three initiatives that would help with their game business: the overhaul of a large-scale, long-term development; target smart devices as a game platform; and create a product portfolio generated towards consumers’ interests within respective regions.
With respects to tailoring games to fit consumers’ needs—and achieve the first initiative—Matsuda cites Kickstarter, Valve’s Steam Greenlight and Early Access as means of interaction. He also added said outlets encourage consumer feedback and more-directed marketing techniques.
“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,” Matsuda went on to say.
“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.”
As far as mobile game development is concerned, Matsuda says his company is considering the opportunity. The last two initiatives Matsuda pointed our earlier in the briefing focus on production of new games for smartphones and tablets, instead of refurbished, older titles.