Square Enix Doesn't Divide By East And West

For Square Enix, there is not East and West. It's all about hard and easy. Just ask Final Fantasy: The Crystal Bearers producer Akitoshi Kawazu.

"The presence of Japanese games is not as strong within the international market these days, and as a business that creates and sells games, the reception in the Western market is naturally a point of interest to us," Kawazu told Destructoid. "However, when developing a game we do not separate our target audience into categories like 'Japanese' or 'Western.'"

Instead, the producer explained, Square Enix focuses on preferences the players might have — "such as those who like higher difficulty levels, those who enjoy more of a collection element, those who look for more freedom in a game, those who like to have set objectives, and so forth."

And what is a big difference in preferences players have? "I do feel that one major difference in the Japanese and Western gamers' preferences lies in the art style." But Square Enix's art style largely appeals to Japanese gamers' preferences, no?

Square Enix: We don't separate East and West markets [Dtoid]


    My motto is “If it didn’t work for Germany it won’t work for Square”

    I haven’t bought any Square Enix games besides Final Fantasy in a long time, but I did buy Dirge of Cerberus. And that game was pretty bad, I think the problem with that is the fact that they tried to please both markets, the West by including the shooter type elements and the East with the whole look and feel of the game, what they ended up with was a game that couldn’t find its feet anywhere. I don’t think Square have any doubts as to the fact that they are a developer of games for Japanese gamers who’s games have gotten popular in the west.

    When people say that the presence of Japanese games is slowing down in the West what they really mean is that FF games aren’t selling as well (let’s face it FF games pretty much make up the whole JRPG presence in the west). But I actually think it’s not really a problem for 2 reasons

    * Other developers (namely Bioware) have given Western Audiences more choices (pardon the pun) when it comes to big budget RPG’s, this isn’t a problem with the Quality of Squares titles, just the fact that many FF fans in the west are migrating to other RPG’S (I know I certainly have)
    * Maybe the slowdown with FF is just a phase?, who knows if JRPG’S will be the huge thing again 2 years from now.

      I think you're underselling the track record of many other JRPG titles in the west - they've traditionally done quite well through previous generations of consoles, particularly among female gamers (hence the rather notable girl-power motif of FFX-2). Titles like Pokemon and Dragon Quest have also sold like hot cakes in western territories, and lesser stuff like Vagrant Story and Star Ocean certainly made a splash here too. The fact is that none of these other games are hitting here the way they used to, due in large part to the fact that western RPGs used to focus solely on PC (Baldur's Gate etc.), but have branched into consoles (Mass Effect, Fallout 3 etc.). I can certainly see why the makers of JRPGs want the west to feel included in their design processes, our money is as good to them as any other. It may not seem to be a problem for you, but I bet it is to them.

      And there are few JRPG fans who will try and tell you that FF is as good as it used to be. They were once years ahead of their time in terms of narrative structure, and this can't really be said any more (at least, up to FFXIII, I haven't heard enough either way on this one...).

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