Yoichi Wada, the guy at Square Enix who gets to sit in the "Chairman of the Board" chair is in China for the "China Digital Entertainment Expo" (also known as "ChinaJoy"), China's biggest game show. Wada gave a speech about the Free to Play model of games at the pre-Expo developer/publisher conference, during which he acknowledged the importance of China for the future of the gaming market.
"We often talked of 'global strategy', but our definition of 'global' has been wrong — we were only looking at Japan, the US and Europe." Wada admitted when asked if Square Enix was looking to focus on the Asian market, GAME Watch reports. Wada noted in his speech that while Japan, the US, and Europe currently have the most buying power, market projections predict that by 2030, China, India and southeast Asia will overtake the West to make up over half the world's buying power.
Replying to a follow-up question on just how important Square Enix thought its China operations were, Wada replied, "China is an extremely important market and on a scale of A, B, C, I'd give it a rank of S*." Wada also noted the importance of forming partnerships and that entering the Chinese market "would be difficult [for Square Enix] to do alone."
Square Enix has been going through financial troubles, so a potential market of over 1.3 billion people probably would be an item of importance. Let's just hope ex-employees badmouthing the company doesn't poison the waters before the company has a chance to swim in them.
Wada also discussed the change in business models in recent years with the introduction of smartphones and social networking services, as well as the topics of localisation, game elements, and game mechanics.
*Japan often uses the rank of "S" for something that surpasses a rank of "A."
【ChinaJoy 2013】ゲームカンファレンス「CGBC」でスクエニ和田会長が基調講演 [GAME Watch]