Square Enix Boss Thinks New Games Need Multiple Sequels For Success

Square Enix Boss Thinks New Games Need Multiple Sequels for Success

Square Enix's top bossman explains his theory of 3s. Among the rather shocking announcements at this year's E3, Square Enix also announced a new project.

Tentatively titled Project Setsuna, the game is going to be an original RPG by the newly formed studio, Tokyo RPG Factory.

In an interview with Weekly Famitsu, Square Enix head honcho Yosuke Matsuda talked briefly about the studio and the new game.

Interestingly, the title "Setsuna" does not come from the Japanese word "Setsuna (刹那)" which means "instant" or "moment", which some might understandably assume it does due to the fact that despite currently only having preliminary concept art to show, the game is scheduled to come out next year. Rather, the title comes from the Japanese word "Setsunasa (切なさ)" which means "heartrending" or "sadly moving", something Matsuda says is a theme for the game.

Square Enix Boss Thinks New Games Need Multiple Sequels for Success

Matsuda noted that depending on the success of the new game, he hopes to be able to nurture it into a new big IP. Asked to clarify his thoughts on developing a hit franchise, Matsuda explained:

Cultivating a new IP is very important. This is my own personal view, but I believe that it is very difficult to immediately build up a big IP. Looking retrospectively at the gaming industry, many games take off or get their big break at their third title. There are cases where the opposite is true of course (Laugh).

But regardless, you need at least three games before you can tell whether an IP is going to be really successful or not. I call this my "Law of Third Titles (三作目の法則)" (Laugh). That's why for the first and second games, you experiment to a degree where you can still be flexible, and if the series has grown enough to be able to expect a big hit for the third game, you expand the scale. If the third title is successful then all is well.

If Matsuda is planning on putting his Law of Third Titles into practice with Project Setsuna, then perhaps we can expect at least two more sequels after the game is released next year.

Granted, at the moment, there's very little information on the game itself, but it's nice to know that Matsuda is willing to invest in a project and give it a chance to grow and evolve, even if it might have a rocky start.

Project Setsuna is currently scheduled for release on God knows what platform some time next year.


    I agree with this, a lot of the time we can see some good ideas or good substance in an original IP and just because it wasn't a big smash hit it doesn't get a look at for the sequel

    Sequels are great if you have a formula, but you have to be careful. It's a blades edge of being innovative and annoying the players you roped from the previous games. Look at Dragon Age vs Dragon Age 2.

    But when it comes to anything with meaningful story or great worlds to explore. More always gives a chance to flesh them out.

    Sequels can be amazing. Sequels can keep companies alive. But a sequel needs to be organic. It needs to have it's own vision before the first game starts. It needs to be something that you had planned out from the beginning. In most cases you can tell the difference between a sequel that was planned from the beginning and a sequel that was just put in because it makes money

    Absolutely! The Last of Us is a living example of that... /sarcasm off

    I am not sure what he considers “successful” of course, given his company’s expectations from Tomb Raider’s reboot. If your new IP is actually good, rather than created to justify your company’s existence it will do just fine on its own.

    That is not to say that I would not like to see The Last of Us 2, on contrary… I am hoping to see one that is also made well and with all due care and attention.

    Last edited 23/07/15 7:51 pm

    Or you could make one good game and then not destroy it by trying to milk it for all it's worth. In my observation, big IPs are organic, they're not something you try to force on people. Sure, sometimes you can make it work like Seiken Densetsu and get a good trilogy of games before it starts being run into the ground. Or sometimes you can just keep trying to make a lacklustre IP work until it falls in on itself like FFXIII. The funny thing is though, Final Fantasy XIII-3 would have made a great new IP if they didn't try and ham fist it into their rule of three.

    Vagrant story 2 and make me more Secret of Mana games

    Last edited 24/07/15 12:19 am

      Surely the Secret is out now.

        there's a vita Mana game that's being made (rise of mana), but any mana games after the snes were overly complicated and not fun. The made an ios port of Secret but they took away the multiplayer :(

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