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Square Enix Needs To Focus More on Marketing Than Games

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Square Enix Needs To Focus More on Marketing Than Games
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Japanese video gaming company Square Enix is likely to publish fewer games in the future. The organization has been busy with blockchain and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) alongside traditional gaming. The news comes as their president Takashi Kiryu, who replaced Yosuke Matsude in March 2023, confirmed this in an investors’ call which went public this week.

More Money For Promoting Games

Video game website and blog Kotaku reports that unlike blockchain stan Yosuke Matsude, Takashi Kiryu is focused on artificial intelligence (AI). It was recently revealed that Square Enix’s 4v4 shooter game Foamstars, which the users have compared to a third person shooter Splatoon, used AI generated art.

Kiryu told investors that the company is lagging in terms of marketing. He says, “not only is content increasingly being sold digitally, but the range of devices capable of delivering content is also diversifying.” He adds that, “Because our portfolio has included strong IPs like the Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy franchises, we have tended to focus our resource allocation on content development…we need to strengthen our publishing function, which manages our marketing.”

Kotaku interprets this and writes that “we need to spend less money on making games, and more money on promoting games.” Kiryu might be planning to make more games apart from the organization’s signature franchises like Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest.

Square Enix’s financial performance dipped by six percent for the year ending in March 2023. It sold 22.44 Million copies of their games globally, digital included 15.18 Million, while 6.59 Million were packaged units according to gaming website information website Game Developer (formerly Gamasutra).

Moreover, the company plans to focus on “carefully selected” titles that are more likely to appeal to a global audience. It also plans to develop in-house resources as they stick to AAA releases and hunt for talents for their HD and mobile games, and “future cross-platform offerings.”

Blockchain integration has never appealed to traditional gamers as far as the Web3 market has evolved. One of the common arguments among them is that NFTs are not fun. Though play-to-earn (P2E) games like The Sandbox (SAND) and Axie Infinity (AXS) bloomed during 2020 and 2021, they haven’t grown beyond niche audiences.

Final Fantasy publishers, on one hand, are planning to go hard on quantity and focusing more on marketing, and on the other, are still holding positions in blockchain gaming which gamers don’t like. Although it is unlikely that Kiryu is going to focus on blockchain, if that happens, it may not go well given the several community backlashes gaming companies have received.

As of now, Web3 is still a nascent sector and some reports also indicate that a majority of games in this market has gone stagnant either due to lack of development or simply due to lack of user attention.

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