Square Enix: "one-console market is over"

Japan needs to "recognise" global audience.

Square Enix US boss John Yamamoto has declared the time of the platform exclusives is over.

"Not so long ago the PS2 dominated the market so if we developed an exclusive game for PS2 then we could enjoy a very good profit. But that time is already over," Yamamoto told GamesIndustry.biz.

"To maximise and spread our games to as many users as possible I think we have to go to multiformat - the Xbox 360, PS3 and also the PC as well.

"The Japanese market is very strong and back when we could concentrate on developing games for just one console, business was very good. But the one-console market is over," he said.

Yamamoto was speaking after Square Enix opened a Los Angeles studio to pursue global and particularly western goals.

The first project from the studio will be action-oriented, with XBLA, WiiWare and PSN all "viable platforms" for Yamamoto.

But the opening of the LA studio comes after a string of un-characteristic behaviour for the Japanese RPG specialist. Square Enix has signed as publisher of hardcore RTS Supreme Commander 2, and has also picked up acclaimed WiiWare title Lost Winds for Japan.

Yamamoto argued that global moves like these, as well as offering Final Fantasy XIII on Xbox 360 in Europe and North America, are tricks routinely missed by other Japanese companies.

"I wouldn't make a generalisation about all Japanese developers, clearly, some have had continual success worldwide. However, I do feel that there is a tendency for Japanese developers to focus too heavily on the domestic market," said Yamamoto.

"With increased competition from overseas developers, Japanese companies must recognise the need to appeal to a broader audience."

Yamamoto and Square Enix are also prepared to pick middleware solutions to speed up development, illustrated by role-playing game Last Remnant, which launches in Europe on Xbox 360 today.

Look out for our Last Remnant review soon.

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Robert Purchese

Robert Purchese

Senior Staff Writer  |  Clert

Bertie is senior staff writer and Eurogamer's Poland-and-dragons correspondent. He's part of the furniture here, a friendly chair, and reports on all kinds of things, the stranger the better.


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