When developers work on games these days, they try to set up some kind of long-term plan in place, either with additional DLC to be added to the game, or something that allows for some sort of expansion. But that doesn’t stop some companies when it comes to talking about sequels right off the bat, instead of letting the first game stay in the spotlight.
Square Enix has made it clear that it doesn’t want to think this way, and is looking more into the long-term value of games as a service. Speaking to shareholders a little while back, Square Enix president Yousuke Matsuda explained that “Games as a Service” is the way to go for business, with replay value having “taken the lead” with many fans.
"Lately, multiplayer games have taken the lead, and it is standard for games to be designed for long-term play," he noted. "The terms 'multiplayer' and 'Games as a Service' themselves have existed for some time, but they are now being used in reference to game designs that place a strong emphasis on longer-term user engagement."
With that, Matsuda has noted that the company intends to "endeavor to develop games designed not to be played once after launch but that customers can enjoy more and play longer." As a result, he believes their “lifetime value” will go up.
Final Fantasy XV has proven to be a strong example of this, with a number of premium and free DLC packs providing extra replay value past the original adventure. So maybe other games could follow this model in the future, although specific titles weren’t mentioned.
But it appears that classics will continue to be on the company’s radar. Final Fantasy IX recently saw a re-release on the PlayStation 4, and the remake of Secret of Mana is set to drop early next year for PlayStation 4 and PS Vita, sure to hook players all over again.
So maybe this plan will come into play with the company’s bigger titles, like the yet-to-be-released Kingdom Hearts III and Final Fantasy VII Remake. We’ll see what the future holds for these games, whenever they do arrive.