"Games as a Service" is becoming a popular trend whether gamers like it or not, but although it often conjures up ideas of microtransactions, Square Enix's CEO says that's not always the only thing the term means.
While Square Enix is traditionally known for its single-player games, CEO Yosuke Matsuda has said in the past that offering Games as a Service with continued content was a growing trend and one that they'd look to when making games in the future. That comment did cause some concern with players who didn't want to see Square Enix go down a dark path, but Matsuda clarified his stance on Games as a Service in a recent EDGE magazine interview.
"I think a lot of the time, when people hear the phrase 'games as a service,' they always focus on the problem of microtransactions – they really close out the meaning to just being that," Matsuda told EDGE. "We look at it in a much broader sense. If you look at the idea of adding things to a game after release to keep it fresh and exciting, to keep people playing over a long time, and all the different ways you can do that, it comes to express a lot more. People are too focused on the problems."
Later in the interview, Matsuda also spoke about Square Enix's aversion to using Frostbite in all of its games, an engine that's responsible for helping run games like Mass Effect Andromeda, Battlefield 1, and other EA games.
"We have been thinking about it. The downside of that is that if we had one unified development platform, it would make it a lot harder to express the different characters, the different proclivities of our titles – we make a very broad range of games, and it might affect the variation we can get in there. I think a much better way of improving the efficiency of our development that is more fitting to the way we work is, rather than unifying everything on the same platform, to take all the different approaches the individual studios use and are very familiar with, and have them exchange information about the tools and methods they use. In that process of unification, consolidation there is obviously the trade-off in terms of individuality, and I would rather value that than the efficiency gains to be had from consolidation."