In recent times, Square Enix has latched onto the social game craze – a move that many fans have come to disagree with.
2012 saw the company release a wide variety of social games under the banner of established IPs – many of them free to play and on browser or smartphone platforms. Square Enix took to promoting these releases through vague countdowns and eventually a weekly blog on Famitsu’s App corner featuring mobile division producer Takehiro Ando.
Ando has already worked on a variety of Square Enix mobile projects, including the revised Final Fantasy Tactics for both iOS and Android. Through his Famitsu blog, he would often announce new details for titles like Drakerider or Crystal Defenders.
“Goodbye Social Games” is the title of Ando’s latest entry, and in it he discusses a variety of things including Square’s first social game and how nearly all social games seem to ape the same reskinned concepts such as card collecting and gashapon games. He admits that SE is quite guilty of this as well, dragging down their own franchises such as Final Fantasy and World of Mana for the sake of catching a quick profit. While these titles have drawn in people who might not normally engage in video games, Ando notes that the hardcore gamers – the ones used to console and dedicated handhelds – are being left out in the cold. As a result, there is a plan to shy away from social games and focus more on higher quality games that long-time gamers can enjoy.
The move away from social games will signal an important transition for 2013: Square Enix is planning to release internally developed “epic and famous” consumer games, one after another.