Final Fantasy XV and Kingdom Hearts III News Probably Coming at E3; Square Enix: “JRPG Fans Are All Over the World”

Square Enix President and CEO Yosuke Matsuda is looking at the future, and today he gave some interesting information in an interview on the Japanese website Nikkei Trendy.

Matsuda-san talked about upcoming titles for this year like Final Fantasy Agito and Seiken Densetsu: Rise of MANA, defining them a good start for 2014. He also mentioned the good progress of the beta of Nosgoth and confirmed that a new Tomb Raider is in the works.

As for domestic development, he said that there’s remarkable confidence in Final Fantasy XV and and Kingdom Hearts 3. And while he can’t talk details at the moment, he thinks SE will be able to share more in the future, like at E3.

Matsuda-san continued with a very interesting statement about the global appeal of JRPGs:

He mentioned that in the past console games developed trying to grab a global audience ended up losing their focus and not only ended up not having appeal towards a Japanese public, but they missed their worldwide target as well. 

On the other hand, there are games like Bravely Default with solid JRPG elements made for the Japanese market that sold well worldwide. Since the development was focused too much on regional differences Square Enix didn’t realize until recently that Japanese RPG fans are spread all over the world. When the latest information is released in Japan, fans everywhere in the world can receive it instantly (you’re welcome, Matsuda-san). No matter if you’re in North America, Europe or South America, there’s no information gap.

According to Matsuda-san, if all those customers are summed up, they are a good number, and it looks less like a niche market. He believes that for games developed in the future, having powerful and rich stories that are very JRPG-like can create good results if they’re focused properly on the right target.

Matsuda-san also admitted that Square Enix may have been too focused on globalizing its target, losing focus on who they were making games for. He brought Hitman Absolution as an example for 2013. The game was created with the idea of having a wider appeal and gain popularity with new users, however the best part of the Hitman games is that they are solid hardcore games, and many fans were frustrated when focus on that was lost, causing Absolution to struggle with Sales.

The new AAA Hitman curently in development will be the result of learning that lesson, starting by targeting core fans again. Matsuda-san thinks that by following that direction the Development studio will be able to recreate the quality of the original games.

It’s definitely interesting to see that Square Enix is realizing that JRPGs can have a broader appeal than just the Japanese market, and even more exciting to hear that more will come. The recognition that going for an audience wider than cpre fans isn’t always the best path is definitely the cherry on top of a delicious cake.

Bring them on, Matsuda-san. My body is always ready for more.

[Thanks for the tip: Eternal]

Join the Discussion

  • Jecht_Sin

    “having powerful and rich stories that are very JRPG-like can create good results if they’re focused properly on the right target”.

    And it took 10 or more years to understand this? Many FF fans say that FF went downhill with FF X-2, because it was too much westernized. FF X on the other hand had that lovely Japanese folk music, very appreciated by most fans.

    So, please, more “Suteki da ne” and less “1000 words”. As well as less Star Wars (FF XII) and more Jenova, Sin or Ultimecia. The Empire stroke already, and far too many times for what I am concerned.

    Not that I mind to see my dear Venezia in FF XV, though. But Venezia always had a strong link with Eastern Asia. ^_^

    • Giuseppe Nelva

      As wise men say, better late than never.

      • Thomas Cai Jinzhan

        i fear it may be too late though…lately, almost all large-scale JRPGs are for handhelds (particularly 3DS)….i guess we can only hope for Persona 5, our lord and savior, for JRPG salvation.

      • Jecht_Sin

        Sure!! I welcome this news with very open arms, don’t get me wrong. And please SE port Bravely Default to consoleS already!! 🙂

        • theodor70941

          I don’t think they’ll ever port Bravely Defaults to any current gen console (PS4 and X1), if they’re gonna port anything then it won’t happen before the next-gen consoles (X2 and PS5). Just look at their history and you’ll understand what I’m trying to say.

          • Jecht_Sin

            Huh? Technically FF X/X-2 have been ported to the following generation console (and handheld). Still I am pretty sure that a port would be a Wii U exclusive. I think that could sell quite a few consoles.

          • theodor70941

            Maybe… But I don’t think they’ll ever do that anytime soon, if you look at FF X/X-2 then they gave it the HD treatment 12 years after it’s initial release and the same whit all their remakes. What I meant whit look at their history was that they don’t make remakes of their games until many many years later… Whit the exception of Tomb Raider on PS4 and Xbone.

          • Jecht_Sin

            Ah, ok. In that way it makes sense. Still TR: DE and especially FF X/X-2 HD sold well. Who knows, SE may embrace more ports (and yes. I am pretty sure they are evaluating the FF VII Remaster as well. The numbers are there).

        • Boerewors

          There’s another important lesson to be learned while looking at Bravely Default: it doesn’t always have to take a truckload of money to develop a game with a triple A look and feel.

        • Nintendo Fan 4 Lif3

          Silicon Studio are the devs, not SE, so they’d have to come to an agreement for that to happen since SE are actually the publishers.

          • Jecht_Sin

            Which means indeed the decision for a port is up to SE, doesn’t it? Like with EA and Titanfall.

          • Nintendo Fan 4 Lif3

            Well yes but ultimately the platforms that the game goes to is up to Silicon so even though SE give the final word SIlicon has to be willing to make it for other platforms.

          • theodor70941

            Square Enix owns the IP for Bravely Defaults so they can do what the actual hell they want to whit it. Also Silicon doesn’t necessarily have to be in an agreement since Square could easily outsource the development of the ported version of it.

          • Nintendo Fan 4 Lif3

            yeah that’s my bad I guess since SE actually does it as a collaboration and not just Silicon developing it all by themselves. No they can’t just outsource because SE don’t own Silicon, so if they pick another dev to do that work, they’re gonna have to end the partnership with with them, unless they extend the deal so that they maintain ties with Silicon while giving another studio the means to work with it. Besides, SE isn’t really fond of outsourcing its games outside Japan that are made directly at their studios or in Japan, so I think unless another Japanese dev has the chops to deliver the quality that Silicon has done so far, Silicon will remain the sole dev that works with SE on the Bravely series, and ultimately Silicon also has a say in what they do next since they are one of the two main devs after all besides SE.

          • theodor70941

            Final Fantasy X/X-2 was outsourced to a Chinese developer…

          • Nintendo Fan 4 Lif3

            The “majority” of it actually was outsourced, SE still developed some of the game, reassembling the original assets, approvals and part of the redone HD data, while Virtuos did the rest. They are the exception to this though becauses Virtuos actually licenses services such as 3D art and animation to SE, making SE its client, so it was a perfect fit for Virtuos to be given this opportunity as the two companies are familiar with each other. In any other case though, under no circumstances would SE have ever outsourced it or any other game anywhere outside Japan, much less outside Asia as a whole. Had to look it up to clarify that so sorry that this reply took so long.

          • Andrew

            actually square enix is a large share holder of silicon, so it would have to be agreed on by both since they own part of their company

          • Nintendo Fan 4 Lif3

            yeah that’s what I was getting at.

    • Qwerty

      Exactly the reason why I (and the all other JRPG fans) like JRPGs and other different cultural media which is a shame why most developers and publishers do not understand and have the constant need to globalise the entire game including the localisations to appeal to the vast audience. The thing that is attracting me is that it’s “different” and with more emphasis placed on different elements which is unique to JRPGs than to it’s western genres. I mean the thing marketable and attractive to us is this right? Otherwise it be no different than just buying a random western RPG.

      One culprit is as per Square Enix in their developments of their games, but the other is in several other different localisations from east to west. One of the main issues I have is the way it’s presented and try and alter it tune to be more inline with western culture. Good example is Yakuza 3 which its’ infamous cuts of non-resonance with the west.

      My biggest issue is voice acting (for which Square Enix seems to be experimenting with – Lightning Returns Voice DLC and Drakengard 3 pre-order Voice DLC) which is just god-awful in most cases and generally alot of things is lost in translation. It’s like if I’m watching a Chinese triad movie I wouldn’t want a Chinese guy with a american accent do I? (and those emotions and expressions which the english voices actors fail at!!!)

      Same goes with the editing of the script; besides having a few things that aren’t interpretable from Japanese and English completely made up on the spot can alter a character entirely from its’ original vision to a more western taste; to name a view Yakuza 1 with the constant F-bombs and Isara which seems to have a complete different personality between western and eastern version.

      For these reasons that I learned Japanese and stayed away from it’s western counterparts and this where I been finding alot of things odd lol. But there seems to be a change considering most companies are including VO especially from the titan that is SE. Although last I saw is Atlus with their anti Japanese VO policy looking at their forums. From what I read a while back is because this is a game not a movie, so it difficult to convey in text boxes. Which is complete B$ by the way, which means to me that their editor is not doing a good job. I be fair in regards to persona series though that the voices are done quite good, alot things I find mentioned before above are present slightly. Although they can’t seem to decide whether to keep the culture or go western with the constant senpai’s, -sans, etc. Normal people who never understood Japanese culture would never know what this means. -facpalm-

    • Rogerrmark

      It´s not like FFX was a very traditional JRPG, either..can’t think how westernized FFXIII is.

    • Alcantara

      Why do people hate FFXII? Aside from the protagonist, everything from the story to gameplay was superb for me. The world, the bounty system, and the rare monsters, are awesome. Am I the only one who wants another FFXII? 🙁

  • theodor70941

    So first they say FFXV and KHIII fans will have to wait for more information on the titles and now they say E3… Let’s just hope it’s not rushed!

  • stealth20k

    Hmm have they learned? we will see

  • Dollow Rlance

    I am watching you Mr. Matsuda

  • coolasjustin

    o man im so dam excited!!!!!! and I’m really glad they know their mistakes and admit them its a good step to moving forward

  • PrinceHeir

    “Since the development was focused too much on regional differences Square Enix didn’t realize until recently that Japanese RPG fans are spread all over the world. When the latest information is released in Japan, fans everywhere in the world can receive it instantly (you’re welcome, Matsuda-san). No matter if you’re in North America, Europe or South America, there’s no information gap.”

    The hell did they took so long to realize?

    I also can’t wait for the next Deus Ex and Hitman games 🙂

    • coolasjustin

      it does suck they took so long to realise this, but hey at least they got there in the end

  • Nintendo Fan 4 Lif3

    Good to hear more about FFXV and KHIII will be coming. And glad to hear Hitman will be going back to its roots in the next game.

  • Dennis Djoenz

    About time GEEZ!

  • stealth20k

    Until they localize Dragon Quest, all talk from them means little

  • Negi Springfield

    Rise , Square Enix..

    Return back to making good-quality JRPG Games like you used to 🙂 !

  • Galen Nycroft

    JRPG fans are pretty global, and we deserve more credit for our diverse tastes and attitudes. We can handle different cultures and concepts unique to other regions. This is why so many outside of Japan clamor for things like Japanese Language Option, or to keep content relatively consistent in translation. We need MORE Japaneezy and not less.

    Tell this same message to Capcom, Konami, SEGA, etc…more Japan weirdness and less Call of Duty, 15 year old White American Realness!

    SE may also want to stop trying to go after the mythical ‘casual’ gamers and shooter fans…it won’t reach them, and should stop tying to inject ‘Western’ flavor into the games.

    • Ash_Riot

      Hear, hear!

    • Matt Berial

      This!! Exactly this!

  • Suzaku Kururugi

    “Square Enix didn’t realize until recently that Japanese RPG fans are spread all over the world.”

    This just about sums up SE. I guess they’re too stupid to pay attention to all of the FF and other rpg sales over the past umpteen years. Also, SE can continue to eat shit until they localize Type-0. Yeah I know there is a team working on it, but still.

  • ragnathebloodedge

    FFXV already has internet listings for people of the Enhlish voice cast. As for Kingdom Hearts III i look forward to seeing that and for Namco to possibly show Tales of Zestiria at E3. I hope for that.

  • Matt Berial

    WAIT! SE is finally learning? Holy crap! WHAT SORCERY IS THIS!? Finally!

    Now let’s hope their money is where their mouth is.

  • Budgiecat


  • Branden Thomas

    Don’t reject your fate Square Enix. You’ve got an audience waiting for you. Be confident and bring forth your best effort.

    • Mucksony

      Sqaure is back! FF14 ARR, FF HD remake, FF15, Tomb Raider DE. They are on a roll finally! Also Hitman & DuesEx was solid! Since you bought Eidos lets see a Legacy of Kain Blood Omen & Soul Reaver PS4 game please but most of all a Fear Effect game for PS4! Fear Effect 2 on PS1 is still one of the best & groundbreaking games ever made!

  • DemonFenton

    SE needs to learn from their past mistakes of “We’re going to grab a bigger audience like from the Dudebro shooters by releasing FF EVERY year.”. With that problem those games gets stagnated hard looks what’s happening with the slow decline of COD. Lately they been on a roll with a few JRPGs. Look at FFX HD Collection and it’s still in the top 10 Amazon games to buy. Let’s look at Bravely Default, sold well world wide and a sequel is coming. I am saying SE should not only embrace that there are JRPG fans all over the world, there are ones who loves playing em that’s not on a mobile phone. They should in fact go back to their roots, release those games on the handhelds, consoles and even the PC (FF 7 sold like hotcakes when it was released on the PC). They should even import some of those RPGs like DQ 7 Remake outside of Japan. They got fans they need to seriously tap into that. They do it’s good times for those fans again.

  • Joe Anderson

    I can’t wait to hear more on Final Fantasy 15 and Kingdom Hearts 3 both of these games are going to be so epic and amazing that im sure it will get game of the year and everyone will be playing them because its going to be that awesome