"It’s important for [the mobile] market to have quality premium games as well. If those kinds of games were a viable option, it would draw more developers to give that market a second look."
- Square Enix CEO Yosuke Matsuda, speaking to GamesBeat at E3 last week.
E3 2016 is over, which means the game industry at large can look forward to a week or two of media outlets publishing longer interviews with interesting industry figures conducted during the show.
GamesBeat published one such interview today with Yosuka Matsuda, CEO of Square Enix, that includes some notable insights into how he intends to guide the company towards a deeper focus on premium (i.e. not free-to-play) mobile game production.
"When you think about the handheld game market, the installed base for smartphones is just massive," Matsuda told GamesBeat. "We see those devices making up a very important market. I don’t think it would be good for that market to consist entirely of free-to-play games."
The various arms of Square Enix have demonstrated a penchant for putting price tags on mobile games, though that encompasses everything from $5 for Square Enix Montreal's Lara Croft GO (pictured) to $21 for a mobile version of Final Fantasy IX.
Matsuda makes the case to GamesBeat that fielding mobile games at a variety of price points helps smartphone and tablet owners grow accustomed to paying for games, making premium mobile game development become a more viable route for more game developers.
"Free-to-play games are very important to our business, but at the same time we need to enhance our initiatives in regard to premium apps," said Matsuda. "As one example, our Japanese development teams excel at turn-based RPGs. We want to release a lot of new titles in that genre. We want to price them strongly as well. We don’t want to offer them at discount prices. We want to produce content that warrants a premium price."
For more of Matsuda's comments, including an admission that "pursuing a platform business may have been a step too far" that led to the closure of Square Enix subsidiary Shinra Technologies, check out the full interview over on GamesBeat.