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Square Enix will "upgrade" old properties to triple-A games to boost portfolio

President Takashi Kiryu wants to re-energize Square Enix's HD Games division by bringing some properties from its back catalog into the spotlight.

Justin Carter, Contributing Editor

September 19, 2023

2 Min Read
Rico Rodriguez in key art for Avalanche Software's Just Cause 4.

In the Q&A of a recent financial results briefing, Square Enix's Takashi Kiryu outlined plans to boost the developer's profitability. The recently-minted president explained that his main goal will concern the company's "HD Games" division that encompasses the likes of big triple-A fare like Final Fantasy XVI

While recognizing the importance of creating wholly new properties, Kiryu expressed an interest in looking at Square Enix's back catalog and seeing what could be "upgraded" to the aforementioned triple-A status. Using this "nuanced approach," he hopes to also "establish greater depth to the layers of our portfolio."

Kiryu's planned strategy is far from new, and it can sometimes yield strong results for a publisher if done well. Look at Capcom as a recent example: its Resident Evil games (particularly the remakes) have sold consistently well. 

His aims are also not uncommon amongst other developers: Ubisoft is attempting to replicate this with Prince of Persia, as is Microsoft with Perfect Dark.

But for Square Enix, its triple-A output has struggled at times. Some titles like Final Fantasy VII Remake or Final Fantasy XV hit it off extremely well with audiences. Other times, Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy or Tomb Raider's reboot trilogy (from ex-subsidiaries Eidos Montreal and Crystal Dynamics) were labeled as disappointments.

This inconsistency has continued throughout the year. After Final Fantasy XVI was said to have a strong start with 3 million copies sold, Bloomberg recently claimed the PlayStation 5 exclusive was a sales disappointment. But during the Q&A, Kiryu said the game sold in line with expectations, though he didn't reveal any further information.

As far as when the fruits of this planned upgrade would be seen, and for what specific properties, Kiryu acknowledged it would "take a fair amount of time" before this would be reflected in final products.

About the Author(s)

Justin Carter

Contributing Editor, GameDeveloper.com

A Kansas City, MO native, Justin Carter has written for numerous sites including IGN, Polygon, and SyFy Wire. In addition to Game Developer, his writing can be found at io9 over on Gizmodo. Don't ask him about how much gum he's had, because the answer will be more than he's willing to admit.

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