Speaking in an interview with Japanese newspaper website Yomiuri Online, as translated by consumer game site GameSpot, Square Enix president Yoichi Wada has revealed plans for the company to diversify away from its current focus on console games.
After success with Final Fantasy XI
, Wada sees online as one of the major new opportunities for the company, alongside mobile phone content. Commenting on statistics suggesting that the Japanese games market was decreasing, Wada pointed out that this was only in relation to console titles and that when combined with online and mobile phones the figure was actually rising.
"The rise of the Internet has broken the fundamental principle of the past twenty years, where games were supposed to be played with consoles. Up until now, game machine makers such as Nintendo and Sony Computer Entertainment controlled everything including software development, manufacture and distribution. But now, consumers can enjoy games by connecting online with a computer or a mobile phone," said Wada, indicating that a willingness to adapt to the online market was vital for any game company to survive.
Wada cited the company’s recent purchase of Taito as one of its initial responses to strengthening its presence in the online and mobile phone sectors, and also commented: "Running a business that depends on the software sales through retailers has become a thing of the past." He noted much greater profits for home console games, but suggested that the lack of distribution costs and advantage of recurring subscription revenues for mobile titles are a significant positive factor for Square Enix, going forward.