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Square Enix's President Talks Game Industry Future

Square Enix and newly appointed Taito CEO Yoichi Wada has for some time been an outspoken voice c...
Square Enix and newly appointed Taito CEO Yoichi Wada has for some time been an outspoken voice concerning the video game industry's future, and in a recent interview with the online edition of Japanese newspaper Nikkei Business, the executive addressed his thoughts on the changing industry, as well as his concern at the lack of a single business model with regards to game content distribution. In the interview, which was partially translated by consumer website GameSpot, Wada commented that increasingly powerful hardware, as well as the ability to play games on a variety of platforms, has caused the game industry itself to divide into one of hardware, and another of game content. In addition, he noted that the industry as a whole suffers from “growing pains” as a result of this shift. “One no longer need rely on a certain game machine with a certain business model,” said Wada. “Game content itself is starting to get its own defined market. The supply side [has to ask], 'How should we make our product, how should we deliver it to the user, and for how much?'...This is a new state of affairs, which I think is confusing both to the users and the suppliers.” He also commented that as technology and available platforms increase, providers will have to continue to decide on how to distribute their content, a topic he focused on in June during a press conference in Japan. During that meeting, Wada brought up the topic online payment structures in the next-generation, including the possibility of offering games as a set of chapters. In such a scenario, Wada explained at that time that the first chapter would be made available for free, while players would need to pay in order to play each subsequent chapter. However, during this most recent interview, Wada conceded that “there is no one best method” currently in place for distributing content to users, stating that “...[I]n the future there will not be just one business model, and it's worrisome that no one is preparing for this.”

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