Square Enix have announced that they will be focusing more on premium mobile games due to their recent success with games such as Mobius Final Fantasy.
Square Enix today released its 2016 annual report to investors, which outlines three key initiatives it plans to pursue going forward, and one of those key initiatives is to focus more on premium mobile games. The publisher has been releasing premium games on smart devices for years; even going back to 2006, it spoke about the growth it saw in mobile games and expressed interest in pursuing them.
In the past few years, it’s released original games like Mobius Final Fantasy, Lara Croft Go, and Deus Ex Go, as well as ports of existing games like Adventures of Mana, Final Fantasy IX, and Final Fantasy XIII (in Japan). Mobile has been specifically called out as one of the reasons for a surge in profits in past earnings reports. It now looks like, because of the success of their mobile games, Square Enix will be focusing more on premium mobile games in the future. Yosuke Matsuda told investors that:
“Currently, the global market for smart device games is dominated by F2P (free to play) games, and the market for premium games that players pay to purchase is practically nonexistent. However, our group has for some time been offering premium games for smart devices, including brand-new titles. When viewed across the group, these offerings represent a considerable volume of earnings.”
Explaining why Square Enix would be focusing on premium rather than F2P mobile games, Matsuda said:
“Initial development costs for both F2P and premium games are roughly the same as or even higher than those for new games for dedicated handheld game machines. In other words, the level of investment required cannot be considered low risk. The risk involved in F2P games is even higher than for premium games because of the need to spend on ongoing operational and additional development efforts.”
Two other areas Square Enix intends to focus on are virtual reality/augmented reality, which Matsuda said it’s “extremely interested in,” and an expansion into emerging markets like China, the Middle East, and Latin America.