SquareEnix Showing Losses from Bad Game Decisions

Original Story: Found Here

You know, I might be stuck in the glory days of the the 80s and 90s, but I truly believe the decline of tangible games has lead to massive losses across many game developers. Meaning, downloadable games (mobile, desktop, console) that have no physical equivalent and the rise of the “throw-away, online-only (or enhanced)” market (a la Gran Turismo 4, TitanFall, The Division) has contributed greatly to this problem as a whole. Any time you have to connect to a server to play the game you paid money for is not a good thing. Once the server is taken offline, the game is now useless and the consumer feels they wasted their money; which they did. 100% Truth! Thank goodness SquareEnix is not 100% there yet…

Examining the Issue

When developers (Square Enix, Bethesda, Nintendo, etc.) start releasing games with minimal art, minimal packaging, no game manuals (or PDF manuals), and that are not finished when released (a la Assassin’s Creed Unity) that require online patches to make them ‘ready,’ the consumer loses trust in the company. They are releasing inferior products just to make a deadline they think consumers want. Case-in-point, check out the collector’s edition sets available for FFXV and the infamous Borderlands Loot Chest. People are buying them up left and right. Why? Because there are tangible items that complement the game and make the game better. The developers took time to create awesome things that accompany the game experience. This builds brand unity and awareness at a level that advertising can’t do.

Investing too much money into development has contributed to this decline as well. A video game should not cost more to make than a movie. I’m looking at you Bungie and Square Enix. Your ‘next gen’ graphics rendering engine is not going to help you sell more games. It doesn’t matter how much you believe it to be true; it just isn’t.

Side note: Square Enix, props on the efforts for FFXV. You guys are doing a killer job with that. I have two copies on order right now. Collector’s edition (tangible stuff to increase brand awareness and customer loyalty) and a standard edition.

Learn from the Past

I shared a post yesterday regarding the release of old Nintendo Power issues starting from 1988. If you look at those issues, Nintendo put a lot of time into helping the players navigate through levels, answered gamers’ questions, and packed the issues full of concept art and stuff we normally wouldn’t see. It was cool and still is.

The best thing Nintendo ever did was create the Super Nintendo. The next best thing was shrink-wrapped SNES game boxes. Having a game sealed in a box is the greatest gaming experience. Inside the box was a physical game (cart), a developed manual, sometimes a wicked-cool map. This is stuff I remember loving as a kid and would be so willing to spend $70, 80, or even $100 on today.

I understand Square Enix is under the control of the current medium, but it shouldn’t dictate how they release the games. Stop the throw-away culture and create something tangible. Create something worth owning. Mobile gaming is fun sometimes, but those are not your real fans. The real fans are ones with controllers in their hands and still have boxed copies of FFIV, Secret of Mana, and Dragon Quest in their display cases.

Let’s Fix It

Here’s a quick tip to help ease your losses. Develop Chrono Trigger 2, get Akira Toriyama to create the characters, Nobuo Uematsu to do the music, create packaging that includes a printed game manual (in color), and include a fold out limited edition map. Put it in a shrink-wrapped box. Make it co-op and sprite-based (you heard me). Sell it for $80-100. Oh, and side-side note, disc-based games do not hold value. ‪#‎bringbackcarts‬ ‪#‎chronotrigger2‬‪#‎relapackaging‬ ‪#‎cartridgegamesarebetter‬

</rant>

Square Enix
Make this a sequel.