Square Enix president Yosuke Matsuda has detailed the company’s business model changes in a new interview, stating that the company must “reform with urgency.”
Speaking with Infoseek, Matsuda said with changes in the game industry moving at a rapid pace, in order to react at the same speed, ” it is urgent for development and sales to be unified as one.”
“The business model is at a turning-point,” said Matsuda. “Up until now, the profit of home-console games have been decided by price times the number [sold]. Development and sales were divided, and the game developers only needed to concentrate on their work. That’s where the strengths of our company laid within.
“At the very beginning, the game business started out with ‘how can we get people to insert coins’. Afterwards, consoles became popular, and our company grew as game design and billing [methods] were divided. Presently, online games are prosperous, which again, has the theme of ‘how can we charge the people,’ as developers and sales have become inseparable. And the devices they can be played on has spread vastly. It’s truly a paradigm shift.
“Past gaming generation changes took roughly three to five years. Nowadays, released titles are updated every day, and it only takes about three months for a situation to completely change. In order to react with such speed, it is urgent for development and sales to be unified as one.
“The former core was ‘standardization’ and now it has become ‘personality’. An especially important index is ‘asset-turnover ratio’. When making something, developers want to spend more time and money. However, that can be related to lowering the asset-turnover ratio, so the key point is to find a good balance.
“In fact, one of the factors of the final deficit is the delay from the development to release. Such time-lag means a decrease of contact frequency with the players. It is necessary for us to set up a system that allows us to meet the demands of our customers in a more timely manner. We can’t just have a year of leniency. We must reform with urgency.”
Matsuda said over the years he supported former president Yoichi Wada’s decisions but now that he is holding that position, he wants to make different decisions and “to continue taking [on] challenges from now on.”
“The DNA of providing high-quality content is in us,” he continued. “We will continue to honor this, while changing what needs to be changed. I am convinced we can make this drastic change into a chance of opportunity.”
Big thanks to Siliconera.