Square Enix reveals in a recent annual report that achieving success in Japan is no longer enough, and it will be shifting its focus to releasing titles that can perform well the world over. As the western gaming market continues to expand, Square Enix has recognized that it’s now necessary to cater to the entire world with its games, rather than primarily Japan.


As a Japanese company, Square Enix has primarily focused on its home demographic, with other markets being secondary. However, times have changed, and as the demographics of Japan change with it, Square Enix is seeing the need to consider how to succeed everywhere.

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In a financial report released by Square Enix, the company discussed its plans moving forward and how it intends to achieve them. In it, the report details how Japan has a “graying demographic,” referring to its aging populace, and that due in combination to that and high production costs, it’s necessary to produce games that will be popular all over the world, not just in Japan. Games take a lot of money to produce these days, and Square Enix notes that it’s no longer possible to feasibly recoup production costs, let alone turn a profit, if its games are only selling well in Japan.

The report also heavily emphasizes games that have sold well for the company across the globe, detailing 36 million units sold in the Kingdom Hearts series, 173 million for Final Fantasy, and notably 85 million for Dragon Quest, which has been a huge hit in Japan since its inception, but hasn’t performed as well as series like Final Fantasy outside of the country.

Now more than ever, access to new video games has become a global, simultaneous phenomenon. Companies that used to take months – if not years – to release a title outside of Japan are now releasing them simultaneously, like SEGA’s Like a Dragon series. This notably takes additional effort, as the developers not only have to think about the global market when designing the game, but translation and dubbing efforts have to be completed at the same time. More work than ever is going into games to get them ready for their release, and it’s unlikely the demand will subside, as gamers can access games the moment they release via download and streaming instead of having to wait for a physical copy.

How this will have an impact on the direction of Square Enix’s future projects remains to be seen. A large number of Square Enix’s biggest games have already seen major success outside of its home’s shores, so this focus may not have as much of a visible change on the way the developer operates as it would for other companies. In any case, western fans can expect more Square Enix games to be coming their way.

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Source: Square Enix

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