Square Enix set the bar on console with classics such as Final Fantasy, Tomb Raider and Hitman.
Recent years, however, have seen the Japanese company fall below the standards it set itself (we’re looking at you Final Fantasy XIII) and now Square Enix is preparing for a dramatic gear change.
The company announced a huge 49 percent rise in profits, largely thanks to mobile games like Dragon Quest Monsters, Super Light, Schoolgirl Strikers and Final Fantasy Record Keeper.
As a result, it’s shifting its developmental focus from console games to mobile.
Change the focus
Square Enix is no stranger to smartphones, having helped release over 70 mobile games in North America alone since the original iPhone launched in 2007.
While those games have been performing well, the real factor driving the change is Square Enix’s belief that the console industry is turning into a dog-eat-dog arena where rivals crush each other out of the market.
“Smart devices such as smartphones and tablet PCs are spreading rapidly, while the console game markets in North America and Europe are increasingly competitive and oligopolistic,” it said in its report.
"In light of such environmental changes the Group is focusing all efforts on a substantial earnings improvement through driving reforms of business structure in order to establish new revenue base."
It’s an interesting move, considering that mobile is increasingly referred to as a competitive space with stasis at the top of the charts and overly crowded app stores.
A shrinking fish in the console pond, it seems like Square Enix’s real motivation is a desire to shift its weight to the mobile pool where it can make a bigger splash. Time will tell what the company has up its sleeve.