Since Square Enix has expressed its interest in the games as a service model, fans have become concerned as to what that means for the future of the many series under its belt. CEO Yosuke Matsuda has now gone on record to assure fans that single-player titles are not under fire, and that they are going to tread lightly around the recent controversy on loot boxes.
As Matsuda rightfully says, the problem is caused by the term ‘Games as a service’ which, in itself, “has a very wide meaning.” Traditionally, players have begun associating the buzz term with ongoing titles such as Overwatch, Destiny 2 and League of Legends that rely on multiplayer elements, incremental updates and in some cases the controversial inclusion of loot boxes to turn a profit.
“Recently people have been discussing loot boxes and people not using that [mechanic] properly, I think that’s all linked to this bad perception people have to the words ‘games as a service’,” explains Matsuda in an interview with Metro. “But really, the way we’re looking at it, what it boils down to is… that idea of keeping people engaged with our games and enjoying them for longer periods of time. That’s the way we really look at the problem.”
Instead, Square Enix will be going about it in a similar way to The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, CD Projekt Red’s title that can similarly fall into the category of a games as a service title thanks to its numerous updates keeping players engaged and post-game content generating revenue.
“The way we use that expression, really… the whole idea, for a single-player game particularly, is the idea that you have the game released and you keep adding more content to keep the players engaged and enjoying the game. And that helps to make it more of a full experience, and that brings in more players to the original game. That’s the rough approach we take to the idea, and that’s why we described games as a service in that sense.”
This is the same approach that Nintendo has announced it will be taking with its first-party titles, as it wants to add more to the core experience it provides for gamers. Considering Square Enix is responsible for some of the best single-player games around such as Final Fantasy, Kingdom Hearts, Platinum Games’ Nier: Automata and Eidos Montreal’s Deus Ex and Tomb Raider series, it would be surprising to see the studio opt for any other approach than one in favour of the story-driven experience.
KitGuru Says: If it is simply the addition to the main story similar to The Witcher 3, I can’t see many people complaining. In fact, significant additions are always fun to expand an already memorable playthrough. All the better that we will seemingly see less controversial loot boxes by the sounds of things too. Do you think this is good news for Square titles?