Thanks to an impromptu note from Phil Rogers, CEO for Square Enix in the Americas and Europe, we know that they are “well into development on a next generation Tomb Raider sequel,” which will have a comic lead-in. As for other next-gen titles, he brought up Final Fantasy XV and Kingdom Hearts III, but failed to mention a release date, while at the same time adding that Thief is coming in 2014.
We can expect to hear more about a full release plan from Square Enix soon, which will include next-gen blockbusters (Tomb Raider sequel, Kingdom Hearts III, etc), tablet and mobile games, and online PC games, with the focus “on raising the quality bar. We feel that is what gamers should expect from a Square Enix game.”
Discussing the business side of the company, Phil explained what’s going on right now:
First and foremost, we are a games company and today we devote most of our time and effort into developing new and rich gameplay experiences, worlds and characters. At the same time new business models have risen up, which we periodically will try to explore. I know this can be frustrating for some long-time fans of our games, particularly if it seems that we’re heading in unfamiliar directions without much in the way of explanation. Explaining our approach to these opportunities is something we’re working to improve on. That said, we need to experiment and adapt or it’s likely we won’t always be in a position to keep investing in the ways we need, to build-out our games and offer excellence to you, our gamers.
I can categorically say that we’re not abandoning core, triple-A console and PC games. We’re working hard at improving how we develop our games and how we release them, and I want to explain that in a little more detail.
We’ve recently re-orientated our studio leadership to focus production expertise at the top, to allow us to ship the best quality games possible, faster and with better cost control. We’ve taken away administrative duties from studio heads, so they get closer to the games, gameplay and gamers with fewer distractions. We’ve made these changes to all of our studios in the Americas and Europe and we believe this will improve not only the quality of our games, but also improve the time between releases.