These past few years, many Square fans have voiced discontent with Square Enix’s tendency to focus more on developing social media-oriented games instead of their AAA titles. But as everybody expects, the reason behind the Final Fantasy developer’s sudden shift towards mobile and social games is one that is hardly uncommon these days: profitability.
Bear in mind that Square Enix’s main market has always been Japan, and two big factors play into their focus towards social games, namely the high costs of developing an AAA title, and the fact that almost everybody in Japan – particularly their target demographic – is glued to a cell phone most of the time.
As Square Enix head Yoichi Wada succintly puts it:
“In HD games, we usually have a mixture of profitable and unprofitable titles, generating profit as a whole. As for our Social Gaming & Others [division], we only have very few titles that are unprofitable.”