no more non-mainstream games allowed
So you enjoyed The World Ends With You? Too bad. You won't be seeing anything remotely like it from Square-Enix anytime soon, according to company president Yoichi Wada, who recently issued an ultimatum to his staff: if any games are made that don't fit into the mainstream's circle of interest, job cuts will follow. So long, unique concepts that break the mold!
This was supposedly part of a heated business meeting in which Square discussed the results of their 2007 fiscal year, which were none too sunny, showing general profits down 20 percent and taking the worst of it in overseas sales.
Business is business, but I have to say my heart sank when I read those words. If Square was doing anything I was excited to see, it was things outside the Final Fantasy spectrum, but financial troubles like this certainly excise any hope of experimental titles in the future (at least until the numbers improve). I'm glad to see the giant falter a bit, if only in hopes that the results will push them towards a more focused future.
...and so begins the low-risk future of the gaming industry. Prepare to see more cookie-cut games playing off the same tried-and-true formulas. Companies either can't afford to or won't chance many ideas that may flop.
Sad days...but I've expected it since before this generation started, where devs complained about the high cost of developing for this generation of consoles. The number of engineers and artists necessary make mean high costs...which mean less room for creativity (who can afford it?).