Square Enix is looking to make games with long-term support in mind
"Games as a Service"
There used to be a time when the idea of a sequel was a universally good thing. When developers and publishers spent larger amounts of time in between one entry and another, allowing the game they had just created room to breathe. Now, it's commonplace for sequels to be talked about even before the first game hits the market, and it can be a bit ridiculous at times.
Square Enix doesn't seem to agree that this is the way of the future for business in gaming, as president Yousuke Matsuda said in a new note to shareholders that because multiplayer games and their replayability factor have "taken the lead," that "Games as a Service" is the way of the future.
"Lately, multiplayer games have taken the lead, and it is standard for games to be designed for long-term play," he said. "The terms 'multiplayer' and 'Games as a Service' themselves have existed for some time, but they are now being used in reference to game designs that place a strong emphasis on longer-term user engagement."
Matsuda affirmed that Square Enix will "endeavor to develop games designed not to be played once after launch but that customers can enjoy more and play longer." In doing things this way, Matsuda believes that customer satisfaction will improve as well as the "lifetime value" of the game itself.
Square Enix has backed up this talk with its on-going support of Final Fantasy XV. The game has gotten multiple DLC packs with stories focusing on the other character of Noctis' party, and a multiplayer component on the way next month. Other developers, like Blizzard, have taken a similar approach to their games as well, with World of Warcraft, StarCraft II, Diablo III, and Overwatch being some of the best-supported games in the world.
It remains to be seen if Square Enix will look to add multiplayer to every game they create from now on (we've seen what this can do to the industry before) but if they can find an effective way to add long-term value to their products, not many people should be opposed to that idea.