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This Week in Games - Games Are Our Business... And Business Is Restructuring


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b-dragon



Joined: 21 Apr 2021
Posts: 477
PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2024 12:19 pm Reply with quote
Man, of the two in the double kickstarter Penny Blood was far more interesting to me than Armed Fantasia (which I felt drifted a little more from the Wild West ideas that I loved in its predecessor series.) So I hope a publisher is found.

Atlus is gonna Atlus. I don't regret buying the original SMTV, nor do I deny being underwhelmed by its lacking narrative. I dunno. I found it worthwhile, and will probably buy it again because I'm that much of a dunderhead. I definitely wish there was an upgrade path instead...but Atlus.

I feel like Square-Enix pointedly doesn't want to acknowledge what seems the case to me- Investing all that money in their marquee releases and expecting consistent high returns is unsustainable. Certainly, exclusivity does not help that- and I'm not sad to see that go- but I feel like that isn't really the biggest issue. Unrealistic budgets and matching expectations are. Of course, I don't know all the numbers, so I just have a vaguely informed hypothesis.
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BadNewsBlues



Joined: 21 Sep 2014
Posts: 6088
PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2024 1:04 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
Square Enix can "shift from quality to quantity" and "deliver "fun" all over the world." Yeah, they put "fun" in quotations.


Can never have both of course. I also like that some people have taken this news particularly with regards to Rebirth to mean that the game’s issues was because it wasn’t a 1:1 remake…..just like Remake wasn’t. When there isn’t much to validate that claim.

I also like the idea of Square reconciling the fact that making these games exclusive to the PS5 probably was not the best strategy eventhough I’m pretty sure when the PS3 came out they came to this same conclusion at the time.

Quote:
Koei Tecmo has just released Samurai Warriors 4 on Steam. Gotta love those stealth releases.


Especially when it’s of an old old game incidentally the first of technically 4 versions of said game.
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varmintx



Joined: 31 Jul 2006
Posts: 1214
Location: Covington, KY
PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2024 1:25 pm Reply with quote
That Penny Blood bit is just sad. Remember when mid-budget games actually existed?
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Bertram



Joined: 29 Mar 2024
Posts: 25
PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2024 1:40 pm Reply with quote
BadNewsBlues wrote:
I also like the idea of Square reconciling the fact that making these games exclusive to the PS5 probably was not the best strategy eventhough I’m pretty sure when the PS3 came out they came to this same conclusion at the time.


I never bothered getting a PS5 because of the shift in Sony's priorities and practices so it's certainly a factor in why I haven't bothered with FF16 or FF7 Rebirth yet. I did pick up Remake when it came to Steam eventually but honestly I have no real desire to play either of the two because Remake did not impress me and I prefer traditional RPGS over action games and that seems to be Square-Enix's forte now I was much more excited and satisfied with Star Ocean: The Second Story R's release which was also multi-platform from the get-go so that's also a bonus. Unless you're Nintendo exclusives just seem like a bad thing these days.

varmintx wrote:
That Penny Blood bit is just sad. Remember when mid-budget games actually existed?


They still do. I think it's more that Shadow Hearts was never particularly all that popular so companies have no reason to jump on a spiritual sequel especially with the hit or miss nature of them. Remember when Mighty No 9 was supposed to be the next big thing with a TV show and tons of other stuff because Mega Man was such an iconic series? Lol.
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FireChick
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Joined: 26 Mar 2006
Posts: 2427
Location: United States
PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2024 3:34 pm Reply with quote
I wish this bit of news had made it, but whatever: Key's original Kanon visual novel is FINALLY getting an English release on Steam in the future, the first time the VN has ever gotten any kind of official English release at all!
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FinalVentCard
ANN Reviewer


Joined: 28 Oct 2018
Posts: 539
PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2024 4:09 pm Reply with quote
FireChick wrote:
I wish this bit of news had made it, but whatever: Key's original Kanon visual novel is FINALLY getting an English release on Steam in the future, the first time the VN has ever gotten any kind of official English release at all!


Yeah, this one came in too late after the deadline. But we'll be sure to write about it next column!
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Dark Mac



Joined: 17 May 2008
Posts: 319
PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2024 4:40 pm Reply with quote
b-dragon wrote:


I feel like Square-Enix pointedly doesn't want to acknowledge what seems the case to me- Investing all that money in their marquee releases and expecting consistent high returns is unsustainable. Certainly, exclusivity does not help that- and I'm not sad to see that go- but I feel like that isn't really the biggest issue. Unrealistic budgets and matching expectations are. Of course, I don't know all the numbers, so I just have a vaguely informed hypothesis.


Their low budget games lose money too.
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TsarPlatinum



Joined: 07 Oct 2023
Posts: 29
PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2024 11:41 pm Reply with quote
Dark Mac wrote:
Their low budget games lose money too.


I'd be curious to know which ones. I hope Trials of Mana did well since that was probably favorite new game Squeenix did in years.

Been replaying FFV with the Pixel Remaster since the update fixed the font and lets you do neat things like turn off EXP to do a true low-level run and it's been so much fun and I wish we'd get a classic Final Fantasy game like it again and less stuff like Stranger of Paradise. I hope that game did poorly.
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BadNewsBlues



Joined: 21 Sep 2014
Posts: 6088
PostPosted: Sat May 18, 2024 1:42 am Reply with quote
TsarPlatinum wrote:
Been replaying FFV with the Pixel Remaster since the update fixed the font and lets you do neat things like turn off EXP to do a true low-level run and it's been so much fun and I wish we'd get a classic Final Fantasy game like it again and less stuff like Stranger of Paradise. I hope that game did poorly.


Hoping a game does poorly seems kinda ironic in light of the the issues that tend to happen following games selling poorly.
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flamemasterelan



Joined: 17 Apr 2022
Posts: 472
PostPosted: Sat May 18, 2024 8:34 am Reply with quote
TsarPlatinum wrote:
I'd be curious to know which ones. I hope Trials of Mana did well since that was probably favorite new game Squeenix did in years.

Trials of Mana wasn't a new game, it was a very faithful remake of a Super Famicom game. That said, it seems to have been successful enough, since the next Mana game (Visions) is coming this summer and looks a lot like Trials of Mana, at least in terms of aesthetic.
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Trollhiti Tour Guide



Joined: 29 Feb 2024
Posts: 13
PostPosted: Sat May 18, 2024 11:52 pm Reply with quote
I don't play a whole lot of modern games these days but Visions of Mana does look nice. As far as wishing games you don't like to fail it might be harsh but I suppose the point is people want more stuff that they like to be made and if the stuff they don't like fails then it means they're more likely to get what they want. I miss back in the day when a game could be designed with the intent of selling 100,000 copies to a hyper specific nerd fanbase and it would be considered a massive success for selling those 100,000 copies. Nowadays games are designed to appeal to the widest group of people on Earth and are considered a flop if they couldn't convince 20,000,000 people to buy it.

Though in cases like Final Fantasy the older games actually sold more than the current ones do so that's probably even worse for Square-Enix. The audience for video games is bigger than it's ever been so what does it say when twice as many people bought the original Final Fantasy 7 back in 1997 than the remake in 2020. I suppose a lot of people weren't interested in the remake and not a lot of new people showed up to cover for those missing people..
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FinalVentCard
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Joined: 28 Oct 2018
Posts: 539
PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2024 12:39 am Reply with quote
Trollhiti Tour Guide wrote:
I suppose a lot of people weren't interested in the remake and not a lot of new people showed up to cover for those missing people..


It's the middle part of a trilogy; attrition was always going to be a factor. By all accounts, what they did with Rebirth was phenomenal, it's an amazing game. But not everyone has a PS5, not everyone with a PS5 bought FFVII Remake, and Rebirth is still exclusive to the PS5 for a while before Square Enix is allowed to port it to Steam because of their timed exclusivity deal with Square Enix. It was always going to have an uphill battle.

Again, some suit thought the line could just go up forever.
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b-dragon



Joined: 21 Apr 2021
Posts: 477
PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2024 6:57 am Reply with quote
I'm going to be direct- "I hope x game does poorly", purely because you don't like it (no business model hijinks or major performance mishaps,) is not harsh. Its poor taste, foolish, and incredibly self absorbed. I played Stranger of Paradise. Bounced off it- Its not for me. But you know what? I'm glad it exists. It has fans, and I'm happy for them. That I don't care for Nioh and its relatives should be a me problem- particularly since the game seemed otherwise reasonably well done. I also don't like most "niche" games- that goes with the territory of a game being "niche". But I'm happy for the weird and interesting to exist, even if I don't connect with it personally. And I love these titles for the people that do enjoy them. Stranger of Paradise had the gall to be weird and different than what an old hoary brand was expected to be. I applaud that. Gaming really doesn't need help stagnating because we old gamers can't get our heads out of our rose-tinted nostalgia.

I am curious as well as to which lower investment games "undersold" for Squenix. There was a period in 22, iirc, where they rapid-fired a bunch of mid-budget games- Valkyrie Elysium, Various Daylife, and Diofeld Chronicles all came out the same month, with Star Ocean: The Divine Force the following month, all with seemingly little support. I remember being glad to see all the releases, but feeling that they were explicitly sent out to die, regardless of quality. If those are the games we're referring to...well, the idea that they're mid budget games don't perform seems a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy.
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BadNewsBlues



Joined: 21 Sep 2014
Posts: 6088
PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2024 10:01 am Reply with quote
Trollhiti Tour Guide wrote:
Though in cases like Final Fantasy the older games actually sold more than the current ones do so that's probably even worse for Square-Enix.


Not really since they’re making money. Having said that though these rereleases of their old games depending on who you also tend to be somewhat inferior to their original versions.

Trollhiti Tour Guide wrote:
The audience for video games is bigger than it's ever been so what does it say when twice as many people bought the original Final Fantasy 7 back in 1997 than the remake in 2020.


Think there’s a couple of things to consider the original FFVII as of today has been released on a number of different platforms despite originally being exclusive to one platform. So it’s obviously had the benefit of a lot of people buying/rebuying the game over the last 26 years.

The other thing is the original release was sold as one complete game whereas the remakes I guess was made to be like the original 3 disc release (though this idea was still a bit dumb) to be released over a period of time.

As for what SQ mid budget titles undersold the only ones that I can think of is everything released by Tokyo RPG Factory which later got shut down.
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TokimekiCrisis



Joined: 01 Nov 2022
Posts: 44
PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2024 6:32 pm Reply with quote
b-dragon wrote:
I am curious as well as to which lower investment games "undersold" for Squenix. There was a period in 22, iirc, where they rapid-fired a bunch of mid-budget games- Valkyrie Elysium, Various Daylife, and Diofeld Chronicles all came out the same month, with Star Ocean: The Divine Force the following month, all with seemingly little support. I remember being glad to see all the releases, but feeling that they were explicitly sent out to die, regardless of quality. If those are the games we're referring to...well, the idea that they're mid budget games don't perform seems a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy.


My main issue with a ot of those lower investment games was they did not feel fully fleshed out. Triangle Strategy had the potential to be amazing but it was just disappointing how all the character's side stories were just little cutscenes you had to select in a menu and weren't integrated into the actual main story. And since you could watch them at any time they couldn't rely on characters who might not be around and disappear from the main story for awhile so that limited them to the same 5 or so cast of characters. It was no Final Fantasy Tactics or Tactics Ogre to say the least. I enjoyed it overall but man the game could have been so much more. And for all the praise Ocotopath Traveller got I just didn't like the way none of the party members really interacted with each other and how separate all the stories felt from one another. And I was disappointed the sequel apparently didn't change that much (haven't played it or Diofield Chronicle yet)
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