Talking to Gamasutra, Square Enix CEO Yoichi Wada has been discussing the problems of making universally popular video game IP, noting that "forcibly making" a game to work worldwide and "degrading the quality" isn't worth doing.
In the course of a larger conversation with Wada and Eidos head Phil Rogers on Square Enix's acquisition of the Tomb Raider publisher, we asked Wada how it's possible to create game IP that works worldwide.
The interviewer noted that "there really aren't many games that really do sell well in all three major global territories", and asked about Wada's approach to having a successful worldwide game business.
"We're not considering that one certain title is going to be sold on a worldwide basis in all of the territories.
For example, there might be one title that we're going to be giving to two of the territories, and another title that we'll be giving to one of the territories; one that would only cater to one particular territory.
But as long as there is going to be a well balanced portfolio as a company, it's going to be fine, because if we tried to forcibly make a certain title work worldwide, and if that's going to be degrading the quality, we don't want to go down that path."
Continuing with his explanation, the Square Enix head noted that it may be better to focus efforts into popular region-specific titles with the advantage of local cultural knowledge:
"But rather than that, even if that certain title only ever worked for two out of the three major territories, but still it is going to be selling deeply and thoroughly, then I believe that is going to be the better path to take.
And in order for that to happen, there needs to be a deep-rooted understanding of the culture of the particular culture of the particular country -- and Eidos and Square Enix both have 20 years of history that's residing in that particular country, so we are native in that particular area that we grew up in.
If [a company] is going to be an office, only an office, that is going to be operating in a different territory, then that will still be a foreign entity, and it will not work.
But I think that the strength that we have is that we are both in the native in that particular area, and it's a good combination in that sense."