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A Meaningful Collaboration: The Eidos And Square Enix Interview
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A Meaningful Collaboration: The Eidos And Square Enix Interview

June 12, 2009 Article Start Previous Page 4 of 5 Next

What I've wanted to see is some of the innovative concepts and tech that comes out of the West being transferred and communicated to Japanese studios, and actually see... Like, I'd love to see a sandbox game set in [Final Fantasy VII's] Midgar, or something. That would be a more interesting setting to me than Liberty City. Maybe not everybody would feel that way, but that's how I feel. That's just a random off-the-top-of-my-head example. Using the expertise of Crystal Dynamics to create an action game in the Final Fantasy universe would be, actually, extremely compelling, so...

PR: I agree with that. So, I think, it's more than experimentation: I think you need a trust, and a desire, and a passion for these properties, and a technical capability to actually drive that utility.

It's a natural thing for consumers to want [games like] that, and I don't think that you're untypical. There's going to be strong communities of people that would love to play that. We talked about, maybe, in the future, user-generated content. You know, where does that start becoming a platform type of IP that is customized in certain locations but fundamentally you're playing the same sort of game.

So, again, I think in five or 10 years, we'll no doubt see more of this.

Is there going to be a global review process for titles as they come out of the studios? Obviously, I get the impression that Square Enix is interested in hearing from the West. I also get those ideas from some of what you specifically said, Wada-san, as both in terms of your role as CESA chairman, as well as Square Enix. Is there going to be some sort of process where there's a global evaluation of titles as they're in development, or as IP is being generated?

YW: Meaning whether we check for each title whether it is going to reflect the opinions from each of the customers in that region; is that what you mean when you say"global review"?

Would you present titles internally, say, at a global strategy meeting? You're talking about the cultural understanding, of having an indigenous office, right -- would Eidos staff be able to say, "Yes, I see that this title actually does have this kind of real potential," or, "This is a way that you could make this title more appealing to people in our territory," and by the same token, could you present titles and you would say, "Well, I see that there's actually a real potential for this to be a success in Japan or Asia."

YW: It's something that we're trying to make happen. That's exactly what we're trying to make happen.

We definitely would like to do something like that, and implement that. And we have ideas, but there is a tremendous amount of titles; so we have to be able to strike a balance of which one is going to need a deep dive type of discussion, versus something that can be shallower than that.

Because if everything is going to become a deep dive, then people will start to collapse, because they're too busy. So in that sense, we would be taking a little more time in order to design that kind of schema to implement, but we would definitely like to be able to do that.

PR: So we've -- I've got to stop saying "we've" -- at Eidos a good, robust, workable greenlight process for all our titles has been an initiative that we've had to really drive for the last 12 or 18 months, to deliver the quality that we aspire to.

I think it's been really interesting looking at how you greenlight processes, and how you manage creativity, and design, and sales, and territorial impact. We've had a year of some great successes, and some challenges too. I think what's been interesting, again, is when you build trust in that working group, I think it does enable you to have more input from different people, just people of different viewpoints.

The challenge is then that games can become color-by-numbers. You know, if you take everyone's little ideas and just input those, you don't necessarily keep the balance in the overall aspiration that you're trying to achieve. But if you've got at least an environment where you can put that view out there, and have that view as a trusted view, then it actually is interesting.

So, we've had a year of working in this way-- again, the benefit, or the beauty, if you like, of this transaction is: at some of the greenlight meetings at Eidos, I think we'd love to have people from Square Enix attend, and look, and contribute to. So I think there's an excitement and anticipation towards that.

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