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Content Kings: Square Enix's Shiraishi And Tsuchida On WiiWare And Risk
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Content Kings: Square Enix's Shiraishi And Tsuchida On WiiWare And Risk

May 12, 2008 Article Start Previous Page 5 of 6 Next

JP: You mentioned Yuusha no Kuse ni Namaikida. Something I like about that particular game is that it has a very retro pixel-art style, and if you look around the GDC show floor, you'll find a lot of independent games also adopt that retro style.

Do you ever see some of your games go in for that particular look -- that very deliberate style -- or do you feel that the Square Enix feel that you mentioned a few times in your speeches yesterday demands that you push the limits of visuals, go 3D, and see how far you can take CG?

TT: It's not something that we've thought about. Just because it's retro-looking doesn't mean anything about the game. But both of us... it may not be a preference. For some of our generation, retro is kind of cool, because it reminds of the good old days, but it's not necessarily... It's a style, I think. If you just make it retro, it's not something new.

JP: I was also thinking just in terms of practicality, because bitmap artists didn't have much space in comparison to CG. If you look at the size of a Super Famicom Final Fantasy, they were massive games, but they also fit in a very compact space.

FS: Maybe not the retro look, but 2D is definitely an option, to keep the size down. If you want to make a big game in a small amount of space, 2D is definitely an option, but 2D isn't necessarily retro.

TT: I guess it was like [Koji "IGA" Igarashi's] Castlevania last year about 2D and 3D games, and how they have different ways of being fun. I totally agree with that session. I'm also kind of sad that 2D is kind of gone, so if there's an opportunity for it in a game, I'm all for it.

BS: Speaking again of risk, it seems to me that not taking risk is a way to not make money, because you can only really get a big, breakthrough hit if you do take a risk. How do you feel that is reconciled right now? It seems like a very difficult line that people are treading.

TT: When we're making a big game, it's still a risk, because it costs a lot to make one game. The problem is, until recently, that's the only risk we were taking, whereas with some of the smaller-sized titles, we could do quantity, and try a lot of different kinds of stuff. Obviously not all of them will succeed. There are a few that will make us some money, and maybe we can grow those.

BS: I think that is definitely a good approach, as long as the company is willing to accept a couple of failures, which seems really difficult for a lot of companies to accept.

TT: What winds up happening sometimes is that you have one big title, and you're afraid it's going to fail, so you put more resources in, and it gets even bigger. You kind of get stuck in a rut.

It's true that when you have a lot of little ones, you have all these little failures, and that could be kind of painful too. But at least for us, these little ones, if they fail... let's say out of ten, eight of them fail and two succeed, that's still better than having one big one and having that fail and not make up for its costs. We crunch numbers, and I think we'll take those risks.

Article Start Previous Page 5 of 6 Next

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